Is Divorce Tougher on Moms than Dads?
Divorce is tough on everyone, regardless of gender. But the way in which is manifests can be different between the sexes. From a mom’s point of view, concerns about whether Dads could be entitled maintenance, what time they will now have with their children and how they may cope financially are all brought to the fore. Here, we consider whether or not divorce is tougher on moms than dads.
One of the most significantly tough experiences in divorce is the issue of child custody. Although it isn’t always the case, mothers can often be the ones who have the majority care of the children. This equates to taking on more day-to-day responsibility, for example, taking care of school activities, growing pains, extra-curricular hobbies, and a myriad of other duties, all of which can result in fatigue and stress.
Statistically speaking, it is women who are the ones who are more likely to experience financial struggles as the result of a divorce. This can be because a financial agreement between ex-spouses does not cover all unexpected costs, and it can also be mothers who have to reduce their working hours because they need to look after children. This can make sense when the cost of child care is too high to justify working full time shifts.
There are many reasons why moms are affected psychologically during a divorce. One of these is the fear of losing time with their children. If you are single, it can feel as if the bond with your children is the only emotional connection you have, with some mothers focussing only on their children as a means of compensating for the absence of the other parent in the family home. This can cause them to put their own interests and social life to one side and result in them feeling lonely and disconnected.
In marriages, couples typically have mutual friends that they spend time with, often over years and even decades. They may have also dedicated a lot of time and energy to each other’s immediate and extended family. These bonds can become strong over the years and separating from them too can feel an additional trauma. Depending on the level of amicability, a divorce can cause some friends and family to take sides or distance themselves from their relative’s former spouse. For moms, this can leave a great deal of sadness and grief to cope with.
- Dating and new relationships
Another social impact that can make things tough for mothers is on forming new relationships. In cases when moms are responsible for the majority of child care, allocating most of their free time to their kids and their activities, leaves little time for dating or meeting someone new. On the other hand, a spouse who does not have the children as often has arguably more time to invest in a new connection or relationship. This can result in some mothers feeling resentful and envious that their former spouse has been able to move on quicker.
Finally, it should be acknowledged that divorce impacts dads too. Perhaps they are the ones with the greater care giving responsibilities, and with an increased pressure for them to provide financially. In which case, all of the above applies to them too. For any parent divorcing, regardless of gender, it’s important to take care of your mental health to help steer you through what is a challenging period in your life. Whether that’s seeking professional counselling support, allocating time for their own activities and staying in touch with friends.