Divorce Advice For Men from a Life Transition Specialist by Joshua Kadish
While divorce is extremely difficult for both men and women, an article in the Journal of Men’s Health claims that divorce may actually be more stressful for men. In the article, relationship coach Lewis Denbaum summarizes that men may be more stressed because they lose their sense of identity, their paternal instinct is challenged and they don’t allow themselves to grieve properly.
There doesn’t seem to be a great deal of talk about how men can navigate the life transition of divorce, so I will speak directly to men, while encouraging women to eavesdrop on our conversation :o)
Here’s the bottom line…sometimes things don’t work out. You didn’t build everything you have on your own without the support and motivation of your wife and kids. They are entitled to their fair share and you are going to have to part with what you claim to be yours – which really isn’t just yours.
The woman you loved, trusted and had children with may have changed. You may have changed. Maybe there was infidelity. Maybe there were family and financial disagreements. Whatever the reason for your divorce, realize that you had a hand and some responsibility in the way things played out.
But, how you choose to handle the divorce is somewhat in your hands. In other words, you have the opportunity to save yourself and your family a lot stress and grief as your marriage unwinds through the divorce process. It is normal to have strong emotions and feel hurt but you can’t let those emotions get the best of you and take over your relationship with your wife and children.
There’s not one father who would say he wants to hurt his children or have his children fear him or not love him. But, that happens sometimes when a man lets his anger and emotions rule his actions.
You need to ask yourself these 2 questions every time you are having a discussion you’re your soon-to-be ex and possibly getting ready to explode:
1. ”How will this benefit my relationship with my kids?”
2. “How will this help me end this divorce proceeding as quickly and painlessly as possible?” Don’t make it more complicated than that.
I am a Life Transition Specialist. What is that and why am I telling you that? Because what I do is help men and women who are going through some form of life transition, whether planned or unplanned, like retirement, job loss, caring for an aging relative, and of course, divorce.
These are emotional times when people need to find clarity in their immediate situation and large life purpose. We work with people to help them identify and define what is truly important in life to them, and educate them on whether or not they have the financial means to support it.
So, here are some tips in my effort to educate you.
- Research and learn what the statutes and guidelines are in your state so you know what the court deems to be “fair.”
- Make a list of all of your assets (savings, investments, IRAs, 401(k)s, pensions, real estate, cars, jewelry, etc.) and all of your liabilities or loans (mortgage, car, boat, student, etc.).
- Write down all of your monthly expenses (housing, utilities, taxes, insurance, car loans, meals, entertainment, travel, schooling, etc.) and future obligations (paying for camp, college, weddings, etc.).
- Work with a trusted advisor to pull all of that information together for you in an easy to understand manner so you realize just how much it actually costs to live your current lifestyle and how much you will ultimately need to save to realize your own long-term goals and dreams going forward.
- Seek out the services of trusted professionals – Life Transition Specialists™, Certified Divorce Financial Analysts, Divorce Attorneys, Mediators, CPAs, Accredited Investment Fiduciaries and the like – and understand how they get paid and what their motivation is to end things quickly and amicably for you.
- Think about how you want to be remembered when you’re gone and make sure that your actions while you are here will support that vision!
About Joshua Kadish, AIF, RFC
Joshua Kadish is the author Navigating Life’s Transitions: Connecting Your Means To Your Meaning which is available at www.Amazon.com. He is a Partner at RPG-Life Transition Specialists and has been seen in the Wall Street Journal, Consumer Reports, Money Magazine, Kiplinger Finance and Crain’s Chicago Business and on NBC5 Today, Fox `Business and more. Learn more: (847) 559-0800 or www.rpgplan.com.