10 Surprising Things Divorced Men Have in Common
Though their reasons for divorcing may vary, men whose marriages fell apart are fairly similar-beyond having ex-wives and legal bills that'll keep their attorneys in silk ties for decades. Here, the traits many formerly married guys share-even before their relationships end-with expert advice to prevent your husband from joining their club. Photo by Getty Images
1. They're shocked.
That's because about 70% of the time, it's the wife who files for divorce. "Women tell me, 'I've been warning him for years.' The husband responds, 'But I didn't know she was serious!'" says Michelle Crosby, a family attorney in San Francisco and co-founder of Wevorce, a company dedicated to amicable divorces. Lesson: Air grievances before they fester, suggests Kimberly Friedmutter, a life-management coach in Malibu, CA-and be specific. "Instead of saying, 'You always embarrass me!' explain, 'When you're late for dinner with our friends, I feel embarrassed.'" If you aren't getting across, seek counseling. Sure, it costs money; divorce costs more.
2. Technology takes precedence over their relationships.
Ever see some guy yapping on his cell, ignoring his wife? Bad move, says Damona Hoffman, a Los Angeles-based relationship coach whose website, DearMrsD.com, provides love-life advice. Not only are computers and cell phones disruptive, but if your husband always texts or e-mails you instead of calling, "it can create distance," she warns. Lesson: Tell your husband how you prefer to communicate ("I want to hear your voice"), and don't let tech interrupt couple time. Leave phones and computers out of the bedroom if possible, "and on date nights, ignore calls unless it's the babysitter," Hoffman recommends. Getting undivided attention can keep you together.
3. They stopped wining and dining after the "I do's."
Speaking of date nights, skipping them hurts your marriage, says Hoffman. Sadly, romantic evenings often fade out once careers and children get demanding. Lesson: Date each other again-even if you have to initiate. "Tell your husband, 'I'd love it if you'd invite me out," Hoffman says. A simple stroll while Grandma watches the kids can keep romance on the radar.
4. A lack of work/life balance.
A guy who's married to his career often fails at his real marriage since his wife takes a backseat, says James Honeycutt, PhD, professor of communication studies at Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge and author of Cognition, Communication and Romantic Relationships. Lesson: Help your husband take a break. "Don't say, 'you need to take it easier,' which could put him on the defensive, and points out that you feel separate from him," Dr. Honeycutt says. Instead, try: "We could use time to relax. It'll help us recharge our batteries and focus better when it's time to get back to work." If his job is so demanding that he's chronically short on time, plan an exciting evening close to his workplace, so he doesn't have to spend time traveling. And if your partner is the breadwinner, consider taking a part-time job to share the financial load-"that way, he won't feel the pressure is only on him to earn for the family," Dr. Honeycutt says. If your husband has a small business and you have clerical or sales skills, pitch in there to free him up more for fun with you.