1. Suryadipta
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    Suryadipta New Member

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    A story about divorce/separation

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Suryadipta, Jul 3, 2012.

    Hi writer buddies,

    I have been working on a story with a couple's separation in the background and would be glad to brainstorm a bit about it with you guys. On writing about how the separation affects each of the persons concerned, there are quite a few things to write about in the case of the woman: she loses a companion, has to raise the kids herself (considering she has got their complete custody), juggle a job along with that, provide for her kids and herself. There are, in fact, quite a few things that can bog her down emotionally. In case of the man though, it is just the loss of a companion and a family that can be talked about. Although, this is not 'just' a loss but a huge loss to write a lot about but it still feels that a woman has a lot more to deal with in the aftermath. Would appreciate if you guys could help me look at more dimensions of a man's life post-separation.


    Thanks,
    Surya
     
  2. suddenly BANSHEES
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    suddenly BANSHEES Contributing Member

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    Of course, everyone handles things differently, but a man can be just as emotionally damaged by those things as a woman. It would depend on his personality, his reasons for ending the marriage, and his relationship with his children.

    For example, when my parents split up, there wasn't any sort of custody battle over me (my brother was a legal adult by then), and it was mutually decided that my father would go off on his own, and my brother and I would stay with my mother. But after just a few months, my dad missed my brother and I so much that he moved back into our state. He didn't even bother trying to look for a place to live first, he just rushed back as soon as he could. He always acted like a big macho tough-guy, and he came crawling back because he was so attached to my brother and I. In the end, though he had a hard time finding work, he refused to leave again without at least one of us (that ended up being my brother). Though he and my mother weren't close anymore, and had no desire to be, he was still greatly affected by the divorce because of his children.

    Sorry I only have the one example, but I hope that helps. Best of luck with your story.
     
  3. Suryadipta
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    Suryadipta New Member

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    Thanks a bunch. The struggle is, I guess, just the same for both the persons involved. Most of the men do tend to put up the 'macho' stance as u have mentioned but they are as vulnerable as the women. This has given me something to think and write about. Thank you again for sharing a private episode of your life. Appreciate your inputs.
     
  4. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    I agree with the above post, children can make a father emotionally vulnerable. I'll try to give situations where he might struggle because of the children:

    -- Children usually blame the father for abandoning them. If the father wants to be in contact with them he'll have a hard time explaining things specially if the mother despise him.

    -- If he has a girlfriend or remarries, he will have a hard time saying no to the children's demand, specially monetary. He'll have this urge to meet their demands even if he knows the money is going down the drain. This will be strongly opposed by the second wife and you see his dilemma.

    -- If he doesn't have a girlfriend or second wife, he has to get used to living alone again, which is not so fun when he is no more the young guy who have lots of single friends to hang out with.
     
  5. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Remember that it's not only the mother who's providing for the kids - the father generally provides child support. This means that the finances of both members of the original couple are stretched. They're maintaining two homes when they previously maintained only one, and if the father gets any visitation at all, both homes probably need to be big enough for the children to at least visit.

    If he doesn't get any visitation (and I think that you'd need to have a convincing reason for that), then he has the trauma of being separated from his children.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i've been divorced twice and though i'm the mother half of the equation, i can tell you what appeared to affect the other half most...

    my first ex's only concern was not wanting to pay any alimony or child support, never once tried to find out where his 5 kids were or if they were even alive and well... when he learned i was going to remarry, he actually asked if my new husband would like to adopt the kids and signed termination of parenthood papers before we could blink... sent them all back and didn't even keep a copy...

    what bugged my second most was losing control and 'ownership' of the 2 we had together, since he already had acquired control over the older 5 by being a multimillionaire who doled out his monetary 'largesse' while holding onto one corner of every dollar he doled out, after making them jump through hoops for it...

    neither 'father' ever showed any overt affection toward any of my 7 kids, sad to say...
     
  7. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    As others have indicated, this depends so much on so many different factors -- the reasons for the split, the personalities of the people involved, the relationship each parent has with the children, the ages of the children, whether each of the people has other friends or family members nearby, how much of an issue money is, the age of the parties when they separate, the type of work each person does, etc.

    It is possible for a man to be as affected by a split just as much as a woman is. Sometimes it can be easier for a woman if she has a lot of other social support and close friends, whereas a man is expected to remain tough and stoic, and might not have other close friends. Sometimes the relationship a man has with his wife is the only close relationship a man has and the loss of that would be significant, particularly if he did not want the split.

    The possibilities are infinite. Just about any response you can imagine has probably happened to someone.
     
  8. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    My parents divorced when I was five, but it was one of the times it was for the best. I remember the screaming, the fights...The terror, plain and simple. Nights spent hidden, curled up in the bed with Solomon, my cat pressing against my chest as they battled, over and over. It was a nightmare. Then it was as if the world fell still, my dad left...The fights stopped. My mom no longer pinned us to the spot with a single look.

    She still wasn't happy and rarely smiled, but she had three of us to support, alone. Classic definition of deadbeat dad, and we knew it. Weekends there were few and dreaded, more often than not, much to our delight we got to see out grandparents. We did not see much of mom; she was usually working. Or when she was home she was in a bad mood, we treaded lightly. It wasn't easy for any of us, but we learned to get by.

    When I started school that fall, I was labeled as different. The weird one, partially because I was ahead of the curve scholastically, but also because I was from the only single parent household. That first day our teacher asked us, "So who lives with their mom and dad?" All the hands, but mine, went up. A little more hesitantly the teacher asked: "So who lives with their mom?" Only my hand went up. Small town USA, everything here was about appearances and a single parent didn't fit that mold. They had found the cull.

    After what I had seen, heard at home...There was little my classmates could say that stung or frightened me more. I came armed with a shield forged by my parents' fights. Adapting, learning to ignore the fear, the angry words...To know I was all right. It made me strong, but at a price.

    Divorce has far reaching effects, we never see until we are grown. As the three of us got older, things did get better. My mom smiled a bit more and was actually proud of us on occasion. We knew it wasn't easy for her, but still we tested the boundaries and each and every time, she held firm. We learned pretty quickly how far we could go. It kept the family stable.

    My mom is one of the strongest people I know. Yes, she frightened me on occasion, but she did what she had to to see us through. We were not an easy bunch to deal with. My brother and I, both, diagnosed with ADHD, my brother with additional learning disabilities in conjunction. Living like we did, we became self-reliant and independent pretty quickly. That independence made a world of difference.

    To this day there are few I respect quite as much as my mother. She is a hard person to know, and even harder to understand...But she did show me how to stand on my own two feet. She was always there to catch me when my world came down. A hard hug, a quick dose of commonsense, she props me back up and I try again. My dad never did; I haven't spoken to him in more than a decade. My mom, I see as often as I can.

    My mom did all right by us. My older sister is a large animal vet. I have a BA, and am nearing completion on an MA, and my brother just finished his degree in law enforcement. Had my dad remained in the picture, I don't know, really don't want to know, where any of us would be right now. Divorce was a hard path, but for my family, it was the right path.

    - Darkkin
     
  9. noodlepower
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    It's already been mentioned quite a few times before but it really depends on the guy's personality, the reason for the divorce, etc...

    Guys can be affected emotionally by divorce. Maybe he realizes that he can't be what his wife wants him to be anymore and that feeling of inadequacy tears him up inside. Or maybe he realizes that he lost something of himself by being in a relationship with his wife and he acts out of anger towards her but he's really just angry at himself for making all the wrong decisions. Maybe he was a real jerk and just truly don't care. Or maybe, post separation, he finds himself having a hard time making new emotional connections. You know? He goes on a date with a girl that hates horror movies while he remembers his wife loved them. How does he 'get use' to a new person? That is not always easy when you've been with someone for a while and then suddenly they are not there. Even in the worst times, wouldn't a wife know her husband hates onions and always cook without them? And then here's a new person that insists food doesn't taste right without onions and then suddenly, this guy realizes how much he misses his wife but also knows that its too late to fix things. It can be an emotionally painful realization.

    Those are just different ways to look at it from a guy perspective. I guess. I'm not a guy but I can imagine it would be something like that.
     

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