Men and divorce
When a marriage ends it affects both parties, and men and women can suffer equally, physically and emotionally. Men, however, often try to put on a brave face, keeping everything bottled up inside. That is not to say they do not have friends or family to talk to, but many are often reluctant to seek out or receive emotional support.
So how do they cope? Research actually states that now more than ever it is the women who are initiating the breakup. It can often come as a complete surprise to many men who thought in their eyes everything was fine. This can lead to them having to move out of the family home and only see their children at weekends if they are lucky. Many have no alternative than to go back to their parents as financially, they cannot possibly support two households. In extreme cases, they can find their spouse has moved their new partner into the family home and they are taking over the co-parenting role.
"When a man loses his wife and family, full-blown depression can quickly set in."
They often feel like they are in sinking in quicksand and lose any motivation which can affect every facet of their life, leading to them acting totally out of character. No matter what your disposition, divorce can totally change you.
The effect of divorce on men
Men often suffer from lack of self-esteem and their pride can take a nosedive as they feel everything they have worked so hard for has come crashing down. They can feel surprised at the anger they feel towards their partner and how that can manifest itself. They can sometimes worry about how their newfound circumstances will affect their status.
Some men will turn to illegal substances or alcohol to try to numb the reality of their situation, but the more they go down these roads the further they move away from the reality they will eventually have to face.
"Another damaging effect that divorce can have on men is the difficulty they have in ever trusting women again. They often harden their resolve to protect themselves from future pain."
Many men will experience denial and delusion hoping suddenly their wife is going to turn round and say it is not really happening. While they are in his frame of mind, they will never be able to move on.
Coping with divorce
You truly need to let go; this phase is probably the hardest and is often extremely painful. The problem is whilst you are holding onto the resentment and bitterness you feel it achieves nothing and you only end up hurting yourself even more. Letting go of these negative emotions is the only way you will ever be able to come out of the fog into the sunlight.
Somehow you need to forgive your ex and yourself. This will seem impossible and somewhat alien but can be your only route for your future happiness and sanity. This does not, however, mean you have to forget what has gone before just to try to let it go.
This may seem an impossible task as you can hardly manage to function from day to day and you may feel you will never be happy again. You sometimes can feel less of a man – emasculation and your performance at work can suffer. You may feel you are only going to work to keep your ex in your family home whilst you can no longer afford the basics of life.
Unfortunately, this is often the reality of divorce today and going to a divorce coach can really help you survive and thrive. I hear you say I cannot afford it, but often seeing someone totally neutral who is not involved can give you the luxury of being able to say whatever comes to mind, without a filter, without interruption or judgement, in total confidence can be totally liberating. You can find the space and clarity to see what is really going on and more importantly what to do about it.
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