How Divorce Changes A Man
Divorce is hard. It hits every party involved in the process like a truck, be it the divorcing couple, their children or even extended family. It is also equally painful for both partners no matter who initiates it. However, in most cases, one partner moves on while the other takes longer and hangs on to those memories and the immense loss. Generally, one would think that women tend to be more emotional and hence take longer to cope with their divorce. But the truth is that men suffer just as much, if not more than women.
There is always more that is lost than gained from a divorce. Losing happiness, health and sometimes even children are the common aftereffects of the process. The question is, whether both spouses lose or gain an equal share? Logically and statistically speaking, men have more at stake than their female counterparts when it comes to permanent separation. They risk losing their family, children and even financial assets if the divorce proceedings turn less than amicable.
The Legal System and Repercussions of Divorce
The system is by default designed to protect women because they’re the more vulnerable group in society. Though this is in their best interest, it often leaves men without any support and at a loss. Apart from the simple fact that divorce is physically and mentally taxing, receiving the short end of the stick is further detrimental to male well-being. The general sense of loss and helplessness is common and every spouse undergoing a divorce feels it. However, there are some lost-lasting effects that may very well change a person permanently. As it stands, these changes usually occur in men.
How Divorce Affects Men
As discussed above, some long-lasting personality changes for men are rooted in divorce. Depending on how bad someone’s divorce was, the severity of its effects also changes. Here are some ways in which a divorce can affect men.
The long-time myth that men aren’t emotional or that they do not perceive emotional pain as women do is just that- a myth. As a matter of fact, men are just as emotional and feel the same magnitude of pain that their spouse does. So why does such a myth exist in the first place? It’s simple – men were expected to be strong, and somehow their physical strength became synonymous with how well they could control their emotions. Though a result of the demanding conditions of masculinity, it bore long-term effects for all men.
As a society, we became so desensitized to male emotions to the point that we didn’t even acknowledge them. This is why even men consider showing emotions a weakness. Throw in a messy divorce and the average man would have no healthy outlet for their emotional grief.
Divorce also bears physical consequences. Many people notice their physical health deteriorating after a divorce as it is a reflection of their inner state. The inner turmoil and stress become apparent with declining health. For men who are already struggling with coming to terms with their emotions, their health may worsen at an even faster rate. Hair and weight loss are some of the most common side effects of divorce for men.
The months following a divorce are some of the most mentally challenging times a person could face in their lifetime. A divorce follows with an onslaught of self-doubt and hatred that is projected onto other people. Without a support system to back you, it is very difficult to cope from the misery that our own brain inflicts upon us.
It is a well-known fact that men often end up losing a big chunk of their money in alimony or child support. This is especially painful in cases where they get a very limited amount of time to spend with their children. The divorce proceeding costs may set back a person by at least a few thousand. Sometimes the attorney and court fees end up being a small fraction of what the spouse demands in financial support.
How Men Change After a Divorce
Now that we have discussed some of the effects of a divorce, we should look at how those effects change men. In some cases the changes may be permanent while in others they may just be a phase that the man eventually overcame. Whether the change is permanent or not largely depends on how they dealt with their grief and if they found support in the time of crisis. The support may either be a person, family, children or even the man’s mind itself.
Men Get Lonely
For many men, the one pillar they need to talk about their problems and seek advice from is their spouse. What happens when they do not have that spouse to share their concerns with and their issue itself stems from their spouse? Most men find it hard to confide in someone else and hence get lonely. They also do not usually have elaborate support systems like women do- of family and friends to rely on.
No Time to Heal
As soon as they’re through with the divorce, most men find themselves back at their grind, even harder than before. They spend extra hours at the office or choose to go out partying with friends or find new partners. Men almost tend to escape their emotions by ignoring them or keeping them hidden. When they don’t have a healthy way of expressing or letting out their grief, it’s impossible to truly heal from the experience.
On the other hand, most women give themselves time to come to terms with their feelings and the fact that they’re divorced. If the average man spent their time like their ex-spouses sorting through their feelings, they would have a much smoother time coping with the reality.
Undermine Their Emotions
As we said above, men don’t seek healthy healing. This is because they feel that it would be over dramatic, and they’ll soon “get over it”. The truth is that they rarely get over it in a healthy way. Men tend to underestimate their feelings and tell themselves to ‘man up’. More often than not, this manning up means sweeping their emotions and feelings under the rug, and waiting for them to manifest into unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Find a New Partner Very Soon
It is very common for most men to find a partner right after their divorce. They usually take this route because they seek the same spousal affection and care they had in their marriage. Additionally, men tend to not count on people other than very close friends or romantic interests. So finding a new partner is a way for them to seek a safe space even if they do not actually talk about their problems with the new partner.
The new relationship also acts as a placeholder for the family they just lost. However, most of these relationships do not flower into beautiful relations simply because they were formed as an escape and to suppress disappointment.
Become Averse to the Idea of a Serious Relationship
Divorces leave many people feeling that marriage is useless simply because like any other relationship, it is not permanent. Any person who marries does so with the hope that they will spend the rest of their lives with that one person. When expectations fail, it is natural to doubt the sanctity of the institution of marriage as a whole. Some men jump into a relationship soon after their divorce. But the chances of it being a simple fling are high.
They begin considering relations as something temporary and may even break things off if they find themselves getting overly involved with a new person.
Lack of Familial Support
As opposed to women, men pull away from other family members as well. This is partly because they do not want to appear weak and also because they do not want to be a burden. After a divorce, women have their family and friends to help them go through the rough patch. Men on the other hand, not only pull away but also deny any help that might come their way.
Additionally, there are also times families consider that they should give some time and space to the man who just got divorced. Families also believe that they are mature enough to deal with it. Since women are considered more emotional, they obviously do not receive the same treatment.
Loss of Self-Esteem
Divorces end up with many people doubting themselves and wondering why they weren’t good enough for their spouses. They begin blaming themselves for not being able to provide for what their spouse needed. The post-divorce period is hard enough to deal with, it becomes a nightmare when a person begins doubting themselves too. Eventually, after months of underestimating themselves, most men develop self-esteem issues.
They begin believing that they aren’t good enough for a new relationship. They also feel that it was their fault that a divorce happened. In the long term, low self-esteem may even keep the man from new relations or even career opportunities.
Men Become More Cynical of Other People and Find it hard to Trust New Partners
If a divorce happened as a result of infidelity, there’s a huge chance that the man would never trust any other person again, especially romantically. As a result, this doesn’t only make them anxious to start a new relationship, it also makes them cynical. When a relationship doesn’t have trust, it is bound to fail. One failed marriage is more than enough to besmirch anyone’s views on relationships as a whole.
The lack of trust ends up ruining other chances at relationships for men. Though they might have on and off relationships, there is very less chance of forming a meaningful connection with a person they truly like.
How Men Can Move On
There is no lack of coping mechanisms to move on from a bad divorce. The thing is that not all of those coping techniques are healthy. If a man intends to get over this part of their life and move on from the hurtful memories, it is imperative to seek the same amount of care as a woman.
Take Your Time
Give yourself time to come to terms with your emotions and loss. If you’re a man, don’t think about getting back into your work or grinding away and ignoring your emotions. This is not how feelings are dealt with. By allowing yourself the time and care you deserve, you understand your value and this keep men from falling into unhealthy habits.
Reach Out to Ask for Help
If you ask for help and seek out friends, there is no chance that you will be turned down. Most times, men do not reach out because they are afraid of being made fun of or denied help. It is also smart to seek professional help.
Be There for your Children
Whatever time you get with your children, try to make the most out of it. Your children may need time with their father, but you need it even more.
Focus on Your Physical Health
Deteriorating health is directly a representation of your inner stress. When you focus on your health, you will find that it is an amazing outlet for your worries too.
Compassionate Legal Representation
Watching the end of a relationship that you spent years building and investing your time, money and emotions into is a painful experience. Going through such a life-changing event without enough support can make things even harder. Many people think that they only need divorce lawyers to settle the proceedings and get things sorted out quickly. However, they miss one important thing. A compassionate divorce attorney could be your pillar of support when you thought you had none. Divorce lawyers deal with divorce every day and have seen the pain that comes with losing your family. You don’t have to suffer through a divorce alone, that is what we at The Vendt Law Firm are here for.