How Men Vs Women Handle Divorce
The ways men and women approach divorce are very different. No divorce is the same, and no couple is the same but, I have definitely noticed trends in how men versus women deal with this major life event. For example, almost all of my mother’s divorced female friends are still single, while almost all of their ex-husbands found a new spouse within just a couple of years after the divorce. And my mom has a lot of divorced friends so those are some figures that just cannot be ignored. It could have something to do with the fact that women are just happier after divorce than men are. So, they don’t need to fill some void with a quick replacement partner. There are a lot of reasons that could be, including the fact that many women feel like caregivers to their partners so, divorce is actually like…retirement! That’s just one of the many differences. Here is how men versus women handle divorce.
Women surround themselves with friends
Women immediately surround themselves with their support group. They’ll stay with friends or family for a while, or ask a good friend to live with them for a while during this difficult time. They make sure to be smothered in love.
Men don’t want pity hangs
Men are proud and don’t want pity hangs. If they sense that their friends are only asking them to hang out because they’re worried about them, they reject the invitation.
Women have more friends anyways
The reality is that women are better at building and maintaining social networks than men are. Maybe it’s because we have a hormonal need to be in regular contact with close friends. Either way, that network is there and ready to support us.
Men didn’t build that network
Men tend to rely heavily on their romantic partners for their social life. It’s very common for men to just hand their partners control of their calendars and say, “Just tell me where to be and when.” They can find themselves rather lonely after a divorce because their partners were their whole social lives.
Women take personal time
Women take personal time. They go on trips. They take spa days. They ask for time off work. They go to meditation retreats. They understand the importance of self-care at this time.
Men dive into work
Men dive into work—they try to spend all of their time on the one thing they can control during a time when life feels so out of control.
Women stay single for a while
Women remain single for a long time. They are not ready to give of themselves in such a tremendous way, so quickly after such a big loss. They don’t take divorce lightly. They want to pause and reflect on what they’ve learned, and what they will want to be different about their next relationship.
Men re-marry quickly
Men dive back in. They re-marry quickly. Perhaps this is because their wives are their caretakers. So, while divorced women are getting a nice break from being caretakers, men feel completely lost and helpless and need a new partner fast.
Women go to therapy
Women go to therapy. They understand the importance of having professional help after such a life-altering event. They also make sure to make the most of therapy by being present and doing the homework.
Men are much less likely to go to therapy. If they do, it will be because someone else urged them to. They may be resistant to it, and less likely to open up to their therapists.
Women talk to their friends
If a woman is going through a divorce, it will be the main thing discussed for at least six months after the divorce (and before it’s official). It’s a big deal, and her friends treat it as such.
Men talk a little
Men might talk to their friends a little about the divorce but they feel self-conscious about monopolizing conversations with the topic. They may dedicate a few minutes to updates on the divorce and then change the subject.
Women stress about the children
Women immediately stress about the children—how is this affecting their emotional state? Will they still be properly cared for? How can the parents make sure their lives are not too disrupted?
Men fight for time with children
Men seem to worry more about custody—often, they were just less involved in the children’s lives so their immediate worry is that custody will go to the mother.
Women grieve right away
Women grieve right away. In fact, they begin grieving before the divorce proceedings even begin. Women know when a relationship is over, long before it’s over.
Men grieve later
Men put off the grieving for a long time. They’re more likely to be in denial, and insist that the divorce hasn’t really affected them. They’re more prone to abrupt and strange behavior, later, because of their suppressed emotions.