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This section is written in full understanding that divorce often adversely affects both sexes, and that often both partners share blame for the death of marriage.

In almost every marriage there are many good times.  When the dreams and plans of a lifetime are cruelly, uncaringly wrenched from the realm of possibility, part of the person dies.  Although a marriage is buried, it is often buried alive.  One-sided love is a tragic thing.  Love is a great possession; its betrayal, a great catastrophe.  Sincere partners dedicate their entire lives to each other.  Greater commitment is hardly possible.  Repaying this gift with treachery is extremely cruel.  As the song goes, “A false-hearted lover is worse than a thief.”

Loss of motivation accompanies the loss of love; and people are just no good without motivation, the sparkplug of life.  Life becomes meaningless.  The loss, the pain corrodes the spirit and paralyzes the will.  Lack of a nice family to come home to has induced many a man to wallow in self-pity.  The shock of aborted love is difficult to measure, and to predict its results is impossible.  Serene acceptance, if it can be achieved, can be a blessing.  But a loved one's defection can't be simply shrugged off by anyone who was really in love.

Divorce is a world of broken promises, shattered hopes, wounded egos and empty lives.  Divorce orphans are pitiful, but adult males arguably are primary, more direct casualties, financially and emotionally.  It has been this author’s impression that most of the books for both men and children on how to live with a divorce are largely psychobabble written by muddle-heads who would expect a lobster to be content with being boiled alive.

There seems to be a similarity between the price of procreation in human males and males of some lower species.  The Praying Mantis and Black Widow spider discard the male after he has served his fertilization purpose – or kill him.  This trait is not unknown in humanoids, figuratively speaking.  His children are a man’s raison d’ être.  Loss and probable estrangement of them are among the greatest injustices that can be visited upon a human being.

Extreme heartbreak can lead to “the death of a thousand cuts.”  According to Dr. John C. Cassel, department head at the University of North Carolina's School of Public Health, divorced men have a death rate three to five times higher than married men of the same age.  Many good men have died of broken hearts, homeless on Skid Row.  The death of John Fornica, while I worked at Charlie Metz’s A$DM, is a case in point.  The DuPage County, Illinois, domestic court bears a great responsibility for it.  This anti-male redoubt refused, except in token gestures, to enforce visitation provisions of his divorce decree.  The daughter he loved too much became so brainwashed as a result that she screamed her hatred at this gentle man.  He died of a broken heart, too young, removing items from the room she had occupied in happier days.

Men without families who manage to survive are highly prone to various illnesses.  They tend to suffer severe and chronic physical and emotional illnesses.  According to a Danish study, divorced men contract tuberculosis more often than married men, ten times more often than married country-dwelling men, and five times more often than married city-dwelling men.

It has been said that divorced men are “road kill” on the highway of life.  A grim scene is widespread behind rooming house walls: a cubicle furnished in early Salvation Army, an unmade bed, a bare bulb, a soup pan on the burner, a lonely man choking down meals of crackers and cheese, and a john down the hall.  It’s dreary.  Many of us are only an accident-of-chance away from such an ignominious end.

When they are not forlornly moving from place to place, the bitter, defeated flotsam and jetsam crowd jails and homeless shelters.  Liquor lounges reap a windfall from both divorced men and women, but the latter are seldom there to cry in their beer.  Sad ex-husbands are holding down bar stools all across the country, indeed the world.  Various forms of drugs become their hemlock, gradually dulling, existence.  I’ve been there, feeling as if flung into the pit of The Creator’s outhouse during an Almighty bout with diarrhea (OK, maybe I jumped in).

In interviewing the habitants of skid row this writer found that most are divorce casualties.  The shroud of despair was every where apparent.  One could cut it with a knife.  Despite appearances, some of these so-called bums are intelligent and philosophical.  Interviewing them was enlightening, in a depressing way.  You don’t just doubt The Creator – you can hate Him.

Fearful that stress was beginning to affect my ability to control air traffic, I resigned from the Federal Aviation Agency in December 1966.  Though I returned many years later, it was a financially costly sacrifice.


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Last modified: October 12, 2013