The old saying goes that women are from Venus and men from Mars. When it comes to how men and women respond to divorce, that adage seems to hold true.
Research consistently shows that men tend to take a longer time to recover from divorce than women do. Getting past the roadblock of emotional devastation is challenging for everyone, but there are distinct differences in the ways in which men and women mourn the end of relationships.
Analyzing the reasons underlying those differences is complicated as every relationship – and the factors that lead to a relationship’s demise – is unique.
However, there are some recurring circumstances that often occur in divorces that seem to contribute to things being so tough for guys.
Increased health risks
The stress of divorce causes the long-term health risks men face to skyrocket. This includes increased rates of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, depression, suicide, substance abuse, and even cancer.
Unfortunately, societal norms often discourage men from taking care of their physical and mental health and that can lead to serious problems, even under normal circumstances.
If you’ve gone through a divorce, it is crucial to make smart decisions regarding your physical and mental well-being. That means eating right, exercising regularly, and seeking the support you need to help you maintain your mental health.
When parents divorce, it is very likely that the mom is the one who will receive primary custody of the children. Although the shared parenting movement gains more steam each year, there are still far too many family courts that adhere to outdated notions regarding gender and parenting. In their mind, it is still the 1950s and it’s a mother’s job to stay home with the kids while the father goes off to work to provide financially for the family.
While a divorce changes the living situation for both spouses, dads are often dealt the additional blow of losing access to their children. This can cause an enormous identity crisis. They’re no longer a husband and they’re also told they’re a secondary parent.
It is also tragically common for one parent to try to turn the children against their ex in a process known as parental alienation.
Additionally, the person asking for a divorce has likely had some time to plan and has probably already met with an attorney. That gives them a huge leg up as the divorce proceeds. Time is of the essence when it comes to divorce matters and if a person doesn’t act quickly they can easily get fleeced in the final settlement.
Guys are far more likely to be ordered to pay child support and/or alimony, which can be an enormous financial burden after you’ve just broken the bank to cover attorney fees, litigation costs, and other various expenses that come with divorce.
Depending on how the property division went down, you might have also lost half your assets, which is yet another huge adjustment.
It is clear that there are a number of different factors that result in divorce being so difficult for guys. Perhaps the most effective way to help with the recovery process is by taking the needed steps to protect yourself during the actually divorce.
If you’re heading for divorce, make sure contact a licensed family law attorney who focuses on men’s divorce to ensure that your rights, and the rights of your children, are protected.