My observation is that men and women break up very differently.
Women are separation Ninjas and often plan it out months in advance.
For men, it’s like a Survivor blindside of epic proportions.
Imagine coming home after work and finding your house empty – your wife and kids are gone, your house has been gutted of furniture to the extent that you call the police thinking you’ve been robbed. Seriously, this happens.
I’ve had many men come to me for advice after their wife has announced it’s over, saying that they had no idea she wanted to end the relationship.
I’ve also had many women come to me for pre-separation advice, wanting to know how best to separate when the time comes, as they see it as inevitable and want to make sure they are protected.
For the man in this situation, my advice is to recognise that you are in an intense time of grief and denial. The reason your wife isn’t reacting in the same way is that she likely processed the end of the relationship months’ ago.
For the woman in this situation, my advice is to show some compassion and patience with your ex-partner. Realise that it will take him some time to catch up with you before he can deal with the practical steps of separation – dividing your property, working out where the kids will live, and lastly meeting any new partner.
Justine Dean – Samford Family Law