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Global Guide to Divorce
Jack Jack the Cat

What Men and Women Can Teach Each Other During Divorce

Whether divorce was on the horizon or comes as a sudden shock, there are bits of wisdom that both genders can learn from each other. Men and women have spilled divorce secrets which can be beneficial to many. One may be in the right, however fighting to be the winner drains energy and finances. In the end, it is the lawyers who win by receiving more in legal fees.

Men I interviewed advised to be agreeable to negotiating. When an individual is not heavily attached to a particular outcome, then the other side is apt to budge a little more. This is where the popular phrase “Don’t sweat the small stuff” comes into play. Men mentioned that they picked their battles. These guys were less interested in household furnishings and by offering to give up the bulk of it to their wives, this made going after the big-ticket items easier. There was less squabbling over pension plans, IRAs and investments when their wives already felt that they were ahead.

Men suggested being proactive when it comes to visitation and custody. They offer to give up time that they have with the children, so that the kids can celebrate Mother’s Day with mom. Their ex-spouses appreciate this gesture and keep it in mind when the dads need a more flexible schedule. Mothers and fathers have told me that a Parenting Plan written during divorce has made life easier afterwards. They did not have to go back and forth on small issues, but rather referred to the document.

One may be dating during a separation, but women have emphasized to be discrete during proceedings. The goal is to get through divorce as quickly as possible without drama, with both sides feeling the outcome is somewhat fair. Going out on the town with one’s new love interest can derail a divorce, if the soon-to-be-ex becomes spiteful. Keeping a low profile for a few months is worth it in the long run. Here are two examples which backfired for these men.

At the beginning of a couple’s divorce, the older son told his mother and others that his dad had been cheating. A family friend came forward and revealed that the man had posted a profile on that he was singe without children, at least a year before they started proceedings. Upon request, she produced a copy of the profile. The wife gave it to her lawyer, the boys’ therapist and the child psychologist who was on the collaborative divorce team. The profile from the dating site was verified as being the husband’s. Advertising online that he was single and childless certainly affected his amount of visitation. There have been cases in the news where a spouse got more of the assets when the other spent joint property funds on a lover.

In the other example, a woman stopped hearing from a long-term friend during her divorce. Although divorce changes relationships, this was strange. During proceedings, the father invited his date (mother’s friend) along on a visitation day. The boys were shocked when their father told them that he and this person were a couple. He became enraged when one child pointed out that he was technically still married. The woman had known the boys for years and tried to be extra friendly, but the boys were too upset to talk. Springing this on the lads without any warning made it worse. The angry children contacted the professional who was doing a custody evaluation, about this new development. If dating your spouse’s friend, at least wait a bit until after the divorce is finalized before informing the kids about this situation. Divorced men and women recommended introducing dates to family and friends at least a few months after the divorce has been granted. They are adjusting to your divorce too.

Guys had comments about wanting women to be less emotional during proceedings. Sobbing during sessions is counterproductive and hinders communication. Several said for wives to handle things more like a business meeting and to keep emotions in check. They wanted interactions to be more focused on content rather than on feelings. Moods are contagious. When one spouse has an angry outburst and the other responds similarly, this adds fuel to the fire. Fellows have said that they want the divorce to stay on track and not get into blaming or other issues. Have a professional demeanor and save the letting off steam for when being in the company of friends.

During divorce, I took a co-parenting course and learned a lot from the fellows. They helped us females to lighten up and not to take life so seriously. We encouraged them to take better care of themselves. Men and women can learn tips from each other, which benefits them by having smoother divorces.

My article was originally printed in DivorceForce   Affected by Divorce? Join DivorceForce, the online community committed to empowering those affected by divorce. Many helpful articles for those facing divorce.   @divorceforce (Twitter)