Like any major life change, divorce can cause great amounts of stress. While men and women may express their emotions differently, both experience a period of emotional adjustment. In addition to the emotional effects of divorce, men and women may also experience financial changes and changes to their parental roles. The extent of these effects depends on many factors, including the individuals involved, their relationship with each other, financial conditions, support networks, family dynamics and parental skills.
Divorce disrupts the family structure. Children may experience difficulties adjusting to the changes. Depending on the prior parenting responsibilities, both men and women may find themselves spending less time with their offspring. Juggling children between the two homes, negotiating parenting time and decision-making responsibilities can create additional stress for both parents and children.
Splitting the household budget into separate budgets can affect the financial status of both men and women. Court proceedings can help determine the fairest way to divide the assets and the income, but they seldom provides an ideal solution to both parties. Many women, especially those who stayed home with their children, may find it more difficult to make ends meet. Men and employed women may retain a large portion of their income, but they may also have to pay maintenance and child support, reducing their financial status.
A change in marital status may require a subsequent change in employment. This is especially true for women who were unemployed outside the home or worked part-time to stay home with the children. Known as displaced homemakers, many women enter the job force after a divorce, often starting in low-paying positions.
Place of Residence
Very few couples remain in the same home together after a divorce. Depending on individual circumstances, couples may decide to sell their home and each move to new places–or one may stay while the other seeks a new residence. This change can create additional stress and require a period of adjustment.
According to Iowa State University, divorce affects an individual’s identity. No longer husbands and wives, couples must become individuals with separate identities. Divorce may cause both men and women to feel depressed, anxious, fearful, sad and guilty. Emotional experiences may include feeling an inability to cope, as well as feelings of hopelessness and the inability to make decisions. A professional counselor or therapist can help both men and women adjust to the emotional changes during and after a divorce.
- c??ur bris?? image by Ellsing from Fotolia.com