Divorce is typically hard on everyone involved, including the family, friends, and any children the couple may have had together. But the way divorce impacts the man vs. the woman in a heterosexual relationship can be just as different as how they each handle the divorce.
There are many factors that men and women may react to differently such as the financial, emotional, and social tolls the divorce takes on each partner.
Here are just some of the ways divorce for men is different than women:
Men tend to suffer more in terms of health and wellbeing.
“Studies show that men may experience more health problems in the process of and after a divorce, including depression, anxiety, weight fluctuations, insomnia, social isolation, stroke, and heart disease,” says Dr. June Cao, a clinical psychologist. “Divorce is the biggest stressor in life next to the death of a loved one. However, men often don’t seem to cope with such stress in the right way. They tend to use overwork, alcohol, drugs, and casual sex to numb their feelings instead of grieving properly.”
Cao adds that women, on the other hand, are much better using their support system, like family, friends, and even seeking help from a professional.
Divorce can have a greater financial toll on women than on men.
“In a more traditional marriage where the wife has put her career on hold and become a stay-at-home mom, chances are she will suffer a substantial loss in household income and lower standard of living,” says Cao. “Despite possible child support and in some cases spousal support, women seem to have higher risk of poverty after divorce. Men, on the other hand, may enjoy a significant rise in standard of living within the first year of divorce.”
A lot of the financial toll is also based on who gets what. If the couple didn’t have kids, both worked, and agreed to a clean break, the financial toll may be minimal for both parties.
Women tend to have their ducks in a row.
Divorce attorney, Russell Knight, says women often plan a divorce for years. While men have feel like they want to get a divorce for a long time, women are more likely to have made contact with an attorney, thought about who gets what, etc., before initiating the process.
“Women make calculated decisions when choosing to divorce,” he explains.
Men tend to enter negotiations with a biological need to ‘win’.
In other words, they want to get the better deal, says divorce consultant and founder and CEO of dtour.life, Storey Jones. This can heavily determine who faces the greatest financial toll after the divorce.
“Women tend to enter negotiations looking at the father of their children, or their college boyfriend, and are driven by a need to either make it fair or extract a penalty for the exit (in cases when the man wants the exit but not the woman.)”
Men are more likely to jump back into dating game.
As a way to get their mind off the divorce or just to satisfy their sexual urges, Knight says that many men will immediately start dating after a divorce.
“Women, on the other hand, will often wait for the divorce to be finalized to declare themselves single,” he adds.
Post-divorce worries tend to be stronger for women.
Will I ever find love again? Will I die alone? Will men want to date a divorced woman? “Women tend to worry more about being alone after the divorce and worry about their future as a single woman,” says Jones.