How men can avoid some of the most common divorce mistakes: Part I

Men and women tend to handle difficult situations in different ways, and that includes divorce. This means that each gender (generally speaking) has its own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the messy and often-uncertain process of marital dissolution.

The lifestyle site recently posted a list of mistakes that men commonly make when going through divorce. In this week’s posts, we’ll discuss some of these common mistakes and how to avoid them.

A man’s ability to treat divorce as a business negotiation is often seen as an asset. But there is a difference between being rational and “businesslike” and being cold, adversarial and spiteful. Many men get into trouble by believing they are behaving rationally when they’re actually allowing strong, negative emotions to cloud their judgment.

No matter which spouse initiated the divorce, it is problematic to cope with divorce by going to either of two extremes. Some men get overly angry with their spouse. In doing so, they risk becoming verbally abusive and potentially compromising their divorce settlement. A restraining order (also called an order of protection) could seriously hinder your leverage at the negotiating table and could reflect badly upon you in court.

The other extreme that some men go to is passivity. When your spouse unexpectedly announces that she wants a divorce, this can come as such a surprise that you don’t know how to react. You should not make any further decisions until you come to terms with what’s happening.

If you are too passive during the divorce, you may end up with an entirely unfair settlement. Your wife may seek full custody of the children as well as an unfair portion of assets.

The ideal emotional balance in divorce is one that allows you to advocate for what you want and need and one that allows you to be willing to compromise when necessary. It is not an easy balance to strike, but few aspects of divorce are easy.

Please check back later this week as we continue our discussion.

Source: The Huffington Post, “The 10 Worst Mistakes Most Guys Make When Getting Divorced,” Jeffery M. Leving Oct. 29, 2014

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