Blogs by Betty Anne Grillo
Do men and women handle bankruptcy differently?
6/26/2012 6:13:51 AM
[ Flag as Inappropriate ]
Of course--they are from different planets!
Of course—they are from different planets!
Not so long ago, everyone was talking about men being from Mars and women from Venus. It was a quizzical way to explain that men and women are definitely different from each other. They look different, sound different… and often respond differently to stressful situations.
Today I’m going to share my observations about the way men respond to financial problems, and ultimately—bankruptcy. As a paralegal for 18 years I worked with men, women, couples and “unintended victims” as they sometimes considered themselves. Honestly, I saw both men and women exhibit the “if I pretend it isn’t happening, maybe it will go away” syndrome. If one person handled the bills for the whole family, it made them an easy target when things went bad. Even if they weren’t responsible for the drastic reductions in income or increased or emergency expenses, it was always easier to blame someone else for what seemed like insurmountable problems.
When it came to the way men handled desperate financial problems, including bankruptcy, I saw everything from “I was stupid”, “I thought I could volunteer for overtime to catch up on my bills”, and “I don’t know how this happened”. They were generally able to confront the severity of the situation and do what was necessary to get past it.
If there was a home in jeopardy, though, the behavior of the men involved was quite different. I saw men throw so much good money after bad—because they couldn’t bear to leave the house they provided for their family. Sometimes it was even a home they had built with their own bare hands. There was sometimes a surprising bond between men and a building. The house stood for their status in life, and their ability to provide for themselves, their spouse and family. It was a sign to the outside world that they had “made it”.
These types of feelings were so hard to re-direct from my side of the desk. As a woman, and from a professional viewpoint, I had to discover with each of these men just what approach would get through to them so they could see their financial situation clearly, without emotions clouding judgment. I know that most people consider women as the more emotional of the two sexes, but I found that when a man is emotional about something—there is no letting go.
Framing the nuts and bolts of it—convincing a man he can achieve the goal of owning a home again—aided my discussions about the advice he received from an attorney. Sometimes it is necessary to walk away from a particular house, and its mortgage, because it is the best move for his health, his future, and that of his family. I always put myself in the homeowner’s shoes in order to explain difficult solutions to these stressed-out individuals.
When a man expects to protect his loved ones from harm and provide a safe place to live, and then finances prevent him from providing the life he wants to provide, he first has to deal with the emotions that surround failure and despair. He is not a failure, but he may feel like one. He must surround himself with people who present the solution as a problem solver would, just like him. When men see something wrong they want to fix it. If they can’t fix it, it is easier to shut down and ignore it—and we all know where that leads… AN EVEN BIGGER PROBLEM!
If you are a man facing very difficult financial problems, and yes—even bankruptcy—find someone to talk to who understands where you’re coming from. Work through the process with a professional, and realize that the better man sees the whole picture. When you realize you’re lost in the woods, you don’t just continue to walk in circles. You take out your compass, focus on moving toward the direction that leads you out of the forest, and trust your instincts to guide you. You and your family will get through this, and learn to live a better life. Your family will look to you for strength and protection. Be the man they know you to be… lead them out of the woods.
All my best!
SUNSET DREAM BOOKS
On Twitter .sunsetdreamboox
More Blogs by Betty Anne Grillo
What Your Neighbors Don't Know Abour Your Life - Wednesday, July 11, 2012
A Special Needs Child in the Family - Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Uncertainty creates fear and anxiety - Monday, July 09, 2012
Bankruptcy is a fresh start, not a disgrace - Friday, July 06, 2012
Could "book smarts" ever replace "street smarts"? - Thursday, July 05, 2012
#Food for Thought—and I sure hope you’re #hungry! - Wednesday, July 04, 2012
The Passing of Andy Griffith - Tuesday, July 03, 2012
New day, new desire, new direction! - Monday, July 02, 2012
SUNDAY SILLIES 07-01-2012 - Sunday, July 01, 2012
The other “B” word – #BUDGET - Saturday, June 30, 2012
The Truth is Always Somewhere in the Middle - Friday, June 29, 2012
Time to take a #SCOTUS breath! - Thursday, June 28, 2012
Do men and women handle #bankruptcy differently? - Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Do men and women handle bankruptcy differently? - Tuesday, June 26, 2012
The Symptoms of an Unhealthy Budget: Part Four - Monday, June 25, 2012
Louis Gossett, Jr - Sunday, June 24, 2012
SUNDAY SILLIES 06-24-2012 - Sunday, June 24, 2012
Have you had a part in saving a life? - Saturday, June 23, 2012
The Symptoms of an Unhealthy Budget: Part Three - Saturday, June 23, 2012
The Symptoms of an Unhealthy Budget - Friday, June 22, 2012
The Symptoms of an Unhealthy Budget - Thursday, June 21, 2012
Can you really negotiate with credit card companies to pay less than the full balance? - Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Do your elderly parents have trouble paying their bills? - Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Do money problems cause break-ups? - Monday, June 18, 2012
WHAT WILL I DO IF SOMEONE ASKS ME TO DANCE? - Sunday, June 17, 2012
HAVING LESS TO SPEND COSTS YOU MORE IN THE END - Saturday, June 16, 2012
I'm late, I'm late, for a very important... - Friday, June 15, 2012
WHEN THE “B” WORD STANDS FOR BANKRUPTCY - Thursday, June 14, 2012
Has your net worth decreased dramatically? - Wednesday, June 13, 2012
What dreams have you had to put on hold? - Tuesday, June 12, 2012
How much longer can you hold out? - Monday, June 11, 2012
Sunday "Sillies" 06-10-2012 - Sunday, June 10, 2012
Saturdays aren't the same for you, are they? - Saturday, June 09, 2012
When charging items like food and gas purchases get us into trouble - Friday, June 08, 2012
If money can fix it, it's not a disaster - Thursday, June 07, 2012
I know it feels good to shop, but... - Wednesday, June 06, 2012
Your health is most important! - Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Common Personal Bankruptcy Myths and Facts - Monday, June 04, 2012
Sunday Sillies June 3, 2012 - Sunday, June 03, 2012
383,000 New Unemployment Claims - Saturday, June 02, 2012
How Much More Can You Take? - Friday, June 01, 2012
Life is too short to face financial problems every day! - Thursday, May 31, 2012
A new book about surviving widowhood - Wednesday, May 30, 2012
A handshake and a smile - Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Where did all that money go? - Monday, May 28, 2012
Sunday "Sillies" - Sunday, May 27, 2012
Unemployment numbers - Saturday, May 26, 2012
The Launch of Sunset Dream Books - Saturday, May 26, 2012