How is life after divorce for men? Is life better post-divorce for a man? What is the best way to get over a divorce for a man? How does divorce affect the life of men? If you are looking for answers to these and more questions, this article is for you.
Hallo. My name is Sean Galla, and I am a facilitator for online support groups for men, including divorce groups. My work involves creating safe spaces where men can come together to share, learn and talk about different issues that affect men, including divorce and life after divorce for men. I have been working with men for more than 11 years and know firsthand how divorce can affect the lives of men and why having a support system is vital through this journey. In this article, I will answer all the questions you have about life after divorce for men and give tips and helpful advice on how to navigate life after divorce as a man.
Table of Contents:
Marriage and Divorce
When you first met the woman you will later make your wife the first time, you were young and in love and could not imagine life without your significant other. You loved spending time together and spent every free moment together, sharing, loving, and building a life. One day you decided to propose, and they said yes, had a beautiful wedding, and started your life as a married couple. You shared your dreams of growing old together and raising a family. However, sometimes things don’t always go as planned.
‘We should get a divorce’ or ‘I want a divorce.’ These are some of the most devastating words anyone in a marriage can hear. Divorce is something nobody plans for, because no one gets married short term or to just to get divorced later. Divorce affects people differently. For some, it is a liberating experience that sets them free from what were mentally draining years of marriage, while for others, it can be the hardest thing because they did not think their marriage was failing until the spouse asked for a divorce. For any man, getting to understand this new reality can be a stressful part of the journey that takes time.
Generally speaking, married men are most reliant on their wives since women are natural caretakers. The wife spends a lot of time taking care of the children, the household, and the husband and is generally the glue that holds the family together. They are the husband’s confidant, listener, friend, and even therapist, always offering emotional support.
All these factors are taken away from the man after divorce. This causes most men to make erratic decisions to try to cope with divorce and this loss.
Once you have signed your name on the dotted line and finalized the divorce process, the dust settles, puts things into perspective, and leads to a journey of self-discovery. While some men may hit the ground running, others require more time to come to terms with what just happened. For some mean, divorce can lead to grief, despair, depression, denial, and sometimes physical and mental health issues.
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Why Divorce Is Harder for Men Than for Women
Unlike men, women find it easier to cope with different situations because speaking to their social circle, close friends and family members about their situations comes more naturally to them. Research has shown that divorce is harder on men than on women. Generally, men have more to lose in terms of happiness and health after a divorce than their wives. Here is why.
Men avoid the grieving process
After divorce, most men prefer to skip the grieving process because most men do not know how to grieve the loss. Instead, they prefer to bottle up their emotions, making it harder for them to move on. However, they still feel at a loss and regret derailed plans and dreams. Most men pick up other habits as a way of coping, which is sometimes self-destructive coping mechanisms like substance abuse, alcohol abuse, or harmful sexual behavior.
Physical health declines in men after divorce
Most men experience health issues during the process of divorce and stressful time after. Some of the most common health issues they experience include insomnia, weight loss or gain, anxiety, and depression. Men are also burdened with the stress of balancing their finances to ensure they can support their new life as single men while still making alimony payments and paying child support. Divorced men also struggle with a loss of identity and self-esteem issues. All these issues make them more susceptible to heart disease and stroke.
Men move on too fast
Since most men do not take time to grieve the loss of their marriage, they immediately get back out there and get into new relationships and use dating after divorce as a way of escaping the pain instead of giving themselves time to heal. This is because most men prefer not to be alone after divorce to avoid having to deal with the emotions thereafter. This often leads to troubled relationships and, more likely, divorce in their second marriages.
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Allow yourself time to grieve
The reality of what you have lost and starting over can come with a sense of hopelessness. Instead of jumping into another relationship or getting into unhealthy habits to numb the pain, it is advisable to give yourself time to grieve. Like the loss of a loved one to death, divorce requires you to go through stages of grief, including denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and later acceptance. It is important to have people in your life with whom you can share your emotions during the grieving process. Without grieving the loss, your life will be negatively affected.
Regain your sense of identity
It is easy to lose your self-identity in marriage as your life merges with that of your now ex-wife. Life after divorce for men includes finding your way back to yourself and rediscovering who you are and what makes life what it is for you. Tap into your positive attributes and work on overcoming the negative ones to ensure you do not get back into the same habits with your next relationship.
Avoid jumping into a new relationship immediately
After divorce, there are always a lot of emotional issues that need unpacking and addressing. Ignoring these issues and jumping into a new relationship immediately after can be detrimental to healing. While you will eventually need to get out there again, it is advisable to take time out of the dating scene to give yourself time to heal from the heartbreak caused by the divorce. Learn how to enjoy your social life being single again. Giving yourself time away from a committed relationship allows you to put things into perspective and avoid repeating the same mistakes with the next long term relationship.
Work on your relationship with your kids
If you had children in your now ended marriage, it is important to continue working on your relationship with your kids. While every divorce is different, kids often remain with their mother while the dad is given visitation rights or partial custody. Ensure you make the most of your time with them to avoid falling apart or becoming distant. Creating time for them makes it easier to handle the divorce while ensuring your relationship remains intact.
Be ready to co-parent with your new ex
Parenting after divorce is new territory for most men, especially immediately after divorce when emotions are still running high. For the children’s sake, it is upon you and your ex-wife to make co-parenting work. Avoid negative talks about your ex around your kids, and never blame the kids for the divorce.
Even as you care for your physical health after divorce, it is important to remember that your mental health is just as important. If you find it hard to come to terms with the divorce mentally, it is often advisable to speak to a divorce counselor or mental health professional. Seeing a therapist can help you get things into perspective after divorce and gives you access to helpful, professional advice. A therapist will help you find a healthy coping mechanism through the process and help you eventually move on.
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Join a support group
Divorce can be stressful for everyone involved. And the reality of divorce is that most people have been affected by it. Women are more often reaching out for support during a divorce to their family and friends, which is not always easy for men. This is why divorce support groups for men are so important.
Divorce support groups for men are support forums designed to cater to men going through a divorce or newly single men who have recently undergone a divorce. In these groups, men meet to discuss and support each other while offering helpful advice to make life after divorce easier. MensGroup is a leading online support group for men that hosts sessions for divorced men.
Information about MensGroup
Men’s Group is an online support platform for men with the primary goal of creating a positive community for men. Here, men can talk about anything they are going through, including divorce, instead of bottling up their emotions. here you will find helpful advice on family law and even child custody.
During the MensGroup divorce support group meetup, you virtually chat with other group members going through something similar and get divorce recovery help. These online meetings are cost-effective and have been proven effective. Joining MensGroup is your best chance to positively handle divorce and hope for a happier, more fulfilling life, even after divorce.
The Bottom Line
Life after divorce for men can be tasking, both emotionally and financially. Learning how to navigate life after divorce is ideal to ensure you do not lose yourself in the process. It is possible to find happiness again after a divorce. This article highlights helpful tips to help men find their footing in life after divorce. Joining a support group like MensGroup can help you find legal guidance, emotional help, or advice on starting a new life or relationship after divorce.
*Sources: 1. Men become richer after divorce 2. The Divorce Experience: A Study of Divorce at Midlife and Beyond 3. How Divorce Affects Men and Women 4. Men After Divorce: In Touch With Feelings 5. Life After Divorce: How You Can Start Again