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Divorce: Different impacts for men and women

Though you do have some same-sex divorces in Illinois, the reality is that most divorce cases involve a man and a woman. It is easy for either person to assume that they experience the divorce the same way that their partner does. However, experts warn that this is not the case.

Psychologists who study divorce note some massive differences in the way men and women view divorce, the way they react to it and the impact it can have on their lives. Below are a few of these differences:

1. Men do not mourn the loss of the relationship until later than women do. They can struggle with denial. They may think that they can still "save" the relationship, even when the woman knows that it is over. Men may also struggle with the emotional side of the split later than women, which means it can take them longer -- even after the legal divorce is done -- to move on from the relationship.

2. Women initiate divorce more often than men. This does not mean that men don't also want it, but they may simply put it off or refuse to file for the divorce. They may decide to put up with the issues in the relationship that make it clear to women that they need to end things.

3. Women express feelings with words, while men do it with actions. This may mean that a man starts dating sooner, for instance, as he tries to cope with being single again. He may not want to talk about it with his friends and family members, but they can see how it impacts him. Women may be more likely to get the support they need since they want to talk about it and they reach out to others, while men may throw themselves into their work and other areas of their lives.

4. Financially, divorce is easier for men. Historically, this could be because men often work more than women. Even today, men earn more than women, in what experts know as the gender pay gap. Some divorce tools, such as child support and alimony, do help to spread wealth out more evenly between divorced couples, but the reality is still that men bounce back financially with less trouble than women.

The divorce process

These are just a few of the differences in divorce between the genders, but they show you why it's so important for men and women to really understand what they are dealing with if they're going to negotiate and work together to end their marriage. They also need to know all of the legal options and rights that they have when these cases become complicated.

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