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Is There Ever a Good Reason To Abandon Your Children?

Posted by on Jul. 23, 2013 at 10:27 AM
  • 15 Replies

Gay Dad Abandons His Kids: Are They Better Off Without Him?

by Kiri Blakeley 1

Five children were crushed when their father disappeared on a business trip two decades ago. All of this time, they believed he had died. It must have been excruciating for them to not know what had happened to him. But then, suddenly, in 2007, the man returned. He wasn't dead after all. He was just gay

Eric Myers popped back up in his children's lives after being gone for most of theirs -- but unfortunately this wasn't an occasion for celebration. It turns out he hadn't mysteriously died in San Francisco after all. He'd merely run off with his gay lover. Not surprisingly, the kids aren't exactly heralding their gay dad's return.

Myers knew he was gay from the time he was 6 years old -- but he felt this was wrong. So he became an Evangelical Christian, got married, and had five children -- all hoping this would somehow make him "straight." By the time he was 34, however, he knew he could no longer continue with the charade, so he disappeared.

That's right. Didn't have a talk with his wife. Didn't say goodbye to his kids. Never even made one phone call. Disappeared.

I can only imagine what the family went through as they searched for him and mourned and grieved and finally went on with their lives as best they could. "I cannot say anything to deny that it is the most selfish thing in the world," says Eric. And he would be right about that.

His youngest daughter, who was 11 when her dad went missing, turned to alcohol to self-soothe. "I think it's safe to say I took it the hardest," Kirsten Myers Ruggiano told ABC News. "I remember screaming that I wanted him back."

Myers moved to Palm Springs, California, and met a man. He changed his identity. Meanwhile, he was declared legally dead and his family was able to cash in a $800,000 life insurance policy.

Then, one day, Myers just decided to come back. He says:

There was never any plan to come back, just like there was never any plan to leave, and it just happened.

While his parents and siblings instantly forgave him, it hasn't been like that with his children. They haven't even spoken to him. And that is totally understandable. The kids were given financial security in the form of trust funds set up after the insurance payout -- but with his return, the insurance company wants the money back with interest. So he just keeps causing even more turmoil.

It's unclear why Myers returned, but it sounds more like he wanted to reconnect with his parents and siblings -- on his terms and when he was ready -- than with his kids. His family made it easy for him, his children didn't.

I can see where Myers may have hated himself and his homosexuality and all of the lies he'd told and situations he'd created out of his own lies and somehow thought that the children would be better off without him -- but I simply cannot believe that went on for 16 years, the amount of time that Myers was gone. I think he had his fun, had his carefree, selfish years without the burden of raising five kids, and when he got older and began to desire a family again, he realized he needed to return. I think it was for him, not them.

I could be wrong since I don't know Myers. I don't know everything he's gone through. But I do have a good idea of what the kids have gone through, having gone through something similar myself. Bottom line, there's never a good reason to abandon your children. And especially not in a way that makes them believe you're dead.

Says Myers daughter, Kirsten, now a mom herself:

I know how much I loved my children. And if he loved me even half as much as I loved them, there would be no situation where he would ever think that it was okay to leave me.

She's right. It is never okay to leave your kids, unless you are putting them in danger. Being confused and in pain -- which no doubt Myers was -- is no excuse not to own up to your responsibilities to your children.

One day, Kirsten may decide to forgive, more for herself than him. But it's up to her when, where, and how. Myers has had it his way his entire life. Now it should be about his kids -- what they want.

Should his kids forgive him?

Is there ever a good reason to abandon your children?

by on Jul. 23, 2013 at 10:27 AM
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Replies (1-10):
illinoismommy83
by on Jul. 23, 2013 at 10:31 AM

His kids can forgive him when he repays the money from the insurance payout.

GleeFan
by on Jul. 23, 2013 at 12:06 PM

There is never a good reason to abandon your kids. 

I understand him being conflicted about his sexuality, but he was the parent of 5 children who needed him. He was completely selfish. Take a weekend, a week, a month away to figure out your life, then COME BACK to your children who need you. Come back as a straight or gay man, it doesn't matter, what matters is that you are there with your family.

As far as the insurance money goes, he should pay it back, not his kids. 

SlapItHigh
by on Jul. 23, 2013 at 12:20 PM

Forgiveness is always the right thing but I understand why his children are having a hard time forgiving.  There may be a good reason to abandon children (say they will be killed if you stay), but abandoning them to go have a selfish life with your gay lover is NOT a good reason!

MamaHens3
by on Jul. 23, 2013 at 12:27 PM

I can see him not sure what to do about his sexuality, he was told it was wrong and it wasn't ok to do that. It's never ok to deny yourself who you are, yet self beliefs and taught what can you do. He should been man enough, respectable enough to leave telling them with some contact still. Those 5 kids knew their daddy, and then he was just gone like that. I'd be angry too, shoot if they take a while to speak to him it's more then understandable. I'd not speak to him if one of his children, he himself took himself out of their lives. For his selfish reasons, it's not fair to them self conflicting or not. 

The fact that they had a insurance pay out , they thought he was dead with no sign of life! That's not ok he came back with no intent, an now they want the money back of course understandable. That's a type of frued, yet he should be paying it not his family or kids. He confused what had happened, why he did and he should be left for that area he did. 

KW1280
by on Jul. 23, 2013 at 12:31 PM



Quoting GleeFan:

There is never a good reason to abandon your kids. 

I understand him being conflicted about his sexuality, but he was the parent of 5 children who needed him. He was completely selfish. Take a weekend, a week, a month away to figure out your life, then COME BACK to your children who need you. Come back as a straight or gay man, it doesn't matter, what matters is that you are there with your family.

As far as the insurance money goes, he should pay it back, not his kids. 


MySweetChild
by Member on Jul. 23, 2013 at 12:59 PM

There is NEVER  a good reason to leave your children!!  I can understand he was confused, going through a rough time, it happens, sometimes even a parent may be a danger to their children; but you take some time away, you get help, you consult with family to help, you clear your head and try and get things back on track....you do not abandon your children!!  This story breaks my heart for his kids.  He should absolutely be responsible for paying the money back, not them!!

Miss_Mandy80
by on Jul. 23, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Never a reason to abandon your kids...never. He took the selfish way out & his children & entire Family suffered for it. What a sad story. I also think HE is the one who should pay back that Life Insurance policy....not the family!

CharmCityMommy
by on Jul. 23, 2013 at 3:09 PM
I have seen a family where the children who spent the least amount of time with a parent who abandoned them turned out better than those he abandoned later but they still suffered as a result. So, yes abandoning a child for some folks is better for the child however the parent is still responsible for what happens to the child even in his absence! Even though this man left his children in the care of a capable adult and provided for them he is still on the hook!

It sounds like he knew what he was doing. He knew that if he ever reached out to or forewarned his family about his departure his financial plan would not have panned out. Sounds like somehing went awry in his personal life and that is why he returned. He probably should have kept playing dead. Poor children! What a welcome home present!

Yes, his children should forgive him for their sake but forgiveness does not necessitate transitioning him back into their lives. He sounds a bit sketchy.
Janet
by Ruby Member on Jul. 23, 2013 at 5:09 PM
1 mom liked this

There is never a good reason to abandon your children. He should definitely be the one who should be made to pay the money back!

goddess99
by Michelle on Jul. 23, 2013 at 5:23 PM

I wouldn't forgive him.

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