When a man asks for divorce, we blame him for not valuing a life long commitment. If a woman asks for divorce, in seven out of ten cases they do, we assume that the man must have been responsible for forcing her into the situation.
The social prejudice is definitely against the men. It is just not restricted to society but is also present in our judicial system. The divorce laws are totally biased towards the women. In a majority of cases she gets the automatic custody of the children, gets a lion's share of the assets and gets paid alimony most of her life.
A man is left reeling under a list of obligations and payments; away from his home, out of his children's lives. In fact the laws are such that it has lead many to speculate that divorce becomes an inviting option to wives.
Everyone suffers during a divorce, but men have some unique issues to deal with. These include fallout from emotional investment, custody battles, clashes over property, sullied reputations and a depressing leftover life. Men have to deal with:
1. Betrayal: They have to deal with betrayal as their once loving wives; the mothers of their children don this new mantle of heartless women ready to take everything away. It is sad that things did not work out but the arithmetic of divorce, especially after the entry of the lawyers leaves men with no emotional or financial deposits to count on. From kids to the house, men leave a marriage with nothing.
2. Custody: The laws of the land are such that only 10% of father's get custody of their children and that too under uncontested claim or under special circumstances. Not only that, they are allowed only limited visits and time with their children.
If the mother so desires she has the means to completely shut the father out of her children's lives. This leads to great emotional distress as the father faces estrangement from his children. A man might have failed as a husband but this does not mean he will fail as a father too.
3. House, Property and Finance: Most states give the wife an equal right over the house and all other property that he might have purchased with his hard earned money or inherited. They are usually liquidated to make division of assets easier.
The net worth of husband is seen to fall by about 70% after a divorce. The cherry on the cake is the alimony that he is supposed to pay the wife till she dies or remarries. He is often lead to bankruptcy to discontinue with the alimony payments.
4. Reputation: Wives often goaded by their lawyers accuse husbands of false charges of abuse in order to gain a favourable settlement. The word "abuse" is very loose in its definition and things like emotional or verbal abuse do not involve any proof also. This sullies a man's social reputation leading harassment and social alienation.
5. Loneliness and Emotional Bereavement: Studies have shown that emotionally, women are better equipped to cope with divorce. They often feel free and rarely regret their decision. Men on the other hand rarely see it coming and are severely affected by consequent emotional stress and loneliness. This is compounded by the fact that even the children are not with them and they have to come back to an empty house. Men, unlike women, also hesitate from sharing their problems with a friend or a relative.
6. Issues: Survey shows that divorced men get paid lesser than married men in their workplace. Also, they are viewed to be unstable or not so trustworthy. The health of men takes a serious beating in the aftermath of divorce. More divorced men than women commit suicide as a result of divorce. Men also get into new relationships on a rebound right after the divorce leading to more failed relationships and a loss of self worth.
7. Less Support Groups: Men often find themselves alienated from their friends who are married. This is also because they shy away from opening up about their problems in front of others including a counsellor. There is all the support in the world available for divorced women in terms of support groups, social organizations, web sites and so on. There are very few such forums for men dealing with divorce to share their experience with each other and offer support.
These are some of the unique problems faced by men after divorce and they are terribly ill equipped to deal with them.
James Walsh is a freelance writer and copy editor. If you would like more information on how to get a quickie
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