How fathers face divorce

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Question: What do you think the "recipe" is for men to stay close to their children after a divorce? I have witnessed over and over again men moving on to their next relationship, and the relationship with their children gets moved to the back burner.

Answer: The recipe is for men to stay close to their children instead of pushing them aside in favor of a new relationship.

If you're dating a divorced man, you can choose not to get possessive of his time and choose to be encouraging and understanding of the importance of his staying involved in his kids' lives.

If you're the ex, you can choose to set aside your anger, share custody, and be as cooperative and flexible as possible when it comes to those arrangements.

If you're the kids, you can do your kid thing and love your parents and recognize the divorce wasn't your fault in any way.

Question: This is such a small thing, but it's so annoying. I am the primary cook in our house because I enjoy everything about it and my husband does not. I try not to repeat a recipe within a three-month period, which means I sometimes have to get creative. I cook roughly four times a week, and almost every meal takes at least an hour to prepare.

Yet my husband's go-to compliment, when he likes something that isn't especially fancy, is, "I like this, it's nice and simple." To him, if something is served cold or is pureed, it is "simple," because he has never tried making most of the recipes I use.

If I were serving tomato soup out of a can, this wouldn't bother me, but it really, really does.

But is it OK to say so?

Answer: Yes; it's better than swallowing your resentment.

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Chat with Carolyn Hax online at noon Fridays at www.washingtonpost.com.