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Divorce is Different for Men than Women

When I was going through separation and divorce, I searched for resources on the subject for men written by a man who had actually gone through the process and experienced the system firsthand. I didn’t find many resources, which left me very frustrated and misinformed. Certainly I wasn’t the first one to be going through this sort of experience. I remember telling others and myself there had to be more resources on this subject than I was seeing. I knew then in 2005 that more men needed to write books on this subject matter to help those of us who are going through this raveging experience to understand what we can expect. Men like me want to know what we are getting ourselves into. I’d never been through this before, and I was virtually blind to the process. I never planned on getting a divorce, so I never had an action plan or plan B in place.

I had always been successful in just about everything I had done up to that point, so failure was new to me, and frankly, I didn’t know what to do with it other than get as informed as possible so I could make smart decisions. Unfortunately, few to little resources existed. After discussions with a few lawyers, I understood that I needed to approach this like a business and keep as much emotion out of the process as possible. They explained that good decisions and emotion do not go hand and hand. As a sales and marketing executive, I was familiar with this. Keeping our emotions in check when making important decisions was one of the top ten rules of business. The problem was, my brain knew this, but my breaking heart wasn’t paying any attention. I was as about as confused and scared as anyone could be going into this. One of the many things I didn’t realize was that despite my ability to shove emotions aside or put them on the shelf, they still affected my decision-making. I thought I was being smart, but in the meantime, I was yammering emotional heartache to my attorney to the tune of $375 and hour. Men need to realize that despite our ability to suck it up, our subconscious mind is soaking up all the pain, all the heartache, all the abuse, and all the turmoil—and there is nothing your conscious mind can do about it once it comes to a head. We all have our capacities, but sometimes it gets to be too much, and it eventually comes to a head. If we don’t take time to grieve our loss and insist on stowing our feelings away in a memory cupboard to deal with later, we could very well end up having a nervous breakdown … in public … while you’re on a date … with no handkerchief … like me.

Relevant resources that exist for men are few and far between. Men just aren’t into writing self-help books about divorce. Men don’t like having to go back and remember painful or uncomfortable moments. Men would rather just move on and forget about the storm they just went through. Men cope and survive by having a short memory. As warriors, we get wounded, keep fighting, and keep persevering, and if we bleed, we patch it up and move on to fight another day. This is indicative with how men behave during divorce. Have you known a marriage that involved the man walking away from it all? I’m referring to the guy who was just so fed up he gave his wife the house, the car, the furniture, and the kids, and he left with his clothes, fishing pole, tool box, and whatever dignity he could gather up. Guys don’t like conflict, and we’ll do just about anything to avoid it.

In the meantime, it seems women thrive on conflict. As popular media portrays on a daily basis with Bravo’s Basketball Wives, Wives of Beverly Hills, Wives of Atlanta, so on and so forth. These women are brutal with how they treat each other. We can only learn from their behavior as to how we might be treated if we were ever to get on their bad side. Right? These women tear each other up over a simple comment about their hair, clothes, or shoes. Now put your money and kids on the line, and you’ve got yourself a full-blown bitch from hell ready to go to the ends of the earth to scorch the land of all life, as you know it. Men would just rather walk away from it all because what men realize sooner than women is that it’s just stuff, and it’s never worth the pain, drama, and strife. Men just aren’t great at dealing with these emotions, and the ones who are the ones who would just rather move on.

Kennedy Bell

House of Straw, a Book on Separation and Divorce for Men Only

Lulu Publishing 2017

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