A divorce is an emotional event that can take a long time to get over. For many people, the process can take years. What is interesting is how the different genders cope with the end of a marriage. Women tend to get a lot of support, whether it is from friends, family members, or therapists. Men? Not so much?
Men are known for being brave and strong. Men are often taught to hide their feelings. Sharing their feelings is often seen as weak and unmanly.
Because of this, women tend to get more attention after a divorce. People focus on how they are doing since they are seen as the ones who are the most affected. Meanwhile, the men get ignored. They struggle on their own, causing them to spiral into depression.
Men are often just as affected as women. They may look as though they are relieved about the situation, but they struggle immensely. After all, divorce is an emotional event. It is second only to death, so as you can imagine, there is a lot of grieving going on, even if the man looks fine and seems to be moving on with life.
There is a lot of stress and anxiety going on. There is fear of the unknown. Men suffer from a lot of negative effects from a divorce, including lack of appetite, avoiding friends and family, avoiding responsibilities, aggression, and fighting. In many cases, they are dealing with a lack of focus at work, which can even affect their career.
Divorced men are prone to depression, mental health problems, and substance use. The death rate of divorced men is 250% higher than the death rate of married men. This is a serious issue that is not often talked about and, therefore, not addressed.
How Divorce Affects Men Differently
The main reason why men don’t get the support they need is that divorce affects them differently. Here are some ways:
- Loss of identity. A married man has a family. That is often how they identify themselves. It’s what shapes their perspective on life. When a man gets divorced, they lose their family and, in a sense, their identity. A divorce results in a change in routine. Men do not get to see their spouses and children as much, which can be a depressing reality.
- Child custody issues. Making this loss of identity even worse is the fact that women tend to get custody of the children more often than men do. So not only is the man losing his spouse, but he’s essentially losing his children as well. He loses the bond he shared with them. He may be missing out on important milestones, which causes immense frustration. This can lead to a lot of anxiety and cause the man to spiral into a deep depression.
- Financial issues. Divorced men tend to fare better than women when it comes to finances. Women are often the ones who are caring for children and trying to make ends meet, making it harder to work a full-time job. Men are often forced to pay alimony and child support to help the struggling ex-spouse, so they are pretty much supporting two households. This really drains their bank accounts, which can add a lot of anxiety to an already depressing situation.
- Health issues. Men tend to rely on their spouses for support regarding their health. Their spouses may encourage them to exercise and eat healthily. They may do the grocery shopping and cooking. Women also make doctor appointments for their husbands. This all ends in a divorce, so the man is on his own when it comes to taking care of his health. This is no longer his spouse’s responsibility, so men tend to see their health decline in a divorce. They face a much higher risk of heart disease. They also suffer from insomnia, weight problems, and stress. Men are also more likely to engage in substance abuse and other unhealthy habits. This leads to an increased mortality rate for men.
- Adjusting to a new life. Men who have been married for a long time want to keep up with the status quo. They have a hard time coping as they go from married to single. They have to learn to do household chores. They may have to adjust their social lives to stay away from mutual friends. They may have to make friends with single or divorced people.
Coping With Divorce
Here is how men can cope with divorce:
- Accept it. Divorce is typically initiated by women, so men are often in denial. The quicker you can accept the situation, the easier it is to move on.
- Get support. Women deal with divorce better because they have a support system. Have a group of friends and family members you can turn to. Seeing a therapist can also be helpful.
- Give yourself time. Do not feel the need to hide your emotions and move on quickly. This only delays the healing process. Instead, take time to process your emotions and drive your loss.
- Keep busy. A good way to move on from divorce is to keep yourself busy. Find new hobbies to engage in. Spend time with loved ones. You are more likely to feel depressed when you have too much time on your hands.
Seek Legal Help
When a couple goes through a divorce, people tend to focus on the woman and support her through the situation. Men are often ignored, but they also need support.
Whether you are a man or a woman going through a divorce, Broward County divorce attorney Scott J. Stadler will give you the support you need. Count on us to help you manage all the legal and emotional aspects. Call (954) 346-6464 or fill out the online form to schedule a consultation.