Tag Archives: divorce help for men

Divorce Advice for Men With Kids

divorce advice for men with kids

Divorce is a tough enough process for a man without the added burden of being a good father during this period of emotional and financial strain. I have also found that most divorce advice for men with kids tend to focus on legal aspects of keeping custody while almost ignoring the emotional aspect of the whole process. This is the welfare of your children but also the welfare of your own psychological well-being as well.

While the legal proceedings are essential to get right. The real reason you should be doing it all is to be a good father right? Not just because you want to spite your ex by taking the kids from her. The very reasons we pursue the legal options is because of conflict and mistrust that can breed in us some very undesirable qualities if we are not careful. This is a little beside the point of this post but something to consider anyway …

What I really want to talk about though is just what you should, and should NOT do when it comes to kids in your divorce. This is based on the need to do the very best for your children in trying circumstances, but also do right by yourself so you can recover from a divorce and move on without hatred, anger, jealousy, anxiety, or any other negative emotions that will sabotage any new relationships – not to mention dealing with your day to day life. Without further ado …

What NOT To Do During a Divorce With Kids

children as pawns1. Use Kids As Pawns – I know, you probably think you would never do that. That you do NOT do that … but are you really? Using children as a way to hurt your ex, to prove a point, to carry messages, or any other numbers of behaviours that brings your children into the conflict between you and your ex; this is not healthy for them or yourself. There are so many subtle ways that people use children to serve a more selfish purpose and even the smallest things things can have a profound effect on how they see the world as they grow up.

2. Assume You Always Know Best – I know this is going to sound a bit harsh to some, but you might be making emotional decisions about your child’s welfare not logical ones. We can get so caught up in our divorce battle and our own internal demons that sometimes we might be thinking about what is best for US not for the kids. Sometimes what is best for them might not feel right when we are not in the right frame of mind.

3. Act Poorly In Front of Them – Now you should not act poorly in front of your kids ever if you can help it. However during a divorce we can say some pretty terrible things about our ex-wives and that comes out in front of children sometimes. You always have to remember that your children have a father AND a mother and no matter how bad your ex is, they will most likely hold quite some attachment for BOTH of you. The more you erode this in front of them the more it may backfire on you – or warp their ideas of marriage, love and parenthood.

What To Do During a Divorce With Kids

divorce and kids

1. Be a Father When You Are Around Them – The first bit of divorce advice for men with kids is that your children are the ones who are the most blameless people in this sorry affair and they need to feel some sense of security in a world that is suddenly being torn apart. The younger they are, the less likely they are able to converse properly with you about what has happened and will happen. The only way to really reassure them is to be a father, a dad – not a divorced man, not an abandoned lover, not an man angry at the law/courts/lawyers. You can be all these things while you process this devastating time but not for your kids. They need a father even when you might not feel like being a good one. While It is not good to hide your feelings deep inside, being a good father does not mean lying to your kids. It just means being the hero they need you to be for their small world when they need you … do your best and let the other stuff out when you can be just a man.

2. Let Them Know It Is Not Their Fault – Children too often blame themselves for a divorce. There are many reasons for this but since the family unit is all they have ever known it cannot occur to them naturally that mommy and daddy just can’t be together anymore and so they blame their own actions. This can be very traumatising, so make sure to tell them it is not their fault at all and that they are loved no matter what. They may not understand fully if they are younger but as they grow it will make more sense – if they are not told it will fester into something horrible inside them.

3. Do The Right Thing With Money & Time – I am not going to comment on the state of divorce courts and fairness or not of legalities. It is a minefield that I try not to walk into because it is beside the point of the emotional healing needed for men after divorce. It is painful, it is awful, it is heart rending to see so much of your finances destroyed, ripped apart and years of planning set alight yes. Fight all you can for equality, fight all you can for fairness – but whatever you do … do NOT shirk your responsibility to your child if you have to pay child support. Do not neglect them time wise if you only get to see them in limited amounts. Your spouse might make life hell for you in this regard treating these things as weapons to hurt you but you cannot stoop that low. kids asking questions about divorceYou must remain as the responsible parent for your children’s sake.

4. Let Them Ask Questions – Sometimes the questioning of a child is the most heart rending thing. They ask you the questions that you perhaps cannot even ask yourself yet let alone answer. However if children fel they cannot ask questions then they might start to blame themself as has been mentioned, or they start to imagine lots of things that might not be true. They want to understand just as you might want to understand why these things are happening – except the younger they are the less they can piece things together. Let them ask even if you may not be able to answer – just make sure you respond following the guidelines already stated.

5. Love Them First & Foremost – I do not think this really needs to be stated for you. You already know your children are such important elements in your life and you know you have to help and protect them. So this is just a reminder than there is time to grieve and look inward. You need that time, just make sure you never put this before your kids. I know you all  will follow this last bit of divorce advice for men with kids :)

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.

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