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Black Daddies Club: From Acrimony to Friendship

8 August 2011 3 Comments

Delroy with his children

From Acrimony to Friendship: When Ex-spouses Decide To “Get Along” For The Sake of the Kids

By Jenny Williams

I am the ex-wife of an amazing “Black Daddy” and I would like to tell you what makes him so amazing.


When I first met Delroy Wedderburn, aka Tony, he was already the father of 4 year-old Nicole who was his pride and joy.  When I met her, I instantly fell in love with her and when Tony and I married I resolved to be the best stepmom that I could be.

When our own two daughters came along, Tony was hands-on and always involved.  He adored his children and showered them with love.  Unfortunately, our relationship didn’t survive, but even though we went through a period of acrimony, his commitment and dedication to his girls never waned. He continued to visit them regularly and I could always count on him to help out when needed with the girls.

I vividly recall one day asking him to look after the girls while I was out.  When I returned home, I found Daddy and his daughter Michelle, sitting on the couch watching TV with their arms wrapped around each other’s shoulders.  It was the sweetest thing I’d ever seen.

Following our divorce, once custody and access details were worked out, Tony faithfully picked up his girls every weekend to spend time with them.  On top of that, Tony never missed a support payment and was always available for me to talk to if issues arose with the girls.  Even when he went back to school, he never missed a weekend and sought assistance from his mom to help him look after them.

Then a major crisis affected our girls and this became a defining time in our lives. It made us realize that even though we couldn’t be together, we still had two daughters to raise and we needed to get on the same page in order to do so properly.  We all came together and dealt with the crisis as a family…even though he was now married to someone else.

Then, when our oldest daughter started misbehaving, we agreed that she would live with him.  In the years that followed, I watched my daughter blossom under the care of Tony and his new wife, Maxine. Today, she is a beautiful 23 year-old woman, well-adjusted and polite.

He helped me raise them, discipline them and always backed me up when problems arose.  Our girls always knew that if they misbehaved, my first phone call would be to Dad…and they dreaded it.

They knew they could never play the two of us against one another.  It kept them in line and, together, we raised two fine young ladies.  I thank God every day for my ex-husband and the role he played in helping me to raise the girls.

Today, I count him as one of my dearest friends. I credit him with turning our oldest daughter around and I thank him for stepping up and taking her in when trouble started brewing. As a result, we were able to nip the situation in the bud and stop it from turning into a festering wound of irreversible bad behaviour.

Tony is proof that, if divorced or separated parents are able to put their differences aside and focus their energy on working together to raise their children, there is no reason why kids can’t grow up to be mature, healthy, well-adjusted individuals.

Tony and Maxine have two more children and all of our kids have a great relationship.  I respect his new wife and am grateful to her for the role she played in helping to raise our daughter.

When we celebrate special moments in the lives of the children, all of us attend together in a show of support.  We love not only our own two kids but also each other’s children with our new spouses. “Uncle Tony” has even attended my 11 year-old son, Dillon’s soccer games.

Our children all enjoy spending time together and it’s all because Tony has set the example and standard for what it means to “get along” for the sake of the children.

I wanted to write this story to show that, in this day and age where divorce, separation, single parents and blended families are commonplace, Dads can still play a vital and effective role in their children’s lives.  All they have to do is resolve to put their differences aside, be the best Dad they can be and make the time they spend with their kids count for something.

And when this is done, the children whom they co-parent stand a much better chance of growing up to become emotionally healthy and successful individuals.

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  • Diane said:

    Great example for other dads to follow.

  • Michelle said:

    All dad’s should put their kids first like he does :)

  • brandon said:

    Great article Jenny

    Delroy has a great story.

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