Yesterday, I wrote about how men’s perceptions change during divorce. I think the problem is that, rather than thinking of you as an important member of the same team, they start to think of you as a threat.
Sometimes, in my spare time, I Google things like “divorce secrets for men,” and “father’s rights in divorce.” I’m always amazed at the information that pops up. As an attorney representing women only, I definitely exist at the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Still, I feel like there are often some very, very distinct differences between the way we present information and the way father’s rights or pro-men organizations operate.
For example, take a look at this pro-men site I found—apparently from a Phoenix area law firm. The entire post is pretty outrageous, but I’ll also include a list of the specific list of “unscrupulous” tactics these attorneys claim that women utilize in divorce:
- “Use the children as hostages against your husband.
- Falsely accuse him of sexual or physical abuse. Just lie in court.
- Lie and get restraining order barring him from his house.
- Lie and get restraining orders hijacking all his bank accounts.
- Run up all his credit cards to the limit.
- Wait till he falls asleep. Rifle through his pockets.
- Does he fall asleep after sex? Have fun – then rifle through his pockets!
- If your husband pays your credit card bills, charge then return for cash refunds.
- The first one who gets to the bank is the one to empty the joint accounts.
- Criticize him daily. Accuse him of having affairs (falsely). Nag, nag, nag.
- Control your husband by being alternately loving and cold to confuse him.”
Unfortunately, this is the kind of propaganda that exists that makes men turn see women as a threat. Just look at the language—“hostages,” “falsely,” “lie,” “criticize,” “nag,” and “control.” This is the attitude that we’re up against and, ultimately, that you may also be up against.
If your husband suddenly becomes paranoid, distrustful, erratic, or verbally abusive, there’s a good chance that he has spoken to a friend, met with an attorney, or searched the Internet and found this kind of information, he will be very difficult for you to negotiate with personally. He has seen or heard his absolute worst fears amplified, and now he has begun to gear up for a fight. In these kinds of cases, you really need to see an attorney, because it will be nearly impossible for you to effectively negotiate with your husband and convince him that you want to handle your divorce in a reasonable and fair manner.
The best thing to do, if your husband suddenly turns into a three-headed monster, is stay calm and reasonable when you talk to him, but don’t sign anything without speaking to an attorney or other knowledgeable person first. You should be sure that you know your rights, and don’t agree to give anything up.
Remember to always stay calm, cool, and collected, no matter what he throws at you, and talk to someone who has your best interests at heart and can help you negotiate an appropriate outcome with your husband.