It’s not fashionable to talk about gender differences these days, but 1) they exist, and 2) I’m going to talk about them.
I’m not talking about this as a psychologist. I’m talking about this as a CPA, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® professional who’s looking out for your financial needs as you face the prospect of divorce.
I’ve seen it, time after time, with the women I help. I can also relate to it first-hand, being divorced myself:
Men and women go through divorce differently.
Of course, I’m going to generalize here, but consider how this pertains to you:
Men are inherently better than women at compartmentalizing their lives. “This is my work” vs. “This is my marriage” vs. “These are my kids.” So when a guy’s at work, he’s focused on—you guessed it—work.
This is why men feel less angst over, say, traveling for work purposes. It doesn’t haunt them as much to be away, since they know that the purpose of that trip is to provide for the family. There. Done.
Women aren’t wired that way. It’s nearly impossible for a woman to have a great career knowing that it takes time away from being a mom and be totally okay with that… to compartmentalize that. I remember a co-worker once saying to me, “Every day, I get to choose whether I want to be a bad employee or a bad mom.”
To the contrary: Women tend to wear their hearts on their sleeve. When something like divorce looms, they carry it everywhere. They bring it to work with them and it makes it hard to focus. They go out to lunch with friends, and it overwhelms the conversation.
On the other hand, a guy would advise his friends, “Hey, just don’t think about it.” And plenty of guys could actually heed that advice!
So I get it. There are women, clients of mine, who meet with me behind closed doors, and just pour their guts—and their tears—out to me. It’s part of the process.
Don’t beat yourself up
Here’s another thing: As a financial pro, I always see women who feel guilty about not having been involved in all of the numbers issues—taxes, investments, finance—during the marriage. And now that divorce is staring them in the face, they feel awful.
My advice: Don’t. Marriage is a divide-and-conquer arrangement. It always has been. Perhaps the husband takes care of the outside of the house, and the wife takes care of the inside. In my experience, the husband is doing the finances. The wife has her plate full with plenty of other stuff.
So don’t beat yourself up over this. Trust your troubles to me. I’ll help you learn to do this on your own.
And in case you were wondering: Was I a financial pro at my own divorce? Not exactly. Since it was my own marriage that was breaking up, I believed the things—the financial things—that my ex- was telling me at the time, when I shouldn’t have. I had a blind spot. I was still in love.
The takeaway is that you need an outsider who is a financial pro, like me. And know this: I got past divorce. There’s light, bright light, at the end of the tunnel.
Let me help you find it. Contact me today.