Ok, so we have all heard how men and women are very different. Whether it is how we communicate, parent, or love, there is also a big difference in how we experience a divorce. It’s one of the reasons I think support groups open to both genders are insightful, by allowing individuals to learn more about the experiences of the opposite sex and how we differ with our emotional coping strategies. Typically, men look outward when seeking comfort from emotional pain. Women tend to look inward, an internal inventory of the role we played in the demise of the marriage. Both genders use different coping skills when dealing with the emotional trauma of divorce.
Men going through a separation or divorce will experience a deeper depression which often may lead to substance abuse. They are at greater risk of health problems such as a heart attack or stroke. Over the years I often attended many divorce support groups, I’ve seen a common thread amongst men which is they are likely to use “action” rather than words to express their feelings. This will lead to mourning in the future, therefore, extending the grieving process. Some common actions men may take will be working too much; having casual sexual encounters; avoiding their new home.
Women on the other hand, often experience more financial distress. Since oftentimes women have their children living with them, they endure more household and family expenses than men. Statistics show that women oftentimes do not recover from their financial loss until they remarry. Women too will experience health issues, but rather later on due to psychological stress and often poverty. Lack of good health care is a major issue since many women are often under their spouses’ plans from their employers. Women are less likely to turn to drugs or alcohol, new relationships and casual sex to distract them from the trauma of divorce.
Research studies have shown both men and women do experience something in common which is a form of lost identity i.e., financially, sexually and socially. We both find it difficult to separate an independent identity from the one we had during the marriage.
All of this being said, it’s important to recognize that the experiences men and women share or don’t are part of the divorce process. Neither gender should diminish the challenges the opposite sex goes through. Healing from divorce for both genders is often a complicated and emotional process.