10 Ways to Cope With Divorce as a Man
In This Article
Divorce can be one of the most challenging and emotional experiences that a person can go through, regardless of their gender. One of the questions people hardly pay attention to is how to cope with divorce as a man.
However, it’s important to remember that it’s okay to feel upset, sad, and overwhelmed during this time. The good news is that there are many ways to cope with the challenges of divorce.
Whether you’re struggling with anger, sadness, or simply feeling lost, these tips can help you navigate this difficult time and begin to heal. So, read on to learn about the emotions of a man going through a divorce and how to cope with it.
What divorce does to a man
Men have always been regarded as the strong, brave gender who believe in restrictive forms of expressing emotions.
Besides, our society has been structured to make men believe that no matter what they go through in life, they should mask their feelings and not expose them in the presence of others. They should act strong and move on almost immediately.
Divorce is one of the life crises many people experience. When it happens, the women in the situation usually get all the attention. People feel they are the most affected. Unfortunately, this isn’t entirely true. Divorce involves a man as much as a woman. In fact, in some events, they are affected the most.
In addition, divorce changes a man completely. It is an emotional roller coaster that leaves men hopping from one draining emotion to another exhaustive one. It leaves men drained, vulnerable, and hopeless. Even if there was never love in the union, putting an end to a marriage can create a big hole in your heart.
Divorce is never easy; it’s regarded as one of the most stressful events in life after the death of a loved one. At first, some men may feel relief, but the reality soon dawned on them. This relief quickly fades into oblivion, giving way to fear, anxiety, stress, and eventually depression.
While men may experience an initial sense of relief, the euphoria quickly fades away and makes way for post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and post-divorce depression.
Some of the symptoms related to these conditions include lack of appetite, avoiding friends and family, leaving responsibilities, lack of focus at work, transferring aggression, and fighting.
Though many people don’t believe moving on after divorce as a man is challenging, several studies and research have confirmed that the claims are far from reality.
For example, a 2005 study suggested that divorce often affects men’s careers. Dealing with divorce as a man is equally hard and life-threatening for men.
Naturally, a stable man becomes a broken man after divorce. So, why don’t you hear much of the emotions of a man going through a divorce? That’s because men tend to suffer in silence. Consequently, resentment builds up, and depression sets in.
How does divorce affect men mentally?
Divorce doesn’t just affect men mentally but physically, psychologically, and spiritually. According to a 2013 study, divorced men are prone to depression, mental health problems, substance use, and so on. The paper’s authors also found the death rate of divorced men to be 250% higher than married men.
In addition, men going through divorce are at risk of experiencing health problems such as hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, or cold. This is evidence that divorce affects men, but people don’t know because of how men deal with divorce. The following are the other ways divorce affects men:
5 ways divorce affects men
Divorce can be devastating for both parties. However, it can be different for men. Check out the 5 ways divorce affects men:
1. Loss of identity
Although it’s not always true, our society considers married men more responsible than single men. A family makes up a large part of who you are. They shape your personality and perspective in life.
It is also a crucial part of your life. However, when a divorce happens, men lose this part. I’m the case of a man who loses his spouse, children, happiness, family, and bond built over the years. In addition, women get custody of children.
This sudden dynamic and change in life routine can lead to a pause in a man’s life. It’s devastating and can affect a man’s mental health significantly. Adjusting to the new reality of not seeing your children and spouse is hard on men.
2. Dealing with child custody
Another crucial area of divorce that affect men’s mental health is the issue of child custody. Often, women get child custody because of their natural nurturing role. Even if the man is willing to take care of the children, women win, especially when the children are young.
Getting separated from your children can be emotionally draining. It affects a man in more ways than anyone can imagine. He loses his sense of identity and starts feeling worthless.
It worsens if you don’t witness important milestones in your children’s lives. In turn, it leaves you frustrated, gloomy, and resentful. Consequently, you experience depression, stress, and anxiety.
3. Inability to adjust
Another way that divorce affects men is an inability to cope with the changes around them.
Getting used to cooking alone or doing house chores may take a little while, to learn. However, you might find it challenging to adjust to your social life. Visiting some places where you attend with your family will now be almost impossible.
Attending social gatherings where they know you and your family becomes challenging. You may find dealing with you and your partner’s mutual friend very to. In most cases, you may have to find solace in single or divorced people.
4. Financial capacity dwindles
Besides not getting the children’s custody, men are usually mandated to provide financial means for their ex-spouse and children. It doesn’t matter if the ex-spouse is financially independent; a substantial part of the man’s income must go to the children and their upkeep.
Being separated from your lovely children is enough to kill, yet you still have to pay through your without full access to them. It’s devastating managing two households and getting forced to adapt to a possible change in lifestyle.
Related Reading: 20 Financial Pros and Cons of Getting Married Later in Life
5. Health becomes affected
Surviving divorce for a man isn’t child’s play. Eventually, their health takes a back seat. There has been much evidence to suggest that men resort to substance use in the case of divorce.
Besides, many men rely on their partners for emotional and primary support; this position is empty when divorce happens.
According to Harvard’s submission on men’s health in dealing with divorce, divorced men are at high risk of dying of heart disease. Similarly, a 2013 research believes divorce affects men’s social, biological, spiritual, and psychological health.
These are the other ways men going through divorce are affected:
- Divorced men are more likely to suffer from heart disease.
- Due to low appetite and poor eating habits, divorced men may experience extreme fluctuation in their health and weight.
- Divorced men are likely to experience stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
- Divorced men may suffer loneliness, regret, self-denial, self-blame, and guilt.
- The mortality rate for divorced men is significantly higher than that of married men.
6 stages of divorce for a man
Before the reality of divorce sets in properly for a man, there are certain stages that he must pass through. These factors are in phases, from arguments to discussions with your spouse to reasoning. Learn about the 6 stages of divorce for a man below:
1. The denial stage
It’s safe to say that many men don’t see the full repercussions of divorce at the beginning. According to research, women tend to initiate divorce the most. Men regard it as one of those devastating life events when it happens. They show no emotion or reared it as normal at first.
Also, they use the escape mechanism to avoid discussing the divorce process. Sooner or later, this euphoria wears off their face, and reality sets in – their partner is leaving or has left!
Related Reading: 4 Stages of Divorce and Separation
2. Sadness and sorrow
Getting over a divorce for a man isn’t easy because of the sadness that follows once the divorce paper is served. This makes it harder for men to express their feelings as often as women. A man could be going through deeply rooted sorrow yet perform normally among his friends.
Proper pain sets in at this period, and no distraction, like taking substances or alcohol, could take it away. You get sad that the things that make you happen might disappear from your life. In this case, some common reactions are anger, transfer of aggression, ignoring responsibilities, and lack of focus.
Naturally, anger sets in after going through turmoil, pain, and sadness. At this stage, the mind is mostly preoccupied with negative thoughts and emotions. You start to transfer aggression, lashing out at friends and family. You become so pained and might resort to self-blame.
Also, you may break things or throw items at the wall. Everything and everyone is annoying at this stage. The pain of going through divorce as a man is large. It’s worse because you can’t show how you feel to others. Your attachment to your spouse, children, and family becomes broken.
The common experience of men going through a divorce is loneliness. Once the separation is complete, men find that their partner has a significant role in their life. They see the loophole created by the departure of their partner.
No matter how small, a man feels the absence of his partner. Consequently, loneliness gradually leads to depression, which can significantly affect men’s mental health.
Related Reading: 15 Signs of Loneliness in a Relationship and How to Deal With It
One of the most affecting stages of divorce for a man is the depression phase. The depression stage is inevitable. Even if you have a strong support system, it’s hard not to think about your life before divorce and after.
Once you are separated from your family, you have a lot of time to think and overthink. You start analyzing the onset of the problem, how you started a relationship with your wife, the happiest moments, and when issues started arising.
Could you have done anything to prevent the situation? Was it your fault? Was it your partner’s fault? How did you get to this point in your marriage? All these thoughts occupy your mind, and you have no time for other things. Post-divorce depression can be difficult to deal with, but there is a way out.
6. Deciding and moving on
At this stage, you either let the divorce define or control you. Some people resort to many implicating actions, like substance or drug use, alcohol, or dating different women. On the other hand, some men accept their situation and move on.
They may begin to date again or give themselves some time to recover from the shock of the divorce. It may take a while, but you will eventually get better if you accept your divorce and focus on other important aspects of your life.
Learn about the 8 stages of dating in this video:
5 things to avoid after divorce
The emotions of a man going through a divorce can be disorganized. In other words, a broken man after divorce, can act irrationally or make hasty decisions. Whatever you do when dealing with divorce as a man, you should avoid the following:
1. Don’t make any physical changes
One piece of advice for men going through a divorce is to avoid making any drastic changes to their bodies. Ignore making that haircut or getting a tattoo on your arm to show your ex-spouse that you’ve moved on. It’s normal to feel like showing people that divorce does not affect you.
It’s also normal to feel rebellious after a divorce. However, you should call down and focus on moving on. You will make the changes later, but don’t rush. Otherwise, you might regret some decision.
Related Reading: 30 Physical Signs Your Wife Is Cheating on You
2. Don’t resort to substance use
Although you might feel like substance use will help you forget the pain of divorce, it won’t.
What you get is a temporary relief that later compounds and becomes worse once you finish substance use. Instead of using drugs or taking alcohol, focus on healthy coping mechanisms like being around friends and family or participating in a public event.
3. Don’t hook up with an ex
If you wish to know how to cope with divorce as a man, don’t call your ex. There is a reason you aren’t dating anymore. So, look at this reason again and stand firm. Besides, you just had a divorce with someone closest to your heart, and reuniting with an old feeling isn’t the right way to go.
4. Don’t badmouth your ex
Painting your ex badly outside only shows your insecurity and pain. Accept the reality of your divorce, regardless of whose fault it is. See it as one of life’s troubling events and console yourself that it shall soon pass. Insulting your ex-spouse in public or on social platforms reveals your pain more.
5. Don’t ignore counseling
When moving on after divorce as a man, embrace counseling or marriage therapy. These sessions help you pour out your feelings to someone experienced and who understands your situation better. Also, it allows you to understand some aspects of the divorce that might seem confusing to you.
So, how exactly do you cope with divorce?
10 ways to cope with divorce as a man
Divorce experiences differ from man to man. As such, how individuals respond to divorce also changes. Nonetheless, coping with divorce in the best way will help you move on quickly and be a better man. Learn about the tips for recently divorced men and how to cope with divorce as a man below:
1. Accept your divorce
One great tip on how to cope with divorce as a man is to accept the divorce. Your partner is no longer with you. You need to embrace this new change. That way, you can take the right steps to adapt to the new lifestyle. Living in denial will only stall your progress to recovery.
Related Reading: What if I Don’t Want a Divorce? 10 Things You Can Do
2. Build the right support system
Avoid people who always remind you of your ex-partner or how things would have been better if your ex was still around. Also, don’t encourage people who pity you. They will only make you feel more depressed. Instead, connect with people who support you and understand your feelings.
3. Understand how it will impact your life
The truth about how divorce changes a man is that it affects your life one way or the other. If you often visit a particular place with your wife, know that some people might question you if you stay alone.
Family members who aren’t aware will also ask. How you dress, eat, talk, and react will change in the absence of your partner. Know them and act accordingly.
Related Reading: 25 Types of Relationships and How They Affect Your Life
4. Give yourself time
Divorce is the loss of your partner and marriage. It can take a huge toll on your life. Therefore, you need time to grieve such a loss and understand its effect on your life. This isn’t the time to man up, but the time to heal comfortably.
5. Focus on your health
One way divorce affects men going through a divorce is health. Divorce is bound to cause stress and anxiety in your life.
Naturally, these affect your mind, body, and soul. Thankfully, you can combat it before it degenerates. You can recuperate from whatever ailment your divorce caused by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
6. Redefine yourself
This new change in your life calls for reassessment and reevaluation. The divorce has happened, and it’s time to move on. To do that, however, you need a plan. Planning involves highlighting the things that can help you.
For example, you can change your life by having a new hobby or interest or focusing on getting promoted at work. Also, imbibing new habits like eating healthy and exercising regularly can help.
Forgiveness is crucial if a relationship ends. First, forgive yourself for the things you thought you could have done to certain decisions you took. You didn’t know better. Besides, understand that you are a human and no one is above mistakes.
In addition, forgiving your ex-spouse forgives them for your own sake. It relieves you of the hatred and burden you may be carrying. It also helps you move on faster and focus on important things.
Related Reading: 20 Reasons to Forgive but Not Forget in Relationships
8. Connect with family and friends
One of the quickest ways to lift yourself out of depression is to be in the midst of your family and friends.
These people can help you express your feelings appropriately if you feel angry; they are also the best people to understand your circumstances. Also, they help you build new perspectives around your life.
9. Create new hobbies
To learn how to cope with divorce as a man, create new hobbies. For example, you may volunteer for a charity organization or participate in activities that involve helping others.
10. Go for counseling
The best thing to do for yourself in divorce is to embrace counseling or marriage therapy. A professional counselor helps you overcome stress, anxiety, and depression when dealing with divorce as a man.
Related Reading: Top 5 Benefits of Marriage Counseling Before Divorce
More questions on ways to cope with divorce as a man
Coping with divorce as a man can have its own ups and downs. Check out these further questions to understand better:
Who loses more in a divorce?
Several studies have examined men and women who suffer and lose more in divorce. In some countries, men appear to lose more as they share their properties equally with their partners in a divorce settlement.
Also, they might have to pay more when children are involved. However, in some situations, women lose more even when they have divorce settlements. It all depends on the individuals involved and their location.
Who is more likely to get remarried after divorce?
The person who is more likely to get remarried after divorce can be a man or a woman. It all depends on the individuals concerned and the circumstances surrounding the divorce.
Are second marriages happier?
Second marriages may be happier or better than first due to many reasons. Also, it depends on the partners involved and their intentions.
A second marriage may be more satisfying because individuals know what they are looking for and have low expectations. Also, you are smarter, more strategic, and more reasonable in your second marriage than your first.
Divorce signals the end of the union between two people. Dealing with divorce as a man is dicey because men hardly express their feelings. However, it doesn’t mean they don’t get affected.
Therefore many people want to know how to deal with divorce as a man. This relationship guide has explored how divorce changes men and how to cope with it.
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