“My husband is depressed and wants a divorce.” Women say this across Canada every day. It might surprise you to know some figures suggest that divorce rates are actually declining, but those figures can be deceiving.
One of the reasons the divorce rate is down is because marriage itself is becoming less common. Over the past 20 years, common-law unions are becoming more popular, as are single-parent families.
The real truth is that from 2010 to 2011, almost 54,000 new divorce cases were initiated in Canada, with the proportion of marriages ending in divorce slighted at about 41% in 2008, up from 36% in 1998.
Why is divorce happening “more” often
One of the reasons may be that the Divorce Act, first established in 1968, was revised in 1987 to reduce the necessary separation period required by the courts to obtain divorce from three years to one year. This makes divorce easier, and thus, it may be happening more often.
Why is your husband depressed and wanting a divorce?
It’s been shown that men take divorce harder than women and are more likely to be depressed because of it. If your husband is threatening divorce, it may be that he’s depressed and thinks that your “bad” marriage is causing the depression when the reality is that he’s depressed for some other reason.
If that’s the case, it may be possible to save your marriage, instead of agreeing to your husband’s request for divorce. It’s always a good idea to get legal expertise on divorce if your husband is threatening.
Is your husband depressed for another reason?
Midlife crisis, alcohol or substance abuse, mood disorders or another mental health issue, trauma, job loss, or even children leaving the family nest to strike out on their own can cause depression in men.
While women’s depression is well documented, depression in men is less so — and men’s depression symptoms may manifest differently than they do for women.
Symptoms of depression in men
- Difficulty focusing on or remembering things
- Substance or alcohol abuse
- Inappropriate outbursts of anger
- Feeling guilty or worthless
- Loss of libido
What can you do if your husband is depressed and wants a divorce?
If you’ve tried to help your husband with his depression and he still wants a divorce, it may be time to do just that. Even though divorce will always be a dramatic time no matter what you do, it can be made easier with professional services. Choosing mediation instead of litigation, for example, can make the process less stressful. If you are in a common-law relationship and not a marriage, you need legal expertise on your side to determine how you will divide assets, share property, and make child custody arrangements if applicable.
If the divorce is unavoidable, our Newmarket divorce lawyers or Orillia family lawyers are here to help you through this trying time. Please contact us for any questions and support that you may need.