Fighting the Stereotypes

20 Mar

Having elementary-school-aged children is a very precarious time for a marriage–or so I learned during graduate school. I remember having an infant at the time and wondering–will my husband and I break-up when they hit school-age?

Not sure if the book I read gave an in-depth reason for this trend, but it may have something to do with the rigors of child-rearing…or maybe the Seven-Year-Itch that many couples encounter, which happens to coincide with this time in many couples’ lives. Either way, I have seen it first-hand, as many couples around me seem to either be getting a divorce–or already been through one.untitled

In fact, a friend of my Son’s parents just got divorced, and, because Dad is very involved in his childrens’ lives, I tend to communicate with him quite often. So, I thought I would casually bring up the fact that my company is hosting a Divorced Men’s Support Group–and, would he be interested? I fully expected the answer to be “no,” but, to my amazement, he seemed excited and talked about how many of his friends don’t understand the pressure of being Mom AND Dad when he’s with his children.

Why was I suprised? Don’t men need as much support through divorce as women?

Turns out, I gave into the stereotype that men don’t need each other to get through tough times–that they magically shrug these things off and move on.

Shame on me.

So, today, I’ll challenge you to find your own stereotype and find the exception. And, for those of you who facilitate divorce mediation, let’s not stereotype a man who “puts on a brave face” during mediation as someone who doesn’t feel.


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