No matter who was at fault, divorce is devastating on all accounts. The woman of your dreams is gone, and maybe not even the same person you thought you married. Ultimately, you are disappointed, unhappy, and have lost your zest for life.
Being a newly divorced man seems to come with a label that you have a big failure in your life. It’s normal to feel that way; but try not to make it your focus. You are newly single, and that means you can shift your focus to you. So take care of yourself during this transition. Here are some essential divorce tips for men that will make things a little easier.
1. Take Care of Basic Grooming
Many men, when first divorced, fall into the “I don’t care anymore” trap. They figure, who am I getting dressed up for? They tend to get a little lazy in the basic grooming department. Don’t let this happen to you. Get your haircut every 6-8 weeks. Shower every day, even if you don’t feel like it.
2. Figure Out the Household Stuff
If your wife took care of laundry and cooking, it’s time for you to figure out how and when you will do these things. If you simply can’t fathom doing them yourself and can afford to do so, hire out. Having clean clothes and healthy meals will be well worth the effort. Otherwise, learn to do them yourself. Perhaps cook as much as you can on Sundays to have enough dinners ready for the whole week. Also, do your laundry in the evenings while you’re watching TV.
3. Don’t Give In to Your Demons
When you are depressed, what do you do? Drink? Overeat? Get lazy? Never go out? Don’t give into your demons. Face them. Instead of drinking, go out golfing or shoot pool with a friend. You can certainly hit up restaurants as a way to socialize, but just be careful to eat healthy portions. Besides work, plan on getting out and having fun at least once a week. Maybe you and your buddies could play some basketball, go to a movie, or something else you like to do. The point is to get out of the house.
4. Connect with Others
When women divorce, they tend to reach out and talk about it. Men, not so much. Unfortunately, keeping your negative thoughts and feelings inside isn’t good for you. What you need is to connect with other human beings. You don’t have to spend very much time talking about the divorce itself—though that will be beneficial to let those feelings out—but definitely talk. Connect. It’ll make you happier because you know there are others out there rooting for you.
5. Take a Balanced Approach to Dating
You don’t want to put off meeting women forever, and you definitely don’t want to rush out and go out with the first woman you see, either. Take a more balanced approach. Give yourself some time to get over the initial shock and life change, and then tread carefully. But do get out there. Focus on forming friendships and then see what develops. You’re in no rush, here.
6. Be Nice to Your Ex
Sure, she broke your heart, but she doesn’t have to ruin your life now. You are both adults, so act like it. Let her live her life in peace. If she picks a fight with you, calmly decline. Do the duties the court has appointed you, and do them as agreeable as possible. You will be running into her in the future, so don’t make it weird.
7. Talk to a Professional.
You’re not giving up if you go to therapy. In fact, therapy can help you sort out your thoughts and emotions in a healthy, productive way. It’s best to get in to see someone before the divorce causes you such distress that it affects your work performance and spills into other areas of your life. A counselor can help.
8. Figure Out Your Finances
Now that you are no longer in a marriage, your finances may take a hit. Take a budgeting class or talk to a financial planner. Do what you need to do to get your finances in order. Take stock of your debts, figure out where you’re at with retirement savings, and all of your other obligations. It can be scary at times, but better to face reality now so you can work towards a more stable future.
9. Follow Your Passions
What do you want out of life? What have you always wanted to do but never done? Maybe now is a good time to travel somewhere exotic, start a business, or take a class. This is your time to develop your new sense of identity. Follow your passions and you’ll feel better about yourself.
10. Laugh as Much as Possible
It’s so easy to get down during this big life change. So go to comedy shows, watch funny movies or TV shows, hang out with funny people, and just look for the fun in life. You’ll feel so much better.