Dr. Walter Matweychuk – Recovering from breakup, divorce or infidelity

In this episode of the MensGroup Podcast, we had Dr. Walter Matweychuk on to talk about men’s issues. Dr. Matweychuck is a clinical psychologist that helps men in his private practice. He is an expert on recovering from a breakup, divorce or infidelity. How to think about adversity? Why he thinks stoic philosophy is so useful for men.

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Sean Galla

An experienced facilitator, community builder and Peer Support Specialist, Sean has been running men's groups for 10+ years. Read Sean's Full Author Bio.


00:02:08 Breakup, Divorce & Infidelity

00:03:21 Healthy Recovery

  • Involves the acknowledgment that you cannot change the other person nor what happens to you, but that you can change yourself and choose how to react to a specific situation.

00:11:00 Healthy & Unhealthy Emotions

  • They both share the same cognitive component: the acknowledgment that reality isn’t the way they want it to be.
  • Unhealthy behavior involves elements of self-defeat whilst healthy behavior leans towards acceptance.

00:16:28 The ABC model

  • A being reality, B being how you process reality, and C being how you feel about the way you process reality. Many people ignore B, thinking that there’s nothing they can do between whatever happens to them (A) and how they feel about it (C).

00:19:15 Eight Healthy Negative Emotions vs. Eight Unhealthy Negative Emotions

  • Concern rather than Anxiety
  • Sorrow rather than Hurt.
  • Sadness rather than Depression.
  • Remorse rather than Guilt.
  • Disappointment rather than Shame.
  • Healthy Jealousy rather than Unhealthy Jealousy.
  • Healthy Envy rather than Unhealthy Envy.
  • Healthy Anger rather than Unhealthy Anger.

00:35:32 Women Hating Communities – Redpill, Incel, MGTOW

  • Men who put themselves down after an emotional breakup feel the need to put others down in order to gain back some of their lost self-esteem. Holding to that negative emotion leads to a negative biased perception of reality, which is encouraged by being part of an unhealthy community.
  • It’s important to acknowledge your share of the responsibility and the fact that being involved in an emotional relationship involves the risk of being hurt.

00:42:32 Acceptance

  • Acceptance can be defined as the acknowledgment that a negative state of affairs exists, but that you’re in peace with that.
  • It also involves the acceptance that whatever happened was due to the fact that all the related conditions were in place, regardless of whether you understand them or not.
  • It may involve some unpleasant but positive emotions such as disappointment, sadness and healthy anger.
  • It can lead to either repair the current relationship with a healthy negative emotion or moving on to a new relationship with more wisdom derived from the hurtful experience.
  • Self-acceptance involves living life to enjoy yourself rather than proving yourself.

00:53:40 Healthy Escapes vs. Unhealthy Escapes

  • The worst thing to do: give in to self-rejection and downing yourself. Also, engaging with unhealthy escapes such as substances to ease the pain, like alcohol or drugs.
  • The best thing to do: search for the contribution you’ve made and acknowledge your responsibility. Lean towards healthy escapes which may include working out, hanging out with sensible friends, etc.

00:59:08 Stoic Philosophy & Adversity 

00:59:22 Stoic Philosophy

  • Philosophy helps you live a meaningful life and cope with adversity by embracing reason.
  • “You cannot be a victim of another, you can only be a victim of yourself.”
  • Rumi: “The cure for the pain is the pain” – if it’s uncomfortable, it’s likely to be therapeutic.

01:04:02 Adversity

  • It’s important to develop some certain amount of discomfort tolerance, since a lot of good things in life will require actions that are uncomfortable either physically or psychologically.
  • Ego Disturbance (long-term perspective: when you rate yourself as a failure and put yourself down) vs. Discomfort Disturbance (short-term perspective: when you acknowledge the discomfort of a temporal situation)
  • Unconditional self-acceptance as an indispensable tool to deal with failure and regret.
  • Adversity can make you stronger by pushing you to develop the skills to cope with a specific situation.

01:15:38 Self-actualization

  • It’s taking certain bits and pieces of you and cultivating them in order to maximize some characteristics or behaviors. It also works the other way around, when you’re looking to minimize some other characteristics or behaviors.

01:21:36 Therapy

  • Therapy can be thought of as adult education, actively teaching ideas and skills for coping with life.
  • Emotional health can be defined as taking responsibility for what’s yours, and not taking responsibility for what’s not yours.
  • Emotional disturbance can be defined as taking your life either too seriously or not seriously enough.