Money

July 6, 2007 by

The last thing you want to talk about is money when the most important thing in your life is coming to pieces. It just doesn’t seem dignified, somehow.

So, how dignified will it be when you can’t afford a tin of beans for yourself because you’ve signed the whole lot over to your ex? How dignified will you feel after making the grand gesture – even though toilet paper isn’t part of your immediate plan? Or electricity?

I know so many men who’ve waved their hands at the whole thing and said Fuck her, it’s only bricks and mortar.

Let’s be exact here: it isn’t bricks and mortar. It’s the difference between you having a chance of some sort of civilised life later on, as opposed to you ending up an old bum . You have to fight like a dog for this thing because it means your personal survival. You can’t afford grand gestures unless you’re a mega-millionaire, and if you are you have no business reading this. You’ll be ok.

I’ll post more about property later, but there is an issue of pressing importance to separated men that I want to talk about now.

Many men are confused about the idea of maintenance.

What’s maintenance? Is it money to keep your ex in clothes? No. It isn’t.

Maintenance is money to keep your children fed and clothed.

Let me ask you something. For simplicity, pretend that every month has four weeks in it. And suppose you pay your ex €400 a month in maintenance for your kids. (I realise this isn’t a realistic amount: it’s just to illustrate a point).

Now. Suppose your circumstances change and you’re able to have your kids at your place for one week in every four, where you can feed and clothe them and look after their every need.

How much maintenance should you have to pay then?

When asked this question, most men I know answer €300.

You ask them why, and they say, well that’s what you pay for three weeks instead of four.

No.

The right answer is €200.

Why?

Because your maintenance is paid for YOUR two weeks of the month, and your ex is supposed to contribute a similar amount for the other two weeks.

So now, you’re only paying for one of your two weeks and not both of them like you used to.

Get it?

Your maintenance is for half the time – not all the time. Whatever you pay needs to be matched by your ex. Your maintenance is for two weeks, not four.

Don’t be a sucker.

kick it on kick.ie

Look after yourself

June 28, 2007 by

Be kind to yourself. You come first. Even though your circumstances might be looking grim at the moment, this thing doesn’t have to beat you down unless you allow it to.

When this happened to me, I thought my life was over. I considered ending my life. I fell into a profound depression. But now, not too much later, I feel strong and confident. I have my own home. My career is flying. I’m probably closer to my children than ever before.

Remember, so many people still rely on you.

Children. Friends. Family members. Work colleagues.

Your relationship might be coming apart, but you need to stay in one piece. You need to keep functioning.

If I could give you only one piece of advice, it would be this: talk.

Tell someone what’s going on. Confide in somebody. Tell them honestly how you’re feeling.

The worst part of a break-up for men can be the feeling of being alone. Women are very good at reaching out to each other for support. Women tell each other what’s happening in their lives. Every time your ex-partner talks to you from now on, it will be with the benefit of a full brainstorming session with the girls and that’s the sort of support you need too.

If I could give you a second piece of advice, it would be this: don’t swallow the bullshit. Women seem to be genetically programmed to go on the offensive, and you’ll probably be subjected to a litany of accusations concerning your inadequacy as a parent, a man and a human being. This is normal, because most women are unable to imagine that they might have any responsibility for a relationship going wrong. Don’t take these accusations to heart. After a while, when things calm down a bit, your partner will realise it was wrong to say such things about you.

Most men feel guilty and believe the propaganda thrown at them. They start to believe they’re worthless insensitive brutes. You know better than anyone else what sort of man you are. Trust yourself, not the barbs of a woman who wants to blame you for everything going wrong.

The last bit of advice for today is this: you have the same rights in law as your partner. Before you walk out the door, ask yourself why your ex-partner shouldn’t leave instead. Aren’t you as good a parent? Aren’t you an equal owner of the home? Didn’t you work for all this just as hard as your ex did?

Don’t jump to the conclusion that it’s always the man who has to leave. Walking out like that is the first step towards living on beans and toast in some shitty bedsit.

kick it on kick.ie

So you’re breaking up at last, are you?

June 27, 2007 by

You can call me One Man.

This site is for Irish men who are going through a separation or a divorce.

There’s no gender equality here: I’m on the side of men.

Many accusations will be made about you. People will try to stain your character.

Your ex-partner will try to persuade you that you are at fault for everything that went wrong.

You’ll be told that, as a man, you are emotionally stunted and that women are better than you because they’re more in touch with their feelings.

After a while, you’ll come to believe all these things about yourself.

In short, you’ll be made to feel like a useless piece of shit, and it will all be designed to make you surrender as quickly as possible.

Don’t give in to this.

You’re not the only one to have had this experience. As time goes by, I’ll be offering you advice and support on how to get through this awful time in your life. The advice will be about practical issues such as money and property. I’ll also help you with the terrible emotional damage this experience is inflicting on you.

I hope this site will help you to see things more clearly and help you to emerge on the far side feeling better about yourself, in a good relationship with your kids, if you have kids. You’ll also have a roof over your head instead of living in some rented shit-hole for the rest of your life.

I’m doing this because I was one of the lucky ones who managed to negotiate a good settlement with my ex-wife. I’m an equal in every way regarding the upbringing of the kids. I have a great relationship with my kids and a good working relationship with my former wife, though it wasn’t always like that.

As we move along, I’ll tell you some of my personal experiences, but I won’t go into too much detail because I don’t want to reveal my identity.

I’ll post an article once a week, and if there’s anything in particular you’d like me to talk about, just ask.

So here’s the start: what things concern you most about your relationship break-up?

kick it on kick.ie


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