I went through a pretty bad divorce a few years ago, but I survived to tell the tale. I now want to help other men cope with divorce.
Men after divorce often live an invisible life of pain and suffering. The absolute disintegration of their life and identity takes a toll that few people see or want to deal with. Society is happy enough to see and deal with the tears of women, but we seem collectively uncomfortable seeing a man in distress and so ignore it.
To add to this problem, men who are finding it hard to move on from divorce do not actively seek out help from others. Often they feel it will make them look and feel weak and like less of a man.
This bottling up of emotions and lack of perspective leads men to feel they are isolated and shunned. In fact, many feel shunned because they often are shunned by a portion of the community who take it upon themselves to demonise the husband in a failed marriage no matter what the circumstances.
This article will look at some ways men can change this situation to be able to live a life free of the negativity and emotional pain of post-divorce life.
What Men Should NOT Do After Divorce
First, I just wanted to point out a few things you should avoid doing at all costs to improve your chances of living a happier life after divorce.
Do Not Try to Reconcile
The dream for many men is that, at the last minute, you can find some sort of reconciliation with your wife or ex-wife, and the whole horrible experience can be put behind you, and you will start your marriage again with a whole new perspective.
This is a fantasy that men create to avoid dealing with the hard truth of the matter and the difficult task of accepting a divorce and being able to move on. This is denial which we all go through to some degree; getting stuck in this phase is the real danger.
So if you are calling your ex-wife often, begging or pleading, waiting and not doing anything in your life 'just in case' she comes back and other similar things, then you need to stop that and take the first brave step into the unknown. This will bring on a wave of new and often horrible emotions, but you will need to feel them rather than denying them or it becomes worse later.
Do Not Use Children as Game Pieces
This should seem obvious, but when you start getting into tit-for-tat battles with your ex-spouse, you often do not realise just how harmful your actions are to your children (if you have kids). Children are innocent victims of divorce, and while it is often the painful reality that men become isolated from their children because of divorce, no good can come of trying to manipulate them or the situation around them for your own gain.
The best thing you can do is to give them the most stable and loving life possible in this situation. Being a good father is the best thing you can do, even if it is in a limited capacity. Knowing that you are doing the right thing by your children in trying circumstances is also a way to gain more self-respect for yourself, which is an essential part of overcoming issues of self-worth which bring misery to men after divorce.
Do Not Try to Boost Your Self-Esteem
To follow on from the last point is another about your feelings of self-worth. This is at an all-time low in your life after divorce, which leads to a very bad set of actions that too many men take to feel a little better.
What I am talking about are short-term self-esteem-boosting actions that make you feel more powerful, more in control, and more wanted. The problem is that anything done so quickly never lasts long. Alcohol, violence, loose women, drugs, and many other actions that make you feel good for a short time quickly fade, making you feel even worse. In extreme cases, these things become an addiction as you feed your ego over and over again with things that do not nourish it, but instead make it even hungrier!
What Men SHOULD Do After Divorce
In this section, I hope to give some usable hints on what you need to be doing to survive a divorce, be happy and give yourself the motivation and direction you need.
Know the Grieving Process
When you get divorced, you go through a mental process that is the same as any other situation where you lose a loved one. This is grief, and it is an important process to go through to move on from the situation and accept it. This cycle follows these stages for nearly all people in this situation:
Just knowing that there is a process that we are all hard-wired to go through is an important part of being able to move through these horrible bits of your life quickly and learn from them as well.
So do not be afraid to feel these emotions; just make sure to view them in context and learn from each part as much as you can. Once you have let out all of the negative feelings, it is like purging yourself of a poison and being able to live without a bleeding and festering wound.
Know You Can Always Control Your Actions, If Not Your Feelings
Another thing that I see many men say is that they could not control themselves when they get angry, or spiteful, or depressed or take any sort of destructive action. While it may seem harsh, the truth is you must always own your actions, no matter what.
If you do something, you let yourself do it; your emotions and feelings influenced you, but they did not force you to do anything. No matter what rage or injustice you feel, you are in total control of your own actions. Lack of self-control is a lack of self-respect, which (as we have discussed) is an essential part of being a happier and better-adjusted person.
IF you cannot control anything in your life—your ex-wife, your financial situation, your children, your work, and of course your volatile emotions—you can always ONLY control yourself. If you seize this opportunity to control your actions and words, you are taking a step into being a stronger and more capable person who will cope and be happy in time.
Work Towards Forgiveness
This may seem laughable to many men, and I can understand the feelings completely.
"Me? Forgive that woman for what she did to me? Never!"
I said that to myself a number of times before I saw the truth at the heart of the matter. Resentment is the most punishing thing you can do to YOURSELF. Being bitter, holding a grudge, storing away your anger to serve as some sort of misguided warning to yourself and to others as you talk to about the perceived "evils" of marriage is all too common and serves no purpose. It will never inhibit your ex-wife in any way at all; instead, you restrict how happy and fulfilled YOU can be.
The way to truly get over this is forgiveness. This is not condoning anything; this is not forgetting anything. Forgiveness just means that you no longer carry this burden and you no longer have the capacity for hatred even if you may never understand what happened or what they were thinking!
This requires you to have a better grasp of your own self-image and self-worth first and is the final stage in your journey of divorce recovery.
I hope that this article has been useful to some men after divorce looking for some advice to help them cope. I understand firsthand how unbearable the situation is: the loss of identity, the feelings of emasculation, loss of contact with children, loss of emotional nourishment and the feelings of rage and hopelessness that invade your every day.
You're not alone.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Andy on May 20, 2020:
My wife of 23 years was diagnosed with trichomoniasis, was convinced I committed adultery, contracted it and passed it onto her. I did none of these things. She did not believe me as she took the medical advice that it was sexually transmitted, which I know is untrue. However I could not convince her of my absolute innocence and we are in the process of divorce, 16 months down the line. My 3 grown up daughters are also convinced I am guilty!
I feel totally lost! My family and future has been torn apart by this. Does anyone have knowledge or experience of this??
Scott on January 21, 2020:
Been married for 13 years. She wants a separation for me to get myself together and for her to see if she can make it on her own. She started dating again after about 4 weeks. We live in the same home still and it’s torcher. The kids are the only reason I’m still there. Emotional stability is absolutly key. When I feel hurt I deal with it ASAP. No bottle of it up. Let it out
RxRx Pete on January 07, 2020:
Never get married in the first place. Money will never stab you in the back like people do. I wish the darkest of karma for all of the back stabbers of the world. Once I learned how to love money I learned to feel better. Trust no one.
Guilty on October 17, 2019:
i havent seen many articles on the guilt a man feels for divorcing his wife of 33 years. she is a wonderful person, good wife and mom, but after 33 years i just couldnt stay married to her. i feel so much guilt for making her world crash. she didnt want it. nearing retirement, we had so many dreams and plans and i took all that away from her. we are still friendly. its been 7 months divorced after 2 years of separation.
Freedom on June 23, 2019:
I went thru a trifecta of bad events. 3rd son born had many issues doing well now. Then bankruptcy and then divorce. We were together for 15 years. It was never a good Marriage. The divorce took 2 years to get Thru. It was a lot. I’m at the end of the 2 year increment now. Happy to say, I’m doing very well! It took so much work and a lot of therapy! I’m found myself and true core confidence and happiness again. I’m still a work I’m progress, but I’m so great full to feel alive again! I’m rebuilding and feeling so good about it. It is possible to be happy and thrive. Hope this helps someone out there.
Pearce on April 26, 2019:
Last night was the first time I ever decided I needed to actually read about what I was going through. I'm 6 months separated from my soon to be ex-wife and I was going through a patch of guilt over the hurt she was going through.
I find myself romanticizing the memory of her (12 years) after not seeing her for extended periods of time. It was starting to feel like I wanted to go back. But then I have to remind myself of why I had an affair in the first place, the kind of damage I was taking over years & years of neglect, no matter how much I tried to help our marriage. After trying everything in my power and then also professional help for us, it came to the point where I couldn't take it anymore.
I feel like its one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make in my life because she is a good woman. A fantastic woman. One in a million kind of woman. But just not the right woman for what I needed in a marriage. And she would take me back in a heartbeat, even though I had the affair. But how does one go back to something you've tried working on for 10 years and never succeeded. Doesn't matter how much she wants to say she's only now realised what I've wanted from her all this time.
The problem I have is that I am still seeing the woman I had an affair with. I'm worried that there is no separation time between the end of one relationship & the next. Everything I've been reading says that you have to give yourself time to "find yourself" again, grieve, heal. What makes matters even more complicated is that my ex-wife wanted to be friends with the woman I had an affair with & has subsequently done so. Talk about the most bizarre turn of events.
There is just SO MUCH confusion, turmoil, mixed emotions that I'm just feeling like I'm stumbling around in the dark, blindfolded with the floor strewn with lego blocks.
While in the thick of the middle of all this, I'm thankful for articles which outline things that make me realise I'm not going crazy. At least not as crazy as I think. Reading everyone's comments has little bits that I can take as consolation & reassurance.
I am definitely going to be seeking out a psychologist to help me through this & hopefully can find some divorce men support groups. Although 'support groups' aren't really big in my country from what I know.
Steve Sikora on March 12, 2019:
Wow this is sooo right on! I am working thru these feelings of my world falling apart currently with the help of a Phsycologist and a divorce group. I think ther may be something to this forgivness thing.
Because it clears the road for you to travel. it removes all the road blocks you yourself have put up. Still gunna be tuff with decisions about moving on and where to but Even the longest journey.........
Mike on December 13, 2018:
Forgiveness is something for yourself. Anger/ frustration and blame toward your ex is mirror images for feeling towards yourself. Let it go
Bret on September 23, 2018:
Forgiveness is VERY hard to process and do. It's not a switch. It's a discipline. Unlike Steve below, I do believe forgiveness is the way to go. She doesn't need to know. It's mostly important to ones self. My ex walked out after 22 yrs. We had issues - mostly communication related. I was unhappy and discouraged but, never considered or wanted divorce. Just improvement. She walked out. Came back several times, only to leave again within few days. Placed all the blame on me. As time went on the accusations, defensiveness, and voracity got worse. It's taken me two years to realize, she was done long ago and falling for her old hs boyfriend. Half way thru counseling, she quit, detached, filed for divorce and moved 400 miles away. We haven't seen nor spoke in 2 years. 3 yrs ago I never thought I would be divorced and would have laughed if someone said we will never speak again. I've accepted this all to be true now. I was VERY angry for a long time..never hated. I tried but could not. I will forgive her within myself. I'm slowly learning it is easier on me to have that control of myself and my feelings. I won't hate her. I doubt I will ever say I forgive her - that would require lots of conversation that will never occur. I know I will be civil and lean on my inner strength to be a classy adult around her/family at a few future family events. It only requires a few hours. My mindset is to: forgive, heal and let the memories of marriage fade into as much 'nothingness' as possible. It is more important for healing, peace of mind and life. She will never know - which, is best. Simply - she will never know.
Steve on August 09, 2018:
The author is wrong about forgiveness. There is no way to forgive my Ex Whore for what she did. Notice the author doesn't tell you how to work yourself up to forgiveness, just that you need to do it. He doesn't tell you how because he can't; it simply is not possible for a normal healthy rational man to do. He equates forgiveness with not having the capacity to hate her anymore as if that is a good thing. I suggest that if a man can truly forgive his Ex for her crimes it does not mean he has to stop hating her. Nor is hating her a bad thing. It can have very positive consequences such as protecting oneself from the Ex in the future and not making the marriage mistake again. Our Liberal society has devolved to the point where there isn't one good reason for marriage, ever. But if a man chooses to make that mistake again after being raped in divorce then he gets what he deserves. To conclude, real men after divorce do not forgive. They HATE their Ex with all their might and carry that with them the rest of their lives. That is the reality of life. I will stop hating my Ex when I have my revenge on her and that will be when I pay a visit to her grave and relieve myself on her to pay my respects. I promised her I would see her again when they were putting her 6 feet under and that is one promise I plan on keeping!
Carl Chart on July 15, 2018:
I just found out literally 16 hours ago that my wife of 9 years (together 17) cheated on me recently with a man she had a long term relationship with over 25 years ago. She loves him and is moving accross the country to be with him soon.
Things have been not-great for a couple years, and it will be better for both of us, but I never thought I could experience this much emotional pain.
The next several months are going to be incredibly hard. The content in this site provides some much needed comfort and perspective.
Anonymous on March 31, 2018:
Why are these articles that are supposed to help men move on so completely different than what women are being told?
The advice I gather from the articles targeted for men are to forgive and FORGET. But not all situations are the same.
Men reading this (and other) articles are seeking help through confusing and difficult times. Yet they are being directed to
actually move on. To forget any hope of reconciliation and to basically have tunnel vision about what their future holds. But some relationships can be salvaged. So many couples jump on the divorce bandwagon and end up unable to see anything but hate. This tears apart both parties from the inside out. But there are many methods to be considered and tried before a couple reaches the point of no return.
Counseling isn’t something couples do only when things are so bad there’s no feasible way to make it work.
As I learned in my own marital experience, counseling is something a couple should consider at any stage of marriage when things begin to feel rocky. As I’m sure many of you have heard, good communication is a very important key to a strong marriage.
So many couples hear the word counseling and immediately imagine the worst. “It’s not bad enough for counseling!”
Counseling is just a tool to discover any underlying issues, to teach better communication skills, and it allows both parties to speak freely about their feelings. A good counselor is basically a person on the “outside “ of the situation who can
see things more clearly than those living in it.
So rather than preaching for someone to forget everything they’ve just been through, at least offer advice on making sure the reader has exhausted all healthy options to work things out before
hardening the heart and feeling confident about their decision to be out of the marriage. If that is the case, then it is time to move on.
Daniel on March 17, 2018:
Thanks so much for your advice Mr author, i divorced my wife in 2014 up now am just leaving with my kids tho my heart is telling me to look for samoneelse but am scared because I don't know the person am looking for and how she is going to keep my kids. Am humbling ask for your favour if you can help me by arranging someone for me since u have experience in this thing.am in Africa specific zamia
Yande on March 04, 2018:
It Will be 2 years since my divorce my career is fantastic ,i met a nice lady 5 years younger than my ex-wife ,over the years of being with my ex-wife i realized she has a Narcissistic personality disorder i will forgive her but for people people like its better no contact they emotionally damage you
Steve I on February 24, 2018:
Just 3 months shy of our 25th wedding anniversary I found out my wife has been cheating on me. Shes attended AA where she started having affairs after the meetings. She blamed it all on me, the alcoholism, incessant social media, depression, over eating and now affairs. No apology, no regret so the decision was very easy. I kicked her out. It absolutely devastated me but I know it had to be done. She promptly moved in with one of her lovers.
Panthro01, your ex sounds much like mine. It took many years but we finally got a diagnosis about 6 months before the end of our marriage. She was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder among a list of other mental issues.
If your significant other is driving you crazy, blaming you for things you haven't done, nothing making sense, nothing adding up, consider a personality disorder.
Men drive themselves crazy trying to psychoanalyze their mates when nothing adds up. The equation becomes very simple if you add the consideration of mental disorders. It gave me peace that while I'm not perfect, the challenge I had trying to help my ex was impossibly difficult and it was not my fault. When I read up on BPD, it was like someone had handed me a manual on her. Unfortunately the prognosis for BPD relationships is very poor.
Jenny ab on February 24, 2018:
My divorce was finalized this week. We were separated 3 years, and married hardly a year. Still the pain of the divorce was crushing. I came here to see, understand better what my ex husband may be feeling. I can't tell cause he always has that poker face. This article is great as it gives practical advice for men facing divorce. You were right about women having good support systems and so we are able to talk it out and grieve. My ex had a drinking problem which eventually made me want to leave. He too was unhappy in the marriage but dint want it to end . It hurt me to cut off calls, not respond to messages, but it was the only way to completely cut off and let him know it was over. I believe divorce however painful, gives us an opportunity to see ourselves as we are, to see our demons, I have a bad temper and this affected communication with my husband while we were married. I would not have known the extent of my temper tantrums if I was not in this marriage. Now as we are aware of our demons, we can control it instead of the other way around. I sincerely hope my ex can recover from his alcohol addiction and lead a peaceful and responsible life. And hope we can forgive each other and move on
Panthro01 on January 04, 2018:
Hi all, I was married for 26 years and lived together for 4 years making it a 30-year marriage. After first 10 years, things started going to pot she would accuse me of things I had never done blaming me for her feelings and all the time I could not understand where any of this was coming from. I discovered a marriage guidance to try and work through our issues and it cost a fortune for us to attend once a week but nothing seemed to be working I would walk out afterward and still seemed as confused and when I went in. I thought there was something wrong with me. Anyway one day I was working in my shed and she came in to talk and we did which started out great then I said to her at least I have never cheated on you at this point she stopped talking and made an excuse to leave after 10 minutes I thought this was strange so I went after her and repeated myself and then the bullet to the head she just openly said she had an affair 20 years ago. all the bits of the puzzle connected in one flash of light so to speak. She has been battling with herself for 20 years lying and blaming me for all her sins all the arguments we had which made no sense to me. All the time we went to therapy and she did not even have the courage to tell me in a safe environment. We are now divorced and living separate lives and I have only seen her once at my daughters graduation. I know its over but I cannot seem to forgive her even when I really try. 26 years of abuse and lies and all the time she looked at me saying she loved me was all a lie in my book. I have gone through the DABDA and it has been 2.5 years and I am still going through all the DABDA time and again when will it stop? I know the questions I have will never be answered and try not to blame her but to forgive her but the unresolved issues I have is driving me insane. How do I let it all go?
Jeremy on December 17, 2017:
Its been months. For the first time since the split I am finally happy and things are going well. I look better, feel better, and have self worth again. I am also now seeing someone who gives me what I never thought I could get back after our split. I spent the first two months crying and being emotional. I felt so lost, so disconnected. I tried to fix things only to realize that I was just being toyed with. But it's ok. Because after all of the darkness and sadness happiness will come if you let it enter your life. For whomever should come across this. I would just say that the article was very right about the stages. But do it all in your time. And don't let the ex hold you back or keep you from being happy because sadly alot of people in this world would do that to you just because they weren't and aren't good people. When you finally live above your bad marriage and realize that things are better for you now and there is love and life after it. You will finally be happy again. And who knows maybe that person you really needed will come along. If not love yourself. God bless you all and the newcomers going through this. You are not alone. There is light at the end of this. Just do your best stay strong and try, try to be happy for you.
Wes on November 17, 2017:
after almost a year I'm finding out more truth of how blind I was to her lies, it's true about forgiveness-- I forgive her , she doesn't even have to know -- important thing is I know!! I still hurt at times and get angry - I find forgiveness is the key!! And do yourself a favor! Accept that it's done it's over! Don't drink don't drug face this hurt and accept !! It's not you !! It's her - choices , respect her choices -Remove yourself completely from her!! Sooner the better !!
Chad on September 26, 2017:
I have been battling to hold my relationship together for the past two years. I've had one failed relationship after another mostly my fault, as I was you and stupid. But this time it was completely different for me. Everything in our lives had to line up exactly the way they did for us to meet. Both her and I had children young dropped out of school and sought out work to take care of our children. So long story short we both decided to get our GED and pursue careers. That's just so happens to be the place we met. Since then we've had a beautiful baby girl together. But all of a sudden she couldn't get along with my oldest daughter so she moved out and visits on the weekends. Which breaks my heart as I've had full custody of her since she was two and is now twelve. So that has struck up argument between my spouse and I and led to her telling me she been trying to find a way out of our relationship because she can't stand me. I am now faced with having to leave my family. And be completely on my own. I live to see my family come home to happy children. With my oldest moved to her mothers. And having to leave my family. I'm literally breaking down and this is blog has been the only vent for me. But will do my best to head the advice of this article.
BenfromDallas on September 09, 2017:
Thank you for this article. My wife and I separated and I just found out she's sleeping with random men from dating apps. Both of our kids (1 step-child & 1 biological) are with me and i hate the fact that she has all the freedom to move on but I have to worry about the kids first. Your article hit home on so many levels for me. Thank you.
Melanibrown on August 23, 2017:
I don't know,,,my soon to be ex and I separated 2 months ago and he was instantly on dating websites, meeting up with girls younger than him, spending money on ridiculous things that he can't afford and now hes reconciled with his ex wife, wife no# 1, but says its just for the adult children they share, who he said cheated on him and lied to his children so they would have nothing to do with him. We are still living in the same home, separate rooms, so thats why I know all this, unfortunately, I have cried and cried and asked how he can move on so quickly, he said he hasn't been in love with me for months. Im so heartbroken and hurt and he hasn't shown any concern for me or my feelings at all.
Sam thorne on July 05, 2017:
My wife and I for 10 years have just split up and will probable get a divorce. I feel so lost with out her.
What can I do?
Alex on May 23, 2017:
I am so tired of every article assuming men play limited roles (or have limited time) in their children's lives post divorce. Everytime that happens it further perpetuates an archaic dynamic that is no longer acceptable. If you play a major role in your kids lives before divorce, step up don't step back. Unfortunately this societal pressure to step back exists and it's heartbreaking. That should be #1 to do.
16yrs down the track on November 24, 2016:
I was with my wife for 16yrs, we split, it was mutual. We had 3 daughters and 2 sons. The girls went with mum and the boys went with dad (the kids decision). Ships in the night was how we existed for far too long, both being shift workers with 5 kids. We have been separated now for 18 months now but remain friends. Now I have been through the cycles you speak of and have happily accepted the inevitable. I also have not dated or slept with anyone since we split. My ex has had a relationship that didn't last and has dated and slept with other men by her own admission. I just didn't want to get involved with another woman, I wanted my space and life back and to find me again.
Just last weekend she stayed over at my place as our pet dog (which was hers) of 14 years had to be put down. we live 3 hrs drive away from each other hence why she slept over. The kids were staying with me that weekend (it was my weekend with them) and when she found out I had to put the dog down on the Monday she came up on the Sunday. This is the first time she has stayed over since we split. It was a fun time as we all enjoyed being together again. My ex and and I were behaving towards each other as we had done when we were together and basically dropped our defenses and relaxed around each other. We chatted on the couch and mucked around and rested each others heads on the others shoulders as we relaxed into the night after the kids had gone to sleep. When it was shower time she asked if I could come in and scratch her back and stated "don't stress you've seen me naked before". We of course ended up having sex in the shower together as we used to years ago. Up until that point we had not had any physical contact with each other much less seen each other naked. It was great sex but now I'm finding myself very lost as I had mentally moved on, now I'm telling myself not to take it seriously as it was more than likely just casual sex to her, as she has been single for a while and probably just fell back on old reliable me. But I really am confused as to what actually happened.
So my question to you is, is it OK to engage in sexual relations with our ex spouse after 18 months apart or have we; in committing sex with each other, gone right back to square one. Much like someone quitting smoking after 18 months and then lighting up again?
Junior44 on July 26, 2015:
I've been separated for over 2 years now,divorced was finalized this past jan.. Im better now, still have my upon downs though, but I'm working thru it..Gym, new friends, dating (difficult) but I'm doing it.. To say this first, I was the dumped one, she left me for another man, it crushed my world after 15 yrs, she just moved on, n yes I've heard it before she already probably had her get out mind set maybe 2-3 years before..anyway I'm still coping with my wounds, accepted my fate in being a single father, but it's hard, I still think of her, questioned why we could never work it out, but truth be told sometimes we will never get that answer!! Any way I'm moving forward, dating is hard at times I'm seeing I'm sabotaging my own Chances with new women, I guess I'm just not ready maybe it's fear, im guarded n just not ready to commit, but yes I do miss having someone around me, but I know that for me I believe I need to be alone, reflect on my mistakes, n just improve on myself, I'm not gonna lie it's a bitch, but truthfully I don't want to go thru that ever again maybe that's why I haven't found the right one.. All I know is I have to have patience n faith I will one day find true love again, get a second chance!!so I say all fellow men brothers, let's be better then we ever can be, love every human being n be the best you can be!!
MenAfterDivorce (author) from Sydney on January 02, 2015:
Your comments simply reinforce the stereotypes that plague men after divorce. There are just as many terrible women as deadbeat husbands - to classify all men as bad is shameful.
The article did not once offer advice to blame an ex-wife, all my writing is about making men look at their emotional state and working through the issues without blame and hatred.
Your comment is very dissapointing.
ali on December 30, 2014:
This is the most crap site I have ever witnessed. Most women have held a marriage together very long after its sell by date and most men are very quickly on to the next woman and to hell with the kids!! Blaming an ex-wife for your shortcomings is all too common. Waken up men. man up and be the husband and father you promised to be before it all got too much for you and you could not live up to it. Prefer a womans view any day - losers!!!
MenAfterDivorce (author) from Sydney on June 07, 2014:
Thank you Ronny for the great post!
Ronny on June 07, 2014:
Forgot to say:
It will all be ok. Forgive and love yourself, these things happen.
You can come out the other side a happier man and or father, the man or father you always wanted to be.
Your children would rather see you successful and thriving than the creepy guy that is their biological father that has no backbone.
I have set myself a few goals:
1) I WILL be a man that my lovely daughter will be proud of. And, in my case am I sure that my daughter will come live by me when she reaches an age that allows her to decide for herself where she would like to live.
2) It is my responsibility to ensure that I will be able to care for and support her in any way and especially,
3)to teach her the way of the world and to always keep an eye on the silver lining. It is my responsibility to ensure that I do everything in my power to give her a fair chance. She is already psychologically scarred with regards to the changes in her life due to the divorce. I must try to limit the after effects of a broken home in relation to her social skills, school work and relationships. I will be the lighthouse to keep her off the rocky areas, and I will be her support voice of reason when she makes mistakes.
4) Always let her know that I love her unconditionally.
There is nothing wrong with us guys, we just needed to hit the reset button. Wisdom is a result of experience, this is an experience I do not want to go through in the same ass over head way that I did. I will be a good and fair person. I will not make hasty decisions made in the heat of the moment with emotions clouding my judgement..................RELAX!. Lol.
Ronny on June 07, 2014:
Dear all depressed guys....
My divorce finalized today!, a fantastic milestone reached. We divorced because I am not at home enough, I work in the global arena and is sometimes away from home for 3 months at a time, the bills got payed, nice things were baught, but she needed the heavy alcohol fueled parties......with her friends, most of them without me for obvious reasons.
Basically, I said:
"at least wait for me, don't party every third day, make it a family rule that we go to such parties together"
"you can not dictate to me how I should live my life!, I am entitled to have friends!, I'll see them when I want and I will go to any outing/party that I want with or without you!"
This is the "in a nutshell" description of why and how I got divorced.
I have gone through every phase of (DABDA) denial,anger,bargaining, depression and acceptance. The most important thing for me when I realized that I am going through the DABDA grief/loss cycle was to identify and anticipate the next phase. I could ( after some practice) identify the moment a very strong emotion like anger, started to gain control of the moment and suppress and redirect it into something that would add value to my life, I call it sending those thoughts to the gage. These raw unwelcome and most of the time, unnecessary emotions and feelings would be later let loose on the treadmill or the bike or, my favorite....the punching bag. Yes, I started jogging and cycling, opened the gym membership and have taken up a hobby.
It is truly an exhilarating feeling to dump all excess unnecessary emotions onto the treadmill or bike. Five months ago I could only walk 1,5 miles and be dead tired, every week I pushed myself a little more and forced myself to be disciplined in my body shape up as well as my diet. This morning I ran 8miles in 55 minutes, I'm 40!
3 months ago I met a dame at the gym, we are legally dating now, she is ridiculously hot and doing very well for herself as a CEO of a clothing store chain.
I also feel that woman in general looks at me differently from about after a month or so of going to the gym. Everyone can sense that you are improving and working on yourself. I am not saying do what I did and go to the gym, I'm saying "find something that you like or love doing, do it well, make sure it is something that will improve your current self and keep an eye on discipline, the rest will happen by itself soon you will start to notice small changes, I noticed that I am friendlier to people and as a result gets invites to all kinds of great things to do, business contacts parties etc. If you are friendly without expecting anything in return, then people wants to know and be with you. Another small change was how i started to show interest in the field of electronics again to the point that I am now designing a remote operated inspection robot (with help from an electronic master of coarse ). This hobby could bring in a lot of money if I should wish to allocate more time to it. I have gone into a partnership with a fashion design firm to release a new clothing label. (The best part is that I know nothing special about clothing or labels for that matter, my field of expertise is welding inspection and project management for power generation, worlds apart, but, it's the fact that I was at the right place at the right time in order to make the connection.
That was getting oxygen to the organs and making myself presentable to the outside world again after 12 years. Now, I use a few tricks/reminders/rules, call it what you want to control the emotional side of my being. The most effective tool I use is my "safe word". For instance, my safe word is...........wait for it.........."relax!". Every time a difficult situation would arise, and I realize that my emotions might cause me to over or under react, I just whisper my word to myself which means that I will get my emotions ( anger/angst/anxiety/depression/guilt, the list goes on) back in place and deal with the situation in a calm and collected state. I would in the beginning say it out load, it made no sense to others but to me it made me force myself to handle the situation as if I have an outside view on it and it got me to understand the importance of calculating decisions and getting the best outcome for all, not just you. Very important!!.... You must have an ethical and moral outlook on decisions that affects people in all areas of your life, you will soon be trusted and respected by all who is connected to you and more people would want to connect with you, etc. .(I hope it make sense)
It is not an easy road and if you are depressed, or just don't feel like it, or shifting it to the next day or further back, then you are really making this unavoidable experience so much harder.I know I'm babbling on, but trust me, by using just the safe word and by paying attention to the moral and ethical values to everything, can you drag yourself out of this tar pit, I did and I feel great, the next chapter in my book of life has just been opened and I like the way I'm giving happiness a second chance. I am on a blank slate and I can write anything on it that I want.
Guys, one more thing......
There is great support out there, people in all walks of life have gone through what you are going through. The difference between their and your journey through this is that you have a good idea of what lies in store for you should YOU decide to go the depressed victim route. I did it the hard way in the beginning and I can guarantee you the other way is so much easier, and very often very enjoyable not even to mention the excitement of doing something that will have a lasting positive effect on your life. I am part of something again and I did it all by myself.
I do not want to take anything away from the article, it was brilliantly written and it is truly something they should print and hand out to men at the divorce court. This is just my own personal coping mechanism that has and is working for me. I will fall along the road, make dumb mistakes, make some of the same mistakes again, but this time is it on my terms and I control the happiness flow.
Good luck and keep a cool head.
Gail on March 24, 2014:
Why do men take the divorce out on the new girlfriend
bob on January 03, 2014:
I set my exwife up. I told her we couldn't afford our home 5 years ago. Of course I could but when I filed for divorce suddenly and took all the money I knew she would lose. And she did . I have all our children and she has nothing house went to foreclose. In a few months she will have to pay child support. She was a good stay at home mom and pathetically tried to be a good wife but I threw her away actually it was easy in Chicago courts. Whoever has the cash wins. Wake up people ...get them first before they get you.
Hopeless on June 13, 2013:
I want so bad for the man I love to heal from the hurt of a past marriage led to divorce because of u faithfulness. I see him falling into a depression that has probably been masked over a 2yr period. We're taking a break from a relationship b/c I can no longer deal with his frivolous behavior & his constant need for validation from people on a social network. He posts everything, every intimate detail of his past marriage and our relationship for 'reassurance' that he is a good man. The pity party has gotten old. I need him to move on because I'm wanting to call it quits permanently this time. Not even wanting to remain friends...I recognize his ego is bruised although the marriage was over way before the divorce he wanted to be the one to walk away 1st. I know that I'm limiting myself to having a meaningful relationship holding out for him to get it together. He keeps talking marriage to me but I'm not sure he's mature enough or strong enough to handle a marriage as sometimes issues arise. I really feel for him as we've been friends since high school & I want to always assure him I have always thought the world of him. I too am divorced longer than he but I understand the feelings or pain & guilt when it's over but when does a man's bruised ego dissolve after a divorce. He's missing out on a being committed to someone who truly loves him and all his flaws simply by still trying to prove to the world his divorce wasn't his fault. To make matters worse he has no close friends or family members that are effectively helping him move on or even being a support system. All they do is continuously give him a pity party. The ex has moved on & still with the person she cheated with...
I would never want to rush him thru a grieving process but how do say to a person effectively LIFE GOES ON?!?!?!
Joe Dinh on May 13, 2013:
I'm going through divorce now and I am forgiving her cause I am a Christian and I know god will forgive her and me so I am soon it... It hurts at first yes but please try for I am trying
Bob on May 08, 2013:
It has been about 1.5 years since separation. Divorce is nearly finalized.
I'm happy that it's over in the sense that she was a miserable person to be around. But, there is a nagging feeling that no one could ever love me. To add to this, the reason I filed for divorce was because she made false allegations against me to send me to jail and kidnap my children.
I can't forgive that and expect any sort of relationship with her. "Forgive her? After what she did to me?" I don't know if I can or should get past this. I can forgive her, but that doesn't mean I want to be her friend or anything like that.
I don't know.
honestly on March 17, 2013:
it isn't worth living after divorce......all the suggested coping mechanisms are merely tricks for rationalizing an intolerable situation. ....any "moving on" is nothing but making due with a life you never wanted and will never want.....you'll be a hollow man........a 2 legged dog that drags itself in the muck while people applaud your plucky perseverance .....enforce your marriage vows to the literal letter .......the only way to save you both.
peanutlee33 on March 02, 2013:
My ex bf (like so many) dealt with mental/emotional abuse during his 20 yr marriage. I state EX because we took a break..
Anyway.. he dealt with infidelity (her).. repeat infidelity. He held on for due fact that miraculously things would change (of course they didn't) One of the red flags during our dating was his low self esteem or poor self image. I actually made him cry a few times with my kind compliments RE his appearance because the EX was so cruel to him.. (fat/overweight/smelly/repulsive/get away, you're filthy/etc) And NO she wasn't being playful. Yes, I had met her a few times, and it was obvious their relationship.
During our break, I cried and grieved endlessly for his damaged heart.. we fell in love, and are right for each other (God bless).. but the hurt he dealt with became to great (no, he hadn't gotten counseling or divorce care just yet.) You cannot fix someone. They have to seek professional help themselves.. I pray for him regularly. No one should have to endure spousal abuse, in any form.
R. Dunn on January 15, 2013:
I am not divorced yet I still live with my wife and kids but you know the old proverbial I love you but not in love with you crap. A cop out why is it that woman get this poor them men are aholes syndrome and they all get together and man bash until they see the next cute guy and they wear him out and they start the cycle over again.everybody talks about the divorce rate that's so high but what I've been reading is women are the ones filing at a rate of 75 to 80% of the time and women are becoming the one that does the cheating nowadays. You commit you love them then they stop having sex with you, you get frustrated angry and hurt then they us that to say your mean and don't meet my needs so they cheat its all about the chemical high they get when its new and gitty and exciting but if they would keep having sex with us we would do and be what ever they want or need how is this ever going to change. I always told myself I would never go through that again and I didn't for 10 years I told myself I would never trust a woman again but when you think you really found the one. But of coarse it followed the same path great sex alot of it for a few years you get married have a couple kids but then you start feeling your wife just doesn't love you the same anymore she doesn't hug you as tight she doesn't kiss you the same way just a peck no passion no feeling what is wrong with women why can't they make the long haul and live up to there vows they made before god is there any women out there like that my wife always proclaimed she would never cheat and was appalled by the fact that people did that and always agreed that she would divorce me before she would ever do anything like that and she really is a very moral caring person so what is happening to these seemingly innocent women can anyone tell me
MenAfterDivorce (author) from Sydney on January 10, 2013:
Depression is a terrible thing and fuelled by divorce greif I know this must be difficult. I will not pretend to know exactly how bad you must feel but the one bit of advice that might make a difference is this:
While after divorce we think we need to 'Start Again' this is not really the case. We are starting something new - but it is not the same thing we were doing before.
This is a chance to reinvent yourself. A chance to change priorities and focus on a new path. The only thing that remains constant in this is your love and attention to your daughter - but everything else can be looked at from a new angle.
If anything though - please see a doctor about the depression. I do not usually advocate medication but if it helps you through this tough time go for it. The most improtant thing though is CONNECTING with other people. Make sure not to feel isolated as there are always people who care for you.
Good Luck Zach
Zach on January 08, 2013:
My divorce finalized this week. It's weird to read that. After over a year of separation, I suppose in some small way, for better or for worse, the fact that it's finished is a relief. The biggest and dare I say "scariest" problems are just now beginning to show themselves. I feel two inches tall. I feel I've been set adrift with no land in sight.
Compounding the issue is the severe depression I have struggled against since a young age. On a good day, it's hard to see much positive in life. It's harder still to find any worth in myself. But, now I'm standing at the edge of this cliff, and looking down at what remains of my life. Honestly, just the idea of having to start over is exhausting. I would like to say it's just overwhelming, and I simply don't know where to start, but it's more accurate to say that I just don't see the point.
And where do I begin? The depression caused by the divorce is fueling my naturally occurring depression and visa versa. It's a self-perpetuating cycle, and I'm stuck smack in the middle. I can truly say that if I didn't have a daughter (who I will now see for 48 hours every 14 days), I would have already opted for a chunk of hot lead through the back of my skull.
Fosters on December 05, 2012:
Thx a lot for advice but I'm stuck in the first thing to not do.how can I forgive myself?how?what a lost.where can I find all that love and looking after?like they say u appreciate things only when u loose them.i don't think I can love anymore.im suffering , I'm slapping my face when I wake up and before sleeping. I hate myself and I never thought that I'm such a stupid guy.
Ross on June 26, 2012:
Helpful hub... I just went through a divorce and I'm not sure where I stand on how I feel about everything. I want nothing more than to reconcile just like you said in the first thing men should NOT do, ironic that is the first thing I read...
I will say this however, I don't know you and have never heard of you before Mr. Author, but you sir, have my utmost respect... That was a very composed reply to a comment that most sites like this would have deleted or ignored, if nothing else I will take your advice to heart solely because of that good sir.
MenAfterDivorce (author) from Sydney on June 08, 2012:
Many men have learned to survive and thrive after a divorce. Many of course do not - but that is not the fault of women or thr courts. No matter how aweful some women are, and how unfair the legal system can be sometimes towards men.
The only people who can change our own forturnes is ourself. It is not easy I grant you that - it takes time and effort and a lot of anger, depression, and even hate yes - but eventually you can cmoe through the other side with a redefined sense of self.
I will ignore your comment about Muslims as I know that is anger talking.
Daryl on June 08, 2012:
There is no such thing as life after divorce for a man. At least not for me. I died two years ago, my body is just too dumb to stop breathing. There has not been one day worth living since, nor will there ever be again. Women are pure evil, and the courts are totally corrupt and unfair.
The Muslims have it right "Women should be owned like slaves and beaten like dogs". Come on death, I'm waiting!!!
MenAfterDivorce (author) from Sydney on May 18, 2012:
Have a look at this article i wrote - it may help:
Kirstine Hales on April 27, 2012:
my boyfriend has just got divorced after waiting 2 years to get it sorted he is glad about this as his ex - wife has a borderline personality disorder and made his life hell for the last 4 or 5 years, however i would like to know how to help him now that this has happened and what emotions he may be going through
Aunt Mollie on January 01, 2012:
Aunt Mollie applauds this good advice.
Anoyomous on October 05, 2011:
Thank you very much for this. It surely should help many men heal. It is refreshing to understand that not everyone demonises the husband in a failed marriage no matter what the circumstances. I sure had the perception that everone would see me differently. This is comfoting; thank you!
Annie from NewYork on November 28, 2010: