Divorce and Separation for Men: Taking Care of Yourself
Current statistics state 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce, the highest in the world. Divorce is at an all-time high, and the grief associated with divorce is akin to death.
Quite often, men suffer greater loss due to divorce than woman. Not only are there financial setbacks, men are dealt emotional blows as well. Woman often maintain the home, keep the children, and continue some semblance of normalcy. On the other hand, men are uprooted from homes, separated from children, and literally left alone.
Emotional pain that men feel from divorce is real, but men express grief in different ways. Some throw themselves into careers, alcohol, extreme sports, or bar hopping and woman. Others become depressed, withdrawn, and have difficulty at work; neither response is healthy nor necessary.
Men feel powerless and helpless when facing divorce; however, there are ways for men to feel in control and less helpless. Emotional loss will resolve itself with time, immediate financial needs and domestic comfort can be addressed immediately.
- Insure personal comfort. When leaving your home, take items necessary for housekeeping: sheets, towels, kitchen supplies, spare furniture, electronics, and any other personal affects. Inventory anything you remove from the house for later court dates.
- Acquire a safe deposit box. Gather important documents and put them in a safe deposit box. While you are not trying to hide anything from your wife, you need to protect your personal interests when possible.
- Cancel joint accounts. Continue to be fiscally responsible for your share of the expenses; however, you don’t need the additional burden of spending sprees, the embarrassment of overdrafts and credit cards being declined. Be fair and let your wife know, in advance, of changes.
- Do not cancel medical insurance. Until the court rules on your divorce and terms, you are still responsible for your wife and children.
- Inventory the house. Using a digital or video camera, record everything in the house. If anything goes missing, you have documentation.
- Maintain records of ALL communication between you and your wife. It may prove useful in court.
- Be responsible. A judge will have more respect if you continue to meet the needs of your children.
- See your children. Soon to be ex-wives can use children as weapons; they find ways to monopolize time and re-arrange schedules to their advantage. A separation agreement should be in place so there is no question about time spent with your kids.
- Get help. Prior to making any huge decisions, secure a good lawyer. He or she will advise you along the way and look out for your personal interests. Also, find someone you can talk to. Even men need someone they can verbalize the wide range of emotions associated with divorce.
Separation and divorce is never anyone’s first choice; however, it is a reality. Take steps to secure your personal comfort, your financial future, and surround yourself with supportive family and friends.
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