Help for Body, Mind & Spirit

Below are 7 tips for men going through divorce. Divorce is one of the most painful experiences a man or woman can go through. I have been through two divorces and had a brief career as a divorce mediator. I am also a former pastor, who counseled people going through divorce, but didn’t do it very well because I hadn’t been through one yet.

You don’t have to go through divorce to be qualified to help someone going through a divorce, but in my case, I have a deeper understanding and more empathy for anyone who has or who is going through a divorce.

  1. If you haven’t filed yet. Strongly consider using mediation to avoid an adversarial battle. This may be good for lawyers, but it doesn’t serve you, your ex, or your kids well. If both parties are not committed to mediation, then the traditional adversarial approach with lawyers handling everything may be necessary.

2. Allow yourself to grieve. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross described five stages of grief and they apply to the experience of going through divorce. The stages are:


Denial
Anger
Bargaining
Depression
Acceptance


Not every person will go through all of these stages. And you may experience them in different order.

3. Seek emotional support. Women tend to be better at seeking emotional support. Men are more prone to depression after divorce and the suicide rate for men* recently divorced is higher than women. It’s important for men to seek emotional support, to get plenty of sleep, to exercise daily and eat healthy meals.

4. Get involved in social activities. It’s harder for men than women to make new social connections after divorce. Men tend to struggle more with their loss of identity as a husband.

5. Don’t rush into a new relationship. Men tend to remarry quicker than women. In my opinion, from observing men who have remarried, consider waiting at least 2 or more years before you remarry. If you’ve been married 20 or more years, I would recommend waiting 5 or more years. There are other factors to consider, such as, how long you have been dating the person, and how well you really know the person, etc. The main point is, don’t rush into another marriage!

6. Stay involved in your children’s lives. If your ex is trying to keep you from seeing your kids, or is telling the kids that you don’t love them or you aren’t a good Dad. Don’t complain about it to your kids, the kids will see by your actions that you are a good Dad. Make it to their events at school and sports. Do things like sending texts and facetime with your kids if you’re have trouble seeing them often. It may take months, and sometimes even years to work through the hassles of visitation. Try to keep things positive with the kids, even when you’re not feeling it.

If you’re being hampered from seeing your kids on a custody schedule, first try to work it out quietly with your ex. Try to avoid legal battles, but if after a reasonable period of time, you feel you have exhausted all efforts to reach an amicable solution, then consider having your lawyer write a non-threatening letter on your behalf to bring a more serious tone to the issue. Last resort, go back to court for a resolution.

7. Get your own place asap. It’s not a good situation for ex spouses to live together. I know that in some cases this is the only immediate solution, but the sooner you can get your own place, the sooner you can move on with your life.

These are just my opinions based on my experiences. You can agree or disagree, but hopefully something here is helpful for your unique situation.

*See study.


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