Even During Divorce ‘Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus’
Everyone’s divorce experience is different. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to healing and moving on. Perhaps some of the most noticeable differences are found in how men and women experience divorce. Much like many other situations in life, men and women react to divorce differently. From the financial impact of a divorce to co-parenting and everything in between, the differences can be quite large. Even during divorce ‘Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.’
Women usually face more financial challenges.
Even though women are working hard to break the glass ceiling, a gender pay gap still exists. On average, women in the workforce earn 80% of what their male counterparts earn. Although this income disparity doesn’t apply to every divorce, it can have a significant impact on the ones that do encounter this challenge.
It brings into account things like child support and alimony, which can be burdensome for both the payee and payor. Both parties may hold resentment towards each other. The payee for still being financially dependent on their ex, and the payor for not being able to fully cut ties with their former spouse. The financial stress often felt by divorced moms can have a huge impact on their life post-divorce. This can prohibit them from doing things they otherwise would have been able to do, such as owning a home or traveling.
Men are more likely to struggle with staying involved in their children’s lives if they are the non-custodial parent.
While more and more states are considering shared-parenting legislation, the fact remains that more mothers become the custodial parent in a divorce. When a father doesn’t live with their children, they are less likely to be involved in their lives in significant ways, from helping them with homework to attending their extra-curricular activities. The father/child relationship can really struggle with this distance. A non-custodial male parent usually has to work twice as hard to maintain a strong bond with his children after a divorce.
Men are more likely to remarry after divorce.
Although both men and women are likely to start dating again after a divorce, men are more likely to marry again. A 2013 Census showed that 64% of divorced men walked down the aisle again, while only 52% of divorced women did. Further studies have shown that more women than men are anti-marriage after a divorce. More than half said they would never consider saying “I do” again.
Men are more likely to develop depression after divorce.
The stigma surrounding men seeking help for their mental health is only amplified in a divorce. Women are more likely to reach out for support. Men often internalize their struggles, which can lead some to fall into a depression. The suicide rate among divorced men is also twice that of married men. The way men and women address their mental health prior to a divorce is often a good indicator of how they’ll handle it post-divorce. Women are naturally more prone to reach out when they are in need of help, while some men feel they need to maintain a tough attitude. There is nothing weak about asking for help, but so many men see it differently. Divorce coaches are invaluable in this situation, as they can really be that accountability partner and cheerleader that so many men desperately crave during this time.
Divorced women see an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
A broken heart might not be the only thing women suffer from after a divorce. Many divorced women also find themselves at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. A study showed that women who have been divorced once have a 24% higher risk of having a heart attack compared with married women, while those who have been divorced twice or more have a 77% higher risk of having a heart attack.
The high amount of stress many divorced women often experience, due to financial stressors, the weight of parenting responsibilities, and other factors, are likely the reason behind this increased risk of heart disease. While they are more likely to take care of their mental health, women are less likely to take care of their physical health after a divorce, mostly due to the time constraints of being a single mother.
Men’s cardiovascular systems don’t seem to be affected as much as women after a divorce, although they may face other health challenges after a divorce, including mental health struggles, high blood pressure, and cancer.
While men and women may experience divorce differently, there is one commonality among all divorces- they are hard. But they can also be an opportunity to grow. Working with the right divorce professionals and learning how to cope with the challenges that divorce brings can help both men and women thrive after a divorce.
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