Most likely it is fear on the part of the absent parent. It is very hard to face the ones we have hurt, and may convince ourselves that they are probably better off without us. I have seen fathers intend to re-establish a relationship with their kids after the anger has died down, and find that the more time that passes, the harder it gets to find the courage to re-connect.
Most of the absent fathers I have met (including my husband's) allowed fear to prevent them from doing what they really wanted to, which was see and love their kids.
If this is in regards to your own ex, try to let go of the anger and reach out to him to tell him it is okay to connect with your child. Did you know that the brain automatically fills in negative information if there is no information? Meaning that if he is absent he does not know how to respond to you and your child, and that not knowing can perpetuate the fears.
at 2:14 AM on Sep. 17, 2010