Are you wondering why I work for men?
When I began my practice over ten years ago, I became the ONLY female divorce coach for men, and this remains true today.
I’m often asked the question “why men?” So, I thought I would take a moment to explain my why! After deciding to become a divorce coach, I began coaching both men and women early on. It was during this time I had noticed a pattern; men were facing an uphill battle trying to secure equal shared parenting time with their children and would often feel as though they had no other options other than to give up and concede with less parenting time.
I also noticed how my female clients had an agenda that entailed taking more time away from their co-parent and trying to take more than their share financially in hopes of not earning their own income.
Not only was this alarming, it also did not align with my values, which is why I felt the need to be there for men and encourage them not to surrender to the chaos and reclaim their strength and confidence along the way.
Emotional Stages of Divorce we will Work on
Men going through a divorce will experience a whole range of different emotions.
As your coach, we will work on many of the emotional stages men struggle with brought on by divorce such as:
‘It Can’t Be True’ Stage: This stage can combine several emotions. But typically, it is shock and denial. If a man does not foresee a divorce, some studies show that it’s most often the case. At this stage, you feel numb and do not believe what has happened. Instead, you’re denying the situation and thinking about how you may produce a different outcome. You’re avoiding the pain by not accepting the breakup.
‘I’m Hurt, But I Won’t Show It’ Stage: This is the stage where the pain sets in. However, most often, men try not to show it. They take an “I’m totally fine” stance, but their behavior may indicate the opposite.
At this stage, the man may turn to unhealthy escapist behavior, using it as a defensive mechanism or a tool to relieve pain (spoiler: it doesn’t work that way). Some ex-husbands turn to binge drinking, endless parties, and even promiscuous sex. Others give in to loneliness, sadness, apathy, and depression. These scenarios are destructive to a person’s mental and physical health and don’t solve the problem.
‘I’m So Angry’ Stage: According to society’s perception, anger is probably the most acceptable and expected emotion for a man. It is a strong feeling that creates the image of an invulnerable man who does not know his weaknesses.
Men losing their families often feel out of control, while anger is a perfect tool for feeling power. Some men are angry with themselves (for not keeping the family together, not recognizing the signs of an impending divorce or infidelity, or not being an ideal partner for an ex-spouse). Others may be angry with their wives, accusing them of being the cause of their divorce.
‘I’m Not Going to Ask for Help’ Stage: Men are less likely to ask for help and lean heavily towards the belief that they should be able to deal with their problems and solve them themselves. The good news is this has changed over the years. Men are becoming more open and allowing themselves to feel vulnerable.
‘I’m Not Going to Do Anything About My Life’ Stage: In the post-divorce phase, there is a turning point in which you either recover or not. Coping with your emotions and working on the parts you played in your previous relationship with the help of an unbiased resource will help you to begin moving forward successfully. However, it’s when an individual chooses a strategy of doing nothing, unwilling to admit the need for full divorce recovery that will only keep him stuck in the pit of negative emotions.
Why is nobody talking about…….?
If you’re a man about to go through a divorce, know this: You are about to go through an unfair and biased process! I’m sure you’ve heard stories from friends or relatives about how they were “taken to the cleaners” and walked away with less time with their children than their ex. This is not always the case, however, it occurs more often than not.
Sadly, the stories men are sharing with you, are most likely accurate in terms of their divorce settlement, spousal support, child support, finances, shared parenting time, etc. Both the courts and our culture have ingrained sexist biases.
Men don’t have the luxury of the resources women do, they are often painted as the “villain” or “aggressor” in most divorce stories and custody cases, often the victims of parental alienation, are often not awarded spousal maintenance (alimony) even when eligible and they do not always receive 50% shared parenting time.
The system is essentially flawed and incredibly biased!
Spousal Maintenance (alimony):
Only 3% of recipients of spousal maintenance in the United States are men, according to Census figures. Yet 40 percent of households are headed by female breadwinners — suggesting that hundreds of thousands of men are eligible for alimony, yet don’t receive it.
Shared Parenting Time (custody):
Only recently as 2018, Kentucky was the first state to pass a law that makes equally shared parenting time the starting point. In 2021, Arkansas followed. Yet, as of today, this is not the case throughout each state such as in Virginia. Equal shared parenting laws support and encourage cooperation between the parents rather than instigating conflict as laws that do not.
In today’s culture, women have spent years advocating for equality, yet I’m always amazed that many bright and sophisticated women don’t realize nor want to accept that they will have to possibly pay spousal support to their ex-husbands, have equal amount of parenting time with the children, and that their ex-husbands should no longer be forced to finance their lifestyle.
Too often, men give up and accept this. My mission, as the only female divorce coach for men, is to redefine how men go through their divorce, the support they receive, and to empower them not to settle for less than they deserve in a society that preaches equality.