There are no segments about him on television's "Dateline" or "60 Minutes."
Unlike his "deadbeat" counterparts, he rarely receives publicity. His quiet devotion and strong sense of responsibility are easily overlooked in a culture that spotlights neglect and dysfunction.
He is the divorced dad who is connected and committed to his children.
If he is the custodial parent, he is often both father and mother to his children. He knows what to do with a set of hair barrettes and he knows how to dress a Barbie doll.
He also knows how to pick up and gently comfort a crying son rather than demanding "You're all right! Stop crying!" as his father said to him.
He gives baths, helps with homework and, as is the custom in some homes, is a witness to bedtime prayers. His own private prayers for the strength and ability to provide the security his children deserve are said in the long, dark night.
If he does not have custody of his children, he lives nearby so that he is always close and available to them. His apartment is child-proofed and is a comfortable, loving and familiar home.
On his visitation weekends, he makes popcorn, watches Disney videos, and tries to make up for the time they are apart.
That's the hardest part: He misses hours, days and weeks of his children's development because he is no longer married to their mother. Yet most often, he has to rely on her version of events — both good and bad - relating to them.
There are times when he misses his children and wants to be with them — right then, at that moment. But there is usually little of no spontaneity for the divorced dad. The time he is allotted to spend with his children is often a matter of a court decision.
So no matter how hard he woks at being involved, he somehow always feels like an outsider.
His commitment takes a toll on his personal life because he is not as free or available as childless men or fathers who are less involved. That's OK with him because he knows that these years are flying by, and that soon, his children — as teenagers and young adults — won't need him as much.
In the meantime, he will be there and completely available to them. He'll pay his child support on time and finance camps and college among other necessities. He will attend all the sports games, ballet recitals and school performances and he will be there at the emergency room or the police station.
So on Fathers' Days, remember him with gratitude and show him your love and appreciation.
Based in Rockport, life and relationship coach Susan Britt, M.Ed., a psychotherapist and former university director of career and counseling services, teaches individuals, couples and families to resolve relationship conflicts, clarify and achieve life and career goals, and accelerate personal growth. Questions and comments may be addressed to her at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone 978 546-9431.