Whether the decision is mutual or one person feels the marriage must come to an end, both individuals suffer the loss, each in different ways. If the wife dreams about cheating scenarios and that happens in reality, then, separation may be the best way for both sides. Most people might be surprised to learn that, in many cases, men tend to handle the loss a bit harder than women.
Some reason for that is women allow themselves to feel the stages of grief while men tend to internalize instead of turning to a support system or seeking outside help.
The friend relationships established during the marriage were often developed and maintained by the wife. So these typically become her place to turn in the face of sadness.
Husbands then avoid grieving with that bottled-up emotion turning to depression or other kinds of severe health issues related to stress and anxiety.
They refuse to discuss what they’re experiencing with a family who is likely saddened by the breakup as well and will ask too many questions. The person who was there to encourage and support self-care and well-being is no longer there, and most men are unsure how to deal with that void.
How does divorce change a man negatively?
Statistics show that in a majority of cases, women will initiate the divorce process. Most often, this is to a man’s stunned response. Men are unaware that women will have made this decision long before the moment she brings the subject to their attention.
That’s one of the reasons she’s more capable of handling the grieving process more efficiently.
While the wife might have made inferences throughout the marriage that things were not going well. Too many times, men like to believe things are okay even when hints are coming their way. It’s not solely their fault.
The problem is a lack of diplomatic communication between the pair. Instead of hinting or sending signals when there are significant issues, the two need to sit down and have a vulnerable conversation.
That gives everyone a fair chance to process the issues and reach a satisfactory resolution for each person’s needs. Not doing so results in internalized emotions that fester, turning into ultimately a desire for divorce with an unsuspecting man who handles the news with despair. What are some ways it changes him negatively? Let’s see.
1. Physical and mental health are impacted
Women tend to set men up with a medical provider and make sure they’re scheduled for their annual physicals or routine checkups (for the most part.)
Otherwise, many husbands would avoid the doctor, dentist, ophthalmologist, or any professional practitioner mostly because they tend to keep a busy schedule. Even more, a broken man after divorce may struggle when doing simple daily routines. So the ex-husband won’t take care of himself if we’re being honest. And usually, he’ll be neglectful when she leaves.
In most cases, life after divorce for men over 40 or more is more complicated because of many things. That’s noticeable especially if the guy manages a business and was getting help and support from his wife in dealing with challenges.
Even more, physical and emotional health tends to suffer after wives leave because a man won’t reach out for support from either friends or family, nor will he seek professional help.
Women tend to turn to their social circle more often than a man will, and a lot of the time, she will have more friends since she kept up the friendships during the marriage.
2. There’s so much loss suffered
Not only does the man have to endure the loss of the love of his life, but if there are children involved, he could lose custody. That might mean only seeing his kids once per week. In addition, a husband might be close with his in-laws.
While people intend to stay close despite the situation, that generally fades as time passes, plus, friends tend to take sides with a lot following the wife. She typically nurtures these relationships during the marriage.
Animals form a close bond with family. These furry friends can prove to be a significant loss for the husband – just as much as the rest of his family since the likelihood is that any pets the couple shared will go with the woman and the kids.
- Related: Why does a spouse lie about money?
3. Co-Parenting can be challenging
For a dad who (in most cases) loses the custody of his children, it can be exhausting attempting to work out a co-parenting schedule that works fair for everyone. A father doesn’t want to be limited to merely every other weekend missing a majority of his kids’ lives.
That can turn the relationship with an ex into a bitter interaction creating hardship for the children, and no one wants that. Ensuring that the kids are kept out of any battles is the number one priority.
No one wants to make the children feel guilty or at fault for what’s happening between the parents. If you can’t interact effectively in person, try different mediums like texting or email to attempt to be civil.
4. Attempting a friendship might be met with disdain
While women might want to maintain a sense of friendship following the divorce, men want to move forward with an air of caution due to the possibility of further heartbreak.
Husbands will naturally want to be civil, especially in front of their kids, and will always have a layer of warmth when it comes to their ex.
Still, the wife needs to understand that interacting as friends will be something they need to work towards slowly. He will be dealing with her rejection for a significant period of time.
5. It will be difficult to date without mistakes
Life after divorce for a man is harder compared to a woman (relatively). Beginning to date again will seem odd to the man since he already found what he felt was the love of his life. If the couple was together for an extended period, he might not even know where to start or how to go about the dating process.
Plus, the first few times, he’ll be bringing his wife with him in the form of baggage and “on the rebound”. That can lead to a too-serious-too-fast relationship and the possibility for additional hurt for the man and the new person.
How does divorce change a man for the good?
While a man might not see the positivity with a divorce, in the beginning, some things could work out for the best in the end. If the wife saw problems in the relationship that were unresolvable, the primary consideration should be the fact that there was no communication to that effect.
When you have no line of direct communication in the relationship to attempt to work through significant issues that are causing strife, those things that you feel have no solution will become “unresolvable.”
One of those is indeed a lack of communication. So the husband could be seeing his cup half empty. But there are aspects of the divorce that will ultimately be better than he can currently see. Let’s check out how divorce can change a man for the better.
1. Personal decisions are your own
Initially, the mind, body, and even spiritual separation from someone you’ve grown together with is devastating. During a marriage, every decision is joint, from financial to investment opportunities to what color you will paint the walls.
Disconnecting from the person is tough, but untangling all of these “business” ventures can be unnerving. Once you accomplish the separation and realize you’re on your own now, these decisions solely come down to a personal preference, which can be freeing and exciting.
The more you start to make individual choices, the easier it will become and the greater the experiences will begin to feel.
2. You’ll redevelop old friendships
While friendships established during the marriage might move on with your wife and children, you’ll find those other friends with whom you might have lost contact will become new connections, and these will begin to regrow into close bonds.
Developing your own social circle can help you maneuver through the grieving process without realizing it. You might not talk extensively about the divorce but these people just being there are enough support when you need it.
Lots of divorced men find their friends on Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook of course. Then, they may have the same interests and after being “free”, men can make new close friends and even adventures.
3. Parenting becomes a priority
Men are often busy with the wife handling most of the parenting duties. With a divorce, in many cases, the woman retains custody of the kids while the husband receives visitation. If done correctly, the father will receive adequate time through the week plus weekend time.
Dad duty makes parenting a priority for men and makes them much better parents than you might have been throughout the marriage. It generally leads to unbreakable bonds with children that even the wife can respect.
4. Time takes precedence over materialism
This is in fact, another thing that can change a divorced man for the best. As we all know, when you go through a divorce, it’s essential to declutter and divide property because you will be scaling down to a much smaller residence. As you begin the process, it can be daunting dividing the memories, which is what the stuff has become.
Still, you start to realize how little these things actually mean and how much more valuable the time you have to spend with those you care about is.
Now you’ll be taking less time maintaining what you own and more time enjoying your life. You lose the desire for materialism but gain much appreciation for the time you have to do as you please.
5. An ex becomes a best friend
Life after a divorce for a man over 50, especially is not the same for a young man who just started his career. In fact, a young divorced man may find new relationships easy, but because guys in their 50s already have lots of social connections and life experience, they can easily find solutions to every problem and even be happier than being married (if it was a toxic marriage).
It might seem unlikely to you, but in a lot of situations, especially when kids are involved, an ex-spouse becomes a close friend when all the hurt and heartbreak heals. And why not? This person has known you probably for years.
There’s genuinely no reason why there has to be contention between the two of you. If you’re feeling so much discord, it’s honestly a good idea to reach out for some counseling to learn why you feel this way after an extended period has passed.
FAQs about men, life, and divorce
How a man copes with divorce will typically depend on their age and the situation surrounding the divorce. There is no universal way for someone to cope or a specific way a husband should live when the proceedings are over.
As a rule, for anyone, it’s a matter of simply relearning how to live on your own again. Plus, you’ll need to learn how to be a single parent possibly, potentially figure out how to date if you so choose to do so, and be merely friends with your ex.
A priority is to look at yourself and figure out who you are and determine what missteps you could have made so you can create new patterns for the future.
Check out some frequently asked questions that could help you work your way through disconnecting from your ex and moving into the future.
- Read next: How to stop arguing with your partner
How long does it take for a man to get over a divorce?
In reality, that depends on the man and the situation. Some men see that the marriage is in trouble with little surprise when the topic is broached. These husbands will still feel that sense of loss and heartbreak, but they won’t have the same reaction as someone who’s wholly caught unaware.
For a man who truly believes the marriage is okay and that things will work themselves out, he might never be able to become friends with his ex (personal experience).
In that particular situation, he could always hold a grudge concerning the divorce, especially if he doesn’t reach out to his support system or attempt to seek counseling – even if he remarries.
How does a man feel going through a divorce?
Generally, men suffer emotional trauma with divorce more so than women. They can endure a sense of panic at the thought of being on their own after the settlement, bouts of anxiety, depression, and in some cases, a wave of intense anger towards their ex-spouse.
Sadly, they experience these mental disturbances because most want to act as though they have everything under control. They believe they don’t need help from anyone in dealing with their angst thereby internalizing it.
Can a divorced man fall in love again?
Yes, a divorced man can fall in love again. They need to remember that it might take time, and they need to give it sufficient time. No one wants to be the rebound. Acting too fast too soon can lead to further hurt not just for them but for the other person.
Some men tend to seek a “replacement” as soon as possible simply because they don’t want to be alone, with some getting remarried right away. That’s a mistake that should be avoided.
How many couples get back together after divorce?
According to research, as many as 10% of divorced couples work out their differences and reconcile. Sometimes, one or both were exceptionally young at the time of the marriage, ultimately leading to the divorce.
With time spent apart growing and maturing, they might conclude that what they had was unusual and want to try again. Still, other marrieds learn after time away from each other, fixing the issues that caused the strife.
Since they never lose the love they shared, they get back together. Hopefully, that communication element that might have been lacking has been resolved.
Can I marry my ex-husband again?
Of course, you can. There’s no law against that (in this country). What’s important is to ensure that the issues you were facing during the marriage are resolved entirely, including the fact that you weren’t able to communicate effectively to come to a solution before having to resort to something as drastic as a divorce, in the beginning.
Divorce is difficult for both partners, but men do tend to take the process somewhat harder than their mate. Unfortunately, that’s because the gentlemen want to believe they have their emotions under control instead of allowing themselves to feel the grief and loss. You can’t heal something that you don’t allow yourself to experience.