I worked with a guy whose dad did this same thing, leaving a wife and two young sons. My co-worker and his brother learned to do without their dear old dad. The grandparents stepped in with money to help with the expenses, mortgage, school tuition, etc. About 20 years later, the dad was found in New Mexico (he'd been from Palo Alto, CA). The dad had been a geologist and staged his disappearance while out on a dig for the U.S. Geological Survey. He was unhappy with his marriage, and met a young native American woman and took up with her. For nearly 20 years, the dad and his new girl ran a little store in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico. One day another geologist the dad had known 20 years earlier stopped at the little store to buy something and recognized his former co-worker. Busted. The dad came back to Palo Alto for a terse reunion with his wife and grown kids, and his aged parents. It did not go well, and he went back to his native American girl in New Mexico. The wife had to pay back the insurance money (not sure the amount). So - some of these selfish, irresponsible guys just simply don't love their families enough to stick around - - - gay or straight.
I'd be interested in knowing how many guys would welcome back a dad like this one? Remember - he didn't voluntarily come home, as in the Arizona story. The New Mexico dad was discovered. He only went home begrudgingly and then didn't stay. Personally - I think I'd tell him I did fine without him for twenty years, and I didn't see any need to have a relationship with him now. What do other guys think they'd do???