June 1, 2012

Michigan men struggle with divorce as much as women

Many women in Michigan initiate divorce, and even though both parties may know it’s coming, often the person that did not initiate the divorce can feel betrayed. While women are more likely to have a support group to help them through the process, often a man does not and is left to deal with loneliness and feelings of inadequacy on his own.

One of the things a man involved in a divorce may have to deal with is being left out, especially if he decides to not discuss his personal issues with friends. Typically, friends are put in a position to take sides. Naturally, some will side with the party they feel deserves the most compassion. Even if the woman initiates the divorce or separation, friends could take her side if they believe the man initiated the process. This could leave the man in a lonely and difficult situation and do damage to his pride.

People also do not realize that while a marital situation is not working out, the man often feels pain over not being able to see his children every day. They may think he is free from family duties now that he doesn’t have many of the family obligations, but this is often not the case. He still has to go to work and may have the increased responsibility of providing for two households. A father and husband may also lose out on the routine and structure that he may have once relied on.

If a father does not have primary custody of his children, he won’t get to spontaneously hug his children every day. Additionally, his new home may not feel right without the children there. Further, when the children are at their father’s house and the man’s ex-wife has spoken ill about him in front of the children, the kids might compare the father’s home with the mother’s home and may grow to resent their father through no fault of his.

It is important to remember that during a divorce, women are not the only ones hurting. Men face similar challenges and have difficulty adjusting to a new life as well.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Must Divorced Fathers Become Second Class Citizens?” Linda Lipshutz, May 23, 2012

Tags: divorce, fathers’ rights, statistics