How To Avoid Divorce Denial – It’s a Messy World: Here’s How to Avoid Getting Screwed
By Jeffery Leving
Deniers simply are unable to face the fact that their marriage is over, even when the signs are unmistakable: Their spouse is cheating, siphoning money out of their accounts or making plans to move out. Still, deniers hope their marriage can be saved. Jack and Ellen’s story is an excellent example of divorce denial and of the mistakes men make in divorce.
A Loyal Man
Jack refused to believe his wife Ellen was going to divorce him. They had been married for seven years, and though he knew their marriage had problems, he was certain they could work them out. Some of the problems were related to Ellen’s bipolar disorder, for which she was being treated.
Unfortunately, Ellen sometimes refused to take the prescribed medications that helped keep the condition under control. In her manic phase, she drove recklessly, and though she had never done so with their two young children in the car, Jack always worried about this possibility.
In her “down” phase, Ellen talked about “running away and starting over.” But Jack, loyal to mistakes men make in divorce, was certain that no matter how many arguments he and Ellen had, she would never file for divorce.
He was wrong. Not only had she hired a lawyer and started the process, but she also had followed the lawyer’s instructions regarding her medical condition. Her lawyer, anticipating that Jack might use this condition to try to gain sole custody, had instructed Ellen to persuade Jack to sign a document attesting to her mental fitness; he helped Ellen create a cover story that she needed this document for health insurance purposes.
By the divorce, he was hopelessly behind. It took him weeks to find a lawyer, and even then he remained unconvinced that she was serious about sole custody; he insisted to his lawyer that this was just a negotiating ploy.
Jack, realizing he was falling victim to mistakes men make in divorce, finally emerged from his divorce denial.
Denial Signs To Be Aware Of
To prevent this from happening, be aware of the following signs that you’re in divorce denial:
- Your spouse informs you she wants a divorce, but you insist to both her and yourself that she’s not serious.
- The marriage is dead and your spouse moves out and makes a down payment on a new house, but you convince yourself that the separation is temporary.
- You note that your spouse is taking money out of your joint accounts, that your relationship has experienced serious problems and that she is having an affair, but you refuse to put two and two together.
- Your spouse has threatened to take the kids and leave, but even as you’re consulting your lawyer, you refuse to believe she would ever do such a thing.
- When your spouse informs you that she’s filing for divorce, you refuse to hire an lawyer, convinced that things will work out if you avoid “playing her game.”
- You tell your friends that your spouse is only using the possibility of divorce as a bargaining chip to buy a new house or change your bad habits, but that when push comes to shove, she’ll never follow through on the threat.
- You hire a lawyer in response to your spouse filing for divorce, but you argue with him that your spouse has no intention of limiting your visitation, asking for sole custody, refusing to give you certain monies, or share property fairly; based on your certainty that your spouse would never treat you unfairly, you don’t follow your lawyer’s advice.
Divorce denial is dangerous, especially if you have children at risk. Recognize the warning signs and take immediate action to protect your rights and the rights of your children.