Why is divorce and suicide a fatal brew for men? Why does divorce make men more suicidal than women? The shocking divorce and suicide statistics are that men commit suicide at a rate 3 – 4 times higher than women.1)https://afsp.org/about-suicide/suicide-statistics/
Marital breakdown is often a factor.2)The Canadian Mental Health Association “Divorce is a tipping point for a lot of guys,” says Prof. John Oliffe, a University of B.C. psychology researcher. Professor Oliffe is part of a team fighting male depression and suicide.
“Divorce is a classic factor in suicide because divorced men are at high risk to become isolated. There are so many examples of good men ending their own lives.”
North American divorced men are eight times more likely to commit suicide than women. Professor AJ Kposowa used data to analyze the effects of marital status on suicide risk3)Department of Sociology, University of California. He found that divorced men were more than twice as likely to commit suicide as married men.
And divorced men are almost 10 times more likely to kill themselves than divorced women.4)http://vancouversun.com/news/staff-blogs/men-and-suicide-the-silent-epidemic
The Yearly Divorced Men Suicide Rate highlights the urgency of this Disaster
The research of AJ Kposowa reveals that each year, more than 3,600 divorced men — about 10 every day — commit suicide.5)Kposowa AJ. Marital status and suicide in the National Longitudinal Mortality Study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 2000; 54: 254-261. Divorce should mean the end of a marriage, not the end of life, for a man, or a woman. If divorce spells the end of life for so many men, there is clearly something very wrong with the current divorce process.
Is there any reason a man should marry knowing that we have clear data that divorce means certain death for so many men? And for every divorced man that commits suicide, there are children left in ruins.
First, the children are left to deal with the trauma of their parents divorce. Second, they have to deal with the permanent loss of their father. Not to mention the families of the divorcing men who prefer to kill themselves than live. The high rate of suicide among divorced men is an indictment of the flawed legal divorce process. No divorce should end in death, only an amicable separation of the marriage.
We must condemn the ‘legal’ divorce process which results in the death of 3,600 men every year.
Read AJ Kposowa’s research paper on divorce and suicide here: http://jech.bmj.com/content/57/12/993
The Real Reasons Divorce and Suicide Affects Men more than Women
The Wrong Reasons are Assumed for Divorce and Suicide among Men
Some say that men commit suicide after divorce because they do not want to pay child support or alimony. Let’s examine that assumption; is that a believable reason for a man to suicide? A man who has spent most of his waking hours supporting his family. Will such a man decide to take his life now because he cannot bear the thought of providing for his kids? The answer of course is no. It is like saying that people will suicide when their taxes go up.
Or because they have to pay higher health care premiums. It smacks of a snarky gender condescension. It is an insult to the men who do commit suicide. To trivialize the act of suicide down to escaping a financial burden, even if that weight is very heavy.
Some think it is because men cannot handle rejection. However, divorce from a spouse is a different issue than divorce from your children. The parents are the ones who divorce. No man or woman should suffer divorce from their children.
Men do not commit suicide after divorce because they cannot see their ex again. They commit suicide when they no longer have a relationship with their children.
Others say men suicide after divorce, because men need a woman to take care of them. What a ridiculous reason for a man to off himself. Let’s see a fuller picture why divorce and suicide is more of an issue for men than women.
How to Find Purpose in Life Despite Estrangement from your Children
1. The ‘Deadbeat Dad’ Label
Who is a deadbeat? The father of course. Even if he pays the child support and/or alimony imposed by the court. Why is the father always a deadbeat? Because the child support and alimony payment will always result in less money for his ex and kids. The divided family now has to support two rents or two mortgages, for two households. As a result, his ex and kids are going to feel the pain of less money. Access to less money than in the past, leads to open hostility to the father. Even if he pays the exact amount ordered by the court. And besides the hostility, there is a new false narrative that he is not paying his fair share.
Take action to protect yourself: Get the book 10 ways to avoid being a deadbeat dad.
2. Alienation and Estrangement from Children
What happens when the mother considers the division of money by the court to be unfair? Or fair but still unsatisfactory? The father almost has no chance of ever having a good relationship with his children again. His status changes from dad to ‘deadbeat’ dad. The mother will impute that the father can afford more money than the court decided. He is in a losing battle for the heart and minds of his kids.
3. Financial Ruin
A man can end up paying 50 % of his income for child support and alimony, with another 20 or 30% on taxes, and debt from legal fees. If he is poor, he will not feel much difference in his lifestyle. The court does not have much to take from him. And, if he is wealthy, he can hire lawyers who will protect him from the court. He too will not feel much of a difference after divorce.
4. Criminalization of a Law Abiding Citizen
Men report feeling as if the judge or opposing attorney in divorce court treat them like a criminal. While they slice up whatever income he makes at a job where he is treated like a human being. This creates cognitive dissonance and the mental stress of living in conflicting realities.
At his job, where the court wants him to remain successful to provide child support, he is not held in contempt . In fact, he might be held in high esteem with a title and responsibility. The court on the other hand treats him like a criminal. This ravaging of a man’s self esteem, is another reason why the risk of divorce and suicide is so high for men.
5. Losing the Entire Structure of Family Life and Home
Yesterday, he had his wife and children around him. Today he lives alone, without his family, especially without his children. Before his divorce, he lived in a decent home, and in a good neighborhood. In fact, he might have designed and built this dream home himself. But now, he finds himself in a garage, or an apartment, or in his friend’s or mother’s basement, or living out of his car. And he will soon have to return the car because he cannot afford to pay for the lease.
6. Being Declared Dangerous
Men are vulnerable to being treated as ‘dangerous’ or ‘depressed’ by the court or guardians of the court. A common tactic of the opposing divorce lawyer is to persuade the judge that the father is dangerous. Or depressed. Fear is a great persuader. If the judge believes there is a credible fear that the father is dangerous, he is going to lose his relationship with his kids.
All it takes is for the opposing side to accuse him of being dangerous. Even if the accusation is false, it is difficult to prove it false. Because it is now a he said / she said argument. And the judge will decide in favor of protecting the children from a falsely accused ‘dangerous’ father.
7. Needing a Supervisor
One of the biggest humiliations is needing to see your children with a supervisor. Imagine if you can no longer be alone with your children. This further cements the idea in your children’s minds that you are dangerous. As a result, their fear grows and they no longer relish the idea of being in your company. Not only do you have to see you kids with a supervisor, you are also the one who has to pay for the time of the supervisor. Imagine that humiliation.
8. Loss of Total Identity
Men after divorce are usually the ones who lose more than their marriage. Besides the marriage, he also loses his children, friends and family who may now have become distant. As a result, he no longer recognizes his life. How do men after divorce feel about their life? They feel cut out of their own family portrait. As if they no longer exist or never existed, because the family they helped to create, is gone.
Men often do not see the ‘signs’ that their relationship is in trouble. By the time their wife decides to start divorce proceedings, it is too late. Unfortunately for men, they are not great mind readers. Unless their wife communicates that there are problems in their marriage. It is not enough to say that he should have known there is a problem from the ‘signs’. As a result, his wife knows that she is over and done with the marriage. Sometimes years before he ever had a clue.
10. The Loss of Reality
Which brings us to the point of non existence. A man after divorce, is more likely to feel as if he has lost all touch with reality. For his ex, she remains in the marital home, and she remains with the children. She is not treated like a pariah by the child support agency, the court or court appointed ‘guardians’. Her reality is not too different from her life before divorce. Other than the fact that her ex is no longer in the home. But, for him, his life is upside down. Suicide becomes a much more attractive option than constant degradation.
11. Disgrace Kills, Not Divorce
Divorce cases are not decided overnight. First comes the delivery of the divorce action to appear at the opposing lawyer’s office or to appear in court. Imagine you do receive a subpoena on your front lawn in front of your kids or neighbors. Or in your office in front of your coworkers and boss. You will have a mountain of disgrace to deal with. Once your office and co workers are aware of the divorce proceedings, a cloud will hang over your head.
12. A Catastrophic Year or More
The divorce process can take one to two years, sometimes longer. If he is not able to keep focus on his job, he runs the risk of losing his employment. Imagine you lose your children, marriage, home, friends, neighbors and career, in the same year. This explains the connection of divorce and suicide.
13. Loss of Love and Affection
Your ex-wife still has the love and affection of her children and how they need her. The children have their own trauma and have already lost their father. He is gone from their physical space and is a deadbeat in their heads. Even when he is complying with the court. All the father feels is that everyone is angry at him for not providing enough money. Even when he gives as ordered by the court, the expectation is that he should be giving more.
14. No Support
A man is less likely to have the emotional and friend support that a woman has. Especially if he has been working in a career during his marriage. A woman is more likely to have developed emotional bonds outside of her job with friends. A man is more likely to focus on his work. When the divorce hits, he is only left with work and no more emotional support from his family.
15. Negative Side Effects of Antidepressants
When women prepare for divorce, one strategy they are advised to use by friends or lawyers, is to get her husband on antidepressants. They suggest and sometimes insist that their husband take medications for ‘your own good’, or to ‘take off the edge’. This is a big mistake. Once you are on antidepressants, you are now assumed to be ‘flawed’ and someone to fear. The greatest persuader is fear of danger. And a man on antidepressants becomes a frightful character in the eyes of the law.
16. No Future
Some men after divorce see no future. His wife still has a life and family, the children, and/or friends. He sees a life of struggling to pay the bills, avoiding jail, and with no emotional feedback. And worse, no relationship with his kids.
What is the point of living?
He sees no path to living a good life. The mental pain of knowing that he has no path to a good life leads a man think that the best course of action is to end his life now. Why? Because he feels that the key aspects of his life, which gave his life meaning, are over. So, since it is already over, he might as well end it.
17. From Dad to ‘Visitor’ ‘Him’
How do you recreate your life, after ten, twenty or thirty years of marriage dissolves? The wife’s life is much the same, the father’s is in upheaval. The losses of marriage, children, income, home, security, stability, and pride.
They all happen in a short amount of time.
This causes enough shock and humiliation to the father to contemplate suicide. She is still the mother and the father becomes a ‘visitor’. No one likes to lose their status. The demotion from father to visitor is a catastrophic humiliation.
How Divorce and Suicide Courts Slaughter Men
Do you think characterizing the ‘legal’ divorce court process as a ‘slaughtering house’ of men is an exaggeration? Perhaps it is too over the top?
Have you read the story of Jeremy A. from Canada who committed suicide after divorce court screwed him? Notice that several of the 17 reasons divorce and suicide is a fatal brew for men are included in the slaughter ofJeremy A by the divorce court and his exes. They should all be ashamed. This divorce court, judge and plaintiff’s attorney all have blood on their hands. Just because divorce courts are so biased against men is not a reason to use them against your husband to the point that he suicides.
In today’s courts system, divorce courts are clearly stacked against men. One only has to look at the historical data to see that women are unfairly granted child custody about 85% of the time, and receive over 94% of all child support dollars paid. These battles can be vicious, full of conflict, and can rage for years.
In Canada, such a struggle has unfortunately ended in tragedy. Jeramey A. (the media isn’t using his full name since some of his children share it) was involved in a legal battle with between an ex-wife with two daughters, a former fiancée who has a young son, and his present wife.
According to Canadian news outlet, The National Post:
[Jeramey] unsuccessfully had applied for an order varying the amount of child and spousal support he had to pay his former wife, a total of $6,500 a month. She in turn was seeking he be found in contempt of another order and fined an additional $10,000; the judge adjourned those issues.
Another woman, with whom he’d been briefly engaged and fathered a son after his divorce, was seeking retroactive and ongoing child support for their son.
Both those applications were successful, bringing his total child and spousal debt to about $8,000 a month, but then, in fairness, that woman is herself a family court lawyer.
Early on the morning of March 9, Jeramey apparently rigged his truck so that when he drove down an embankment at the end of Page Road in Abbotsford, B.C., his neck would break.
Jeremy’s Suicide Note
In a scrawled and bloody suicide note found in the truck, he wrote:
“FAMILY LAW NEEDS REFORM. I recommend mandated lower costs and less reward for false claims of abuse. Parental Alienation is devastating. I loved my children as much as a husband and father could. I see no light. Recommend; an authority consistent during high conflict separations: It is exploited in family law.
“Sorry Dad and Angie. I’m very sorry.”
This is devastating. This is a man that, because of how the law is structured, felt like he had nowhere else to go. He ended up declaring bankruptcy, and paid more than $330,000 in legal fees, according to his wife.
He was chased by family management agencies, and even had agencies moving to take away his driver’s licence and passport. His ex wife was even supposed to get his pension.
On top of that, he hadn’t been able to see his daughters for almost a year, they had been completely separated from him.
Angela knew he was in despair, but weeps that she didn’t realize the depths of it. “I just didn’t know,” she sobbed on the phone. “If he could have seen those girls, he could have handled all this, the National Post reported.
“His bank accounts were locked, he lost his homes, his vehicle, his business. You emasculate a man and take away his ability to provide – he’s a human being. He has limits,” Angie said.
Hopefully we can learn from this tragedy, and bring the change we need into the court systems that push people to these lengths.
See the full story as reported by Christie Blatchford in the National Post here: http://nationalpost.com/opinion/christie-blatchford-b-c-man-blamed-cruelty-of-family-court-battle-for-driving-him-to-suicide
How to Stop the Slaughter of Divorce and Suicide
If you are divorced or are in the process of divorce, this next section is for you. You need to be tough. As strong as possible.
Not only do you have your wife against you, but it is likely that your kids are not too happy with you either. And on top of everything, you have the legal system itching to kill you, financially. Which is just about the same as killing you.
I do not pretend to be a motivational speaker, so I am only suggesting ideas that are useful me. When I was in the throes of my own suicidal ideation after divorce, these are some of the strategies that helped keep me from becoming another divorce and suicide statistic.
You are likely angry, sad and depressed. And you have no clue who to turn to. If you are in court right now, listen to your lawyer and stop listening to friends/family/coworkers. Everyone thinks they are an expert, but they are not experts at divorce law.
You are paying your lawyer big bucks. Let them do the worrying for you. Your job is to stay as healthy as possible. Mentally and physically. Now is the time to get even more strict about good health habits. You need to level up your game of thought, speech and action.
I am not going to softsoap what you are going through now. You might not see any light, just like Jeremy. I also saw no light and no future. Here is a point that you must remember:
There is a future, but it will be different than the past you are yearning for. You want your kids back and the way things were. The sooner you accept that is not going to happen is the sooner you will recover from the assault of the court on your will to live.
I am on your team, your kid’s team and even your ex’s team, that you should all live a better life in the future. The divorce court slaughter houses of men are another story. I will never be on their team until they admit their bias, apologize, change their ways and modify the laws, so that they are fair to both parents. That is in the best interest of the children. Assisted suicide by the divorce courts is not in the best interest of the children.
There is only so much that a human being can take, and it is time that divorce courts start treating men as human beings who love their children and not merely as atm machines.
Please let me know if any of the following action points are useful, and be strong and good luck. Remember, you are not alone, there are millions of men like you who have been through the same biased and corrupt system.
Make the Choice to Rebuild Your Vineyard, your Life –Make the decision right now to rebuild your life.
Select a Field that is Bright – we need bright thoughts and positive thoughts to rebuild.
Seed the Field – Plant good thoughts, expectations and images of the future.
Water the Field – Eat real food daily, nourish your body and mind.
Harvest the vineyard – Be grateful for what you have right now.
Winnowing – Focus on the best and not the worst.
Pressing the wine – Get the most out of what you have right now, like squeezing the juice from the best grapes.
Drinking the Wine – we should appreciate as often as possible the gift of life, with our family and friends.
Terry: Why is estrangement so common in divorced families?Dr. Joshua Coleman: Divorce greatly increases the risk of estrangement. It often creates a fundamental reshaping of alliances and can place parents at risk for greater distance from their children. Whether it’s a grey divorce or a breakup when the child is young, it often causes a child to see parents as winners and losers.Second, it can create the opportunity for parental alienation where one parent consciously or unconsciously (covertly or overtly) poisons the child against the other parent. Children, especially when they are young, are very vulnerable after divorce.Next, divorce can also bring new people into a child’s life (new sibling, half sibling, step-parent) and they may feel they have to compete for love, attention, or resources. Finally, in our culture, divorce can cause a child to see their parent as an individual with their own attributes and liabilities—and less of a family unit that they’re part of.7)
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References [ + ]
|2.||↑||The Canadian Mental Health Association|
|3.||↑||Department of Sociology, University of California|
|5.||↑||Kposowa AJ. Marital status and suicide in the National Longitudinal Mortality Study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 2000; 54: 254-261.|