Men and Divorce Help – Why We Are Our Own Worst Enemy

Men and Divorce Help
Are You Your Own Worst Enemy?

When it comes to guys looking for divorce help I am often reminded that we can be our own worst enemy in this regard. While I will probably digress into broad generalisations and stereotype here, I do believe that stereotypes are not created in a vacuum and they do have some truth to them even if they are exaggerations.

Men are often too proud. We are stubborn, we believe we are right, and we do not like to beg or to ask for help. Men are considered by society as the ones who should be strong and independent, that must be the rock that bears out the storm, that they are emotionally stable at all times … and we also know this is not the truth at all for the vast majority of regular guys.

Men have the same depth of feelings as any woman. Men have problems, feel pain, feel confused, and can frequently not know what to do when they are out of their depth. As much as society beams out this image of a perfect stoic man, it is just not the case and possibly never really was – it is an idealisation just as bad for men’s self esteem as women’s obsession over models on magazines.

This brings me to why we are our own worst enemies – Because we all too often believe the unrealistic view that society has imposed upon us rather than the truth!

We are conditioned to hide our feelings and ignore them. We are conditioned to believe that if we show signs of weakness, than we are weak and therefore of less worth to society and ourselves. You might not think in those terms but subconsciously many guys believe this so strongly it impedes our ability to ask for help, or help ourselves properly. Here is a quick test to see if this might be happening to you:

  • You feel ashamed that you are feeling miserable or crying
  • You blame yourself for the breakdown of the marriage and believe it was your duty to hold it together
  • You feel a huge loss of self worth and feel that people are judging you for being divorced
  • You turn down offers of help as you do not want to seem like you cannot cope
  • You find yourself comparing your life and actions to other men poorly

These are a few symptoms of this way that we cling to the idea of the idealised man. You can see how it might be interfering with being able to get help, or be able to help yourself too.

How Can Men Get Divorce Help?

Divorce Help For MenThe first step to any sort of self improvement is self awareness. There is no one shot fixes to anything, it is a process and you need to be able to understand yourself – and what is blocking your abilities to overcome the pain of divorce. This comes down to a central point I make about all men – and women too for that matter – which is that we are all controlled by our ego; our sense of self.

Our sense of self is an important thing but it hates to change and a divorce irrevocably changes us. Part of our ego is how we believe we should act and feel due to what we have been taught and societies expectations on us too. We need to acknowledge these things and inspect them even if it might seem taboo. The only way to move forward is to leave all these things behind and not be controlled by your ego otherwise you begin to try and bolster your ego doing self destructive things such as:

  • Trying to prove how manly you are by drinking, fighting, or pushing the limits of drug usage
  • Turning down offers of help to make you feel you are powerful and strong enough to go it alone
  • Forcing your emotions down deeper and deeper because dealing with them might make you feel less of a man – but those emotions will bubble to the surface later and come out of dangerous or violent ways.

There are many more examples but the core message is that men need to be able to lay down their ego and stop the foolish adherence to the idealised idea of what a man should be. For more divorce help on the psychology of all of this, check out my complete guide to divorce recovery for men which details this in full – and how you can quickly and easily use this to leave your divorce behind and gain a happier and better future.

Click Here For More on the Men After Divorce eBook

 

10 thoughts on “Men and Divorce Help – Why We Are Our Own Worst Enemy”

  1. Dealing with resentment and anger right now. 3 months after I move out of the marital home the ex has another man moved in. Posts on FB about how shes never been happier. I remember when she was.
    Left as a part time Dad now. What constituted the most valuable thing to my existance, and brought meaningfulness to my life, my family, was given away from me behind my back, assuaged by other men, and suddenly I was the one to get away from.
    Marriage wasnt about ego, but perhaps being thrown out like trash is. Simply, left, to recover. Recover what, I dont know. Now its like picking up pieces of my life after the storm, and due to the child I must witness the ex moving on at a daily basis. I cannot remove myself from the situation, and was forced to have to heal on the fly, and watch her move on every step of the way.
    I think my disdain for her is justified. The reflection on the ridiculous value I put on it all, and the security I felt there, has changed me. I will never trust a woman anymore, there are no more decent women.

  2. 1. Posts on facebook are her trying to make people believe she is happy don’t look at that nonsense site.

    2. You can’t give up on women because of just one. I hope women do not judge ll men based on one bad husband out there

    3. Change is good ok. Healing is change because we have to change to move on.

    I know it sucks, but I went through the same shit two years ago. I am now engaged again to a better woman and have found a new purpose in life professionally and personally.

    You will make it Matthew. Us guys all rooting for you ok

  3. Thank you for this blog. Every bit of support helps. I’m currently caring for my 4yr old daughter by myself. We were married 5yrs. My ex started a relationship with a meth dealer behind my back at the same time my father was in intensive care and subsequently passed. She got hooked on meth, got a restraining order on me with false delusional claims and moved her meth dealing boyfriend in the day I was booted. This really did an emotional number on my daughter. “Are you still my Daddy?” What is it with people bringing a person into a child’s life the same day as a split! Par for the course with my crazy ex. I was forced to witness the joint debit card transactions at the local sex shop multiple times. In my study of meth addiction I learned that users turn into animalistic sex freaks and use a lot of porn. It was 100 times worse knowing my daughter was 5 feet from the bedroom where their methcapades were happening.

    Through social services and by my ex failing the drug tests I was finally able to get my daughter out of that house. It has been the most incredibly devastating time in my life. On top of it I was just fired due to all the court dates, social service meetings, child therapy appts, etc.

    Trying to keep your head up and be the best father when your psychotic ex is on full attack is so hard. I know that she will never stop trying to destroy me until she feels completely in control of everything. I have already forgiven her and moved on mentally and emotionally, but still have to deal with her daily harassment. The law seems to be only on the side of the bad people. Example, she and her meth boyfriend have had all of my belongings, confidential files, etc at my old house for over a month. She is now trying to extort money from me to get them back or she will auction my things. I have an entire firm retained but there is little I can do other than try and sue her for my things. I know they are only things and the most important thing is my daughter being with me and safe, but it is just one of too many examples I could give about the none stop attacks.

    It is hard to see a light at the end of this, she is a ruthless pathological liar that feels no guilt or empathy, basically a psychopath. If it wasn’t for the unconditional love I have for my daughter I wouldn’t have made it this far.

    Has anyone else ever dealt with a crazy ex that got involved with hard drugs and left a good man for a criminal and then tried to systematicly destroy you with false charges? The whole thing feels like some bad sitcom and too incredible to be actually happening. As far as wanting to date again or the thought of trusting another women, that is going to take a long time if ever. I never knew such deception and malice was possible but my eyes are open now and it will be long time before I trust again.

  4. That is a depresing but all too familiar story. It sounds like you have done some amazing things to get past this and have been a dedicated father. I commend you for your efforts so far.

    I thankfully have not been in such a situation but after talking to many men who have been in simialr circumstances the best thing to do is to note down every action and interaction you have with your ex. Record things, take photos and everything.

    Evedence is king in the courts.

    However, if you obsess about this stuff no matter how horrible it is you can miss a lot of opportunities to simply move on. Pick your battles basically.

  5. I do not want to post my real name or email address. I hate to see any relationship that start off strong and on the right page fall apart. Currently my wife has moved out for the second time. I miss her, I want to tell her how I feel. I want her back even though in the back of my mind I believe she had an afair about 6 years ago.
    Once again she wanted out. Though I have not had to go through what some of you guys have gone through it is still not easy. The house is in both names her current car has my name as the owner. She said that she wants to be friends but it is hard to be friends with someone who you were never really friends with. I been a lover and husband and a father to our kids. wanting to hold her in a manner that you would not hold a friend. I try not to call her unless it is something about the boys.
    I still find myself calling her sweetie. I think It would have been easier if I would have caught her in the act with someone. At least then I could have just hated her for the rest of my life.

  6. Hey there,

    No problem in leaving your name off at all! Many people are in a situation more like yourself, this was closer to my experience than some of the nightmare break ups that some men have confided here – but they are all hard.

    I believe that you cannot really be friends again – until you drastically change who you are as a person which has to happen after a divorce. Only then can you view them differently than your lover. Right now you are just starting out on the path of divorce grief. This is a very hard journey but at the end you will be stronger.

    Good call on not calling too much though – its best to focus on your own emotional, spiritual, psychological and physical health.

    Wishing you the best for you and your boys.

  7. I am going through divorce now and its holy H?&&. I am dealing with it on all sides and she had pretty much wiped me out economically and socially. The courts are pretty much treating me worse then they did the war criminals at Nurmburg War Crimes Trials. Not sure what I am going to do and I just want it over and everytime I agree and say okay you can have this and that and will it be over they get it and then come back for more. Not sure how to survive this. Wish there was an organization like Odessa who help war criminals out of Germany but for men trying to escape their nightmare divorce. I would over turned over in to escape this nightmare. Can not believe I loved her ever. I just want it over and done. wish there was an oranization like that to help me that is what I need.

  8. Can excessive flirting (even if no sex involved), out of control arrogance (kinda bordering on narcissism), running away from responsibility & acting like a teenage boy be a part of what you described in this article? As a woman, these behaviors seem kinda foreign to me. While we are on the subject, do men that are hurting sometimes act in the opposite way that they feel or they push away the ones that they love Because they are afraid of failing them?

    It’s a really long story, but I dated my ex-boyfriend during the last stages of his separation and after his divorce for about a year and a half. (I know… Red flags all around). He married his ex-wife when they were 19 because she got pregnant. That was the only other woman he had ever seriously dated Before we met. They were married for 14 years and have three children. Interesting seeing your links about abusive women. She absolutely was that!!

    It was a very nasty divorce, and despite the judge ordering otherwise, she has kept the children from seeing him for close to a year. We were actually very happy and in love… His best friends and his family all said the same thing and that they had never seen him happier than when he was with me. We had discussed marriage, but we were not in a big hurry since he was just getting out of the divorce. Then… I got pregnant. He was thrilled about it at first and as the months went on I noticed a shift in him Originally we were just going to move up the wedding date. Fast forward a few months, and then he wanted time and space because he felt like I betrayed him. Basically, my pregnancy hormones took over and I acted irrationally.

    We live in different states, and another woman was chasing him and I did not feel like he was doing enough to keep her at bay. I had a little chat with her about it but then I lied to him about it. I came clean a few days later. His ex-wife had lied to him chronically over the years especially about money and where she was going. So he was quite sensitive about lying (I was PREGNANT!!). Anyway, We tried to stick things out for a while and ultimately broke up in the spring.

    To me and his family and friends, it seem like a flip was switched in him late last summer. That was about the time his ex-wife had turned their son against him and he never really saw the kids much after that, I found out I was pregnant and we discussed marriage and the immediate future, his business took off quickly, and he was getting a lot of attention from other women. Those of us closest to him felt like his ego spun out of control.

    He is very attractive & in great shape & plenty of people Remind him of that constantly. For the first year we were together, he was very sweet, doting, generous, humble but confident, etc. Now he is completely opposite. The best way I know how to describe it, is that he is his own “drug” & needs to have constant adoration from someone or brag on himself. I could think that it was just me enjoying the honeymoon period of a relationship, but his mother and best friend have seen the same type of behavior, almost to the point they’ve said they missed the man they knew before. (Btw-He always biewed his parents relationship as an ideal marriage, but his father visited a divorce lawyer the spring because after 35 years he said he wasn’t happy. They’re not getting divorced now but that cat is out of the bag).

    His business is on Facebook, and he gets a lot of attention and messages from women to proposition him. Even in the later stages of our relationship and since then he would tell me that he would just play a game with these women (or others he would meet that would hit on him). The way he described it, he would take them to the “mountaintop”, hook them in with a few sweet lines, and then “push them off the mountain” by telling them that he had a girlfriend or he just wasn’t interested. WHO does that?!?

    Is he lashing out and taking out his grudge on his ex-wife by exhibiting this behavior? Typically, I don’t have a jealous nature at all, and just the one girl I mentioned earlier just Hit me the wrong way and I was hormonal.

    I’m getting way more in depth than I intended to here, but he’s not much of a drinker, no drugs, but is this egotistical/a$$hole behavior a common response on that he’s trying to rebuild his self image? Since we dated right after the divorce & our relationship kind of delayed his normal grieving process, could he still hit the bottom of the barrel & get back to a more “normal” self image? (Although I understand no one is quite the same after a divorce).

    I just really miss that good guy that I fell in love with. I have really tried to empathize with him as he is gone through all of this, but now it just feels that he blames me for everything… Almost like I’m his punching bag for all of the pent up anger against his ex-wife & Putting up a wall with me after I lied was just an excuse because he felt like he might be in another failed relationship. He asked his best friend’s wife why she would let a piece of crap and her house & if she hated him (does he actually believe he IS a piece if crap & hates himself?), told me he felt like he was damaged goods, Didn’t feel like he had the right thoughts anymore to be a good family man, I don’t want him like he is now ETC. but he continues to put this uber-masculine, tough guy player image (facade???) for public consumption.

    He has givien me mixed messages for months. He tells me that he loves me, but the romantic connection is just gone right now, he tells me that he is numb, he just doesn’t care enough to work at a relationship anymore, he likes to be carefree and does not want to be emotionally attached to anyone, he’s not going to be vulnerable to anyone, if he “feels the heat” with a girl, he will be gone, he wants an “easy” relationship where someone treats him like a king but he wouldn’t care if they were hit by a bus bc he doesn’t have an emotional attachment….

    He’s told me numerous times that he DOES trust me, understands why I did what I did (but that it messed up his connection with me & he’s not been able to get it back), im the most genuine & sincere person he knows, knows I’d be the most loyal, committeed & faithful woman to him by far, wants back what we had, was the happiest he’s ever been in his life (independently substantiated by his fam & friends), still thinks about a future with me & our son, our son is still our thread with each other, we stay on his mind all the time, I stay on his mind the most when he’s really trying to move on, im the one that got away & he doesnt know how to fix it, etc. About a month before we broke up in the spring, we had a long conversation and he said that After things changed between us, it opened his eyes to other opportunities that are out there (not just dating, but socializing & “freedom” of not being obligated in a relationship) & that if he could get the wonder or appeal of being single out of his head, we could be even better.

    He dated his ex wife since he was 14 & now he was tempted to “get the sh** out of his system” so he could appreciate a relationship. But…he was worried that if he did that that he would ruin his chances with me in the future & I’d never take him back. The couple of times we’ve been around each other since the baby was born, he acted awkward, almost tense around me, but in telephone conversations would sometimes open up more. It’s almost as if he will be tender for just a little bit, and then catches himself and puts up that egotistical, arrogant wall again.

    Wow…sorry this got so long, but very few people seem to grasp the emotional reactions of divorced men. We are broken up now, but in a way I feel like this is what he will want when he gets the snakes out of his head. :). Doesn’t mean I’ll wait or would be willing to take him back, but in my heart I don’t believe he’s this narcissistic jerk he’s morphed into. He DOES NOT believe in therapy or seeking help, is not a very spiritual person (Thinks he can figure everything out and solve all the problems on his own). But…I have a child with this man. I don’t want to use our son to punish him for hurting me, I don’t want to keep my son’s dad out of his life, etc, but I’m concerned now about the example he would set for him with his current behavior, etc. he doesn’t want to go through the court system after how they failed him with the other kids, will “step away” if that’s what I decide & don’t want him part of our son’s life, has not offered child support but says he will if he can be in his life.

    I’m trying very hard not to hate him for all of this & accepting no responsibility bc I know first hand what his ex put him through. And, I guess I’m holding out a glimmer of hope that God will heal him completely, redeem him & soften his heart again. There was so much more good than bad with us. It seemed like he spooked at the first sign of real stress. Sorry again for babbling (This has been rather cathartic since everyone else just thinks I should forget he ever existed & write him off for good). So…I guess my biggest questions are about-

    -Huge ego/arrogance/flirtation after divorce…could that be a manifestation of his pain or is he like this??
    -can he have a delayed reaction to his divorce/kids & take it out on me?
    -will he push me away because he’s scared I’ll do what his ex did?
    -what does he mean when he says he’s numb?
    -how long can it take for him to hit “rock bottom?” He really does seem like a drug addict (himself as his own drug) that needs a constant hit (ego stroking, flirting-sex for the sake of sex has never appealed to him, even according to his friends, but knowing he “could” is what he gets a charge out of)
    -what in the world do I do about our child? We live 700 miles apart, he doesn’t need to be separated from me for a while (just turned 5 mo) or needs to travel long distances yet, but my ex wants more than just occasional quick visits
    -how do I give up hope in him if I suspect that there’s still a good man hiding underneath this facade he seems to have created?

    Thanks so much for your time & consideration & commitment to this topic!! :)

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