Tag Archives: divorce recovery for men

Divorce Support For Men – Cultivating Support Networks

divorce support for menOne major part of divorce support for men is cultivating your own support networks. As hard as it seems, and as much as you either want to be stoic and do it alone – or on the other end of the scale desperately want someone to step in and help – these things are not often feasible.

You need to take some action and responsibility for support because as a man you will not be offered as much, there will be less resources around, and you might be your own worst enemy and decide you cannot seek divorce support because it would make you seem weak.

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Firstly though – there are a lot of support services for men popping up nowadays. Much more than there used to be in fact. These can be very helpful to many men in overcoming the pain and hopelessness of divorce. There are services that are over the phone, via the net, or more traditional one in groups, or even one on one counsellors. There is nothing wrong with using these services and I encourage you to do so if there are ones in your area especially. This is extremely helpful if you do not have many friends of family where you live because being alone is the absolute worst part.

Secondly – and what this blog post is more focused on – is creating your own social support networks to help you through the tough times.

Men tend to not have fantastic support networks compared to women. Like all things this is just a generalisation, but there is enough evidence to see this as quite typical. Men in marriages tended to have male friends who could be counted on to be on hand to help, to be there for a laugh, to always back them up. These male friends however tend not to be as good at helping each other emotionally.

It is hard for men to open up about the things they need to talk about which often drives men away from each other when they do not know how to interact anymore. Men also tend to not have many female friends either cutting off a more social acceptable avenue of gaining someone to talk to and receive the empathy they desire. This lack of being able to interact in the way that you need is a hindrance and a man’s own feeling of shame from a divorce can drive them inwards which is a bad place to be.

Creating Social Divorce Support For Men

This is not an easy process for men as has been mentioned. It involves a lot of skills and action that might seem foreign, or at least uncomfortable for many guys. It involves a certain strength, and also an ability to show weakness and pain as well. It requires that you give to receive in regards to social and emotional help also. This might seem odd sop I wanted to start with the things that do NOT work well that many guys have tried, or unconsciously do when trying to get divorce support for their life.

  • divorce support for men mistakesDo NOT Blather – While you need to open up and talk about your emotions and feelings and all that stuff that is building up inside of you, some guys unload too much at once. This might be because it takes such a huge effort to begin to do, that it comes out in a huge wave. This can be off-putting depending on who you are speaking to. People are not ready to deal with such anguish at the drop of a hat usually. Choosing the right person or people to help is important and having their consent to unload is also important. As much as you need and want help you need to empathise with them as well.
  • Do NOT Choose The Wrong People – This is dangerous as has just been mentioned. Some guys get help form the wrong people. People such as bitter divorcees who think they are helping by filling your head with revenge, bitterness, and hopelessness themselves. Some find what they think is a helpful soul online who might not be as they seem, or might not really be committed to helping in the long run. Choosing the right people to include in a support network is vital – and categorising them for what you need is also important which I will cover later.
  • Do NOT Give Up! – It sometimes seems like an easier path to simply shut yourself away and hope that you will simply push through this on your own. You might believe that if you just cry it out alone you will emerge the other side bright and shining to rejoin your friends as you were before without them having to see you at your worst. First, this is a good way to head for a deep depression as isolation and lack of social interaction has been proven to be one of the chief causes of clinical depression. Secondly who are these friends if they do not see you like this? How good are your friends and family if they will not support you now. This might be the chance to really find who are the people who will live in your heart forever.

So with these things in mind, how can a man after divorce create a working social support group to help him through the tough time, be there when he needs company or assistance, and be a part of the recovery process?

  • mens divorce support adviceFind The Right People – This is very important part of divorce support for men and possibly the hardest thing because it can be difficult to judge. Sometimes the most important social support you will get you might not even know yet, but making the wrong choice is quite problematic. The best way to start is to make a list of your friends and family and work out how you want to interact with them. This will not be a final list, but something to jog your mind on who might be able to give company, who might be there to lend a hand, who might be the wise ones who will listen. It is also a good way to simply get something started as it does not hurt to contact all of these people just to be in touch.
  • Commit To Social Interaction – Once you have a list of people make sure to commit to socially interacting with them and others. Make a real commitment to catch up, even if it is just a short visit. Making connections with other people helps, it allows you to get perspective on your predicament and you will find ways these people can become a more solid part of divorce support networks for you. Make REAL commitments not just a vague idea you might call or visit – force yourself to do this even if you feel awful. It is better to be miserable in company than by yourself!
  • Be Honest With Yourself & Them – This does not mean letting it all out as I have warned of, but make it clear that you are having a tough time and are glad for their company at least. Be honest that this is what you also want and are not just looking for sympathy or someone to bitch about your ex with. Be honest with your feelings and share when required to get that perspective you lack when keeping it all inside. Take everyone’s points of view on board and be honest and thankful for the experience.
  • Have Empathy – The people who will become a part of your divorce support network will need to be empathic people who will be able to understand you and understand your grief. You also need to be empathic of their needs as well as to not take advantage of their kindness. Supporters do not want to be emotional sponges either and will need your thanks and support as well. We give and we get as the old sayings go, this is important for long lasting and solid relationships otherwise you might find yourself being abandoned by people who might see you as too needy or too hard to work with.

This is hardly scratching the surface I think but hopefully gives you a start on how to cultivate your own divorce support for men. Being social, choosing the right people, committing, and giving back what you get are all the main points I can think of at this time. Feel free to add more in the comments box below – or if you are looking for more help on divorce recovery for men visit the main page to check out my men after divorce eBook

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Living With Your Wife After Separation and Divorce

living with your wife after divorce
Still Sleeping On The Couch?

It came as quite a surprise to me to find that there seems to be a significant number of men living with their wife after separation and divorce. After speaking with a number of divorced men in real life and many more online in various forums, blogs, and via email it seems this phenomenon is quite widespread – if still not the norm. This prompted me to think a little more deeply on this topic of living with your wife after divorce and what the consequences of this might be.

I am going to hold off judgement on whether I think this is right or wrong until a little bit later. For the moment lets look at a few issues that surround this issue, and are consequences of it:

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money

Money: Many men I spoke to commented that it was simply about money. They could not afford to move out, or they could not afford to support their wife moving out. Money is always a major player in our minds when separation and divorce rears its ugly head and many guys focus on it almost exclusively as a way to keep things in perspective. Money becomes a central theme for some men and it gives them something to concentrate on and wrap their minds around while the more ambiguous emotions are left aside because they are too hard to deal with. While you can never dismiss the importance of money, it does sometimes become more of an issue that it really is – men should ask themselves the question, if they did have money, would they move out right away? If you hesitate then perhaps it is not really the money and you need to take a closer look.

childrenChildren: Another curly issue that comes up is of course children. How can either of you manage with kids when one moves out. Custody is a major issue here, but more importantly the safety, security and health of your children who are the innocent victims in this adult problem of separation and divorce. This is a tricky one and of course depends on custody laws and how far you are through getting s divorce. Amicable divorces might end up doing this for the sake of the children which might be a good thing, but if the divorce is not amicable – there might be more consequences of staying living together for the children than if one or the other moves out. A question to ask yourself might be what long term impact will the arguments, the lack of clarity and anxiety about the situation between their mom and dad. Are you doing what is best for your kids in this instance?

attachmentAttachment: For many men after separation and divorce, the real reason they do not move out is because of the attachment issues they still have with their ex-wife and their home. This is the real reason behind many guys choosing to live with their ex-wife. Some men even sit through enormous indignities such as their ex going out partying every night, flirting with other men on the phone in front of them – and in some very sick cases having to be present when their ex brings back a new boyfriend for the night (in one case the kids were also present which makes me very sad). Men who do this are often stuck in the stage of denial which is the first stage of grief where we cannot accept what is actually happening. In rare cases some men have gone through this – past the stage of anger – and end up in the bargaining stage. They are actually trying to somehow work out a deal to bring their marriage back (which never happens). I explain in more detail the stages of divorce in my e-book you can find by clicking here.

stubbornPride & Stubborness: Another reason some guys do not move out is pride and/or being stubborn. Not wanting to move because they should and if they refuse this becomes a kind of passive aggressive action against their ex. Men doing this might be mired in the anger stage of divorce and are looking for nay way to express it without too much confrontation. A kind of Mexican stand off with their wife but never actually saying what they really want. This is quite rare though from my experience as this cannot last long before something breaks.


So should you live with your wife after separation or divorce?

At first I thought it was very strange and my mind instantly said no. From my experience and research this sort of proximity with the person you must end your relationship with causes until tension and problems. Emotional turmoil, arguments, hostility, and sometimes sexual encounters which can complicate things even further. It also, as has been mentioned, comes with a certain amount of humiliation for many guys whose ex wife does not respect their feelings or space. However, after thinking upon this and talking with some men my mind has been changed but only very slightly. If you are living with your wife (or ex-wife) after separation or divorce then there are only a very few select sets of circumstances where it might work out.

  • It needs to be an amicable divorce without hostility
  • If children are involved they need to be treated fairly and understand what is happening
  • You must be doing this out of a sense of co-operation and not being mired in the early stages of divorce recovery.
  • If money is the real issue, then you must be prepared to save up and work out better living arrangements as soon as possible.

Some Tips to Live With Your Ex After Divorce

live with wife after divorceSome further tips on how to create a stable living environment if you have to live with your ex wife after you are separated or divorced are needed because this can be an emotional minefield that you will have to navigate every day. Let take a look at a few things you can do:

 

  • Separate sleeping arrangements that never meet are vital. NEVER sleep together or in the same room. Make sure you separate yourself and if possible both have beds, don’t have one person sleeping on a couch as this is a kind of humiliation that causes friction.
  • Draft a living agreement that clearly states who will do what so there is no leftovers from your marriage about who used to do what. Make sure there will be no arguments or manipulation, just a document which outlines who will do what so there is no confusion.
  • Make sure both of you have your own space. Following on from point one; you have to both feel comfortable in the house and not be stepping on each others toes all the time. Add this into the living agreement about times for bathrooms, when you have access to certain facilities and so forth.
  • Schedule things. Make sure everything is planned so you know when you should be out for the night when she invites the girls around, and vice versa. Also make sure to schedule in times to talk about the divorce if it has not finished yet so that it is never ad hoc and happens when one party is angry, upset, or tired.
  • If you are only waiting for a time that you or her can move out, make sure to keep to the schedule as well! Do not delay it!

You can only truly overcome and recover form divorce once you have the space to think and internalise all of the emotions and feelings that comes from a failed marriage. This can only be achieved after you stop living with your wife after separation. This is a process that can take some time and can be very destructive if you do not handle it right. This is why I wrote the Men After Divorce E-book and highly suggest you look into it if you are a guy struggling to cope after divorce.

Divorce Recovery for Men – Overcoming Anger & Resentment

divorce recovery for menDivorce recovery for men is often derailed by one of our most primal instincts – anger. There is a phase in the grief cycle that we all go through where anger plays a major part and is important to at least get out of your system. I am not talking about brief moments of rage and self pity that you eventually move out of once the initial shock wears off and you adjust. I am talking about the long term anger, resentment and bitterness that can follow you through your life.

Now if you are going through a divorce, or are a long way past a divorce you will know this anger well. This sense of being so wronged that you want to lash out, you want someone to notice, someone to feel your wrath and be humbled, apologise, or something similar. It is an instinctual reaction to make ourselves feel more powerful, to try to obtain some sort of justice or supplication from another by righteous rage that stems from an injustice or hurt of some kind.

In a tribal society of old where life was not as complex, strength and power determined justice and law. However, anger these days does not achieve a huge amount does it? When has yelling at someone ever really produced a good long term result? When has being angry ever changed a situation for the better? Anger is just a triggered defensive reaction to a perceived injustice as can be seen by people who fly off the handle even when they are clearly in the wrong … it all comes down to perception.

The other point I wanted to mention is that anger can fester to become bitterness and resentment. You cannot maintain a raging anger, but many people manage to maintain a simmering loathing of their ex wife, the divorce process, themselves, lawyers, or anything else from this divorce. This is more dangerous than the initial rage which can often fade quickly and then is gone. This holding on to a grudge is a hindrance to your mental health for years to come and hurts your relationships and outlook on life.

Why you need to banish this resentment

While it may seem obvious to some, here are a few reasons why you want to get over this and fast as people who live with bitterness and resentment frequently suffer from issues such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Poor self esteem
  • A focus on revenge
  • Trouble with future relationships
  • Stress

If you let this bitterness go, you can achieve so much more and be so much happier. The sheer amount of energy it takes to maintain such a mental state of mind is enormous and while you may not realise it yet, it is a CHOICE you have.

How to let go of anger and resentment

The key to achieving divorce recovery for men and letting go of the anger is by forgiveness. This is a term that has many preconceptions with it that stop people from truly utilising this amazing mental tool. The act of forgiveness gives you a grace that can have lasting positive consequences in your life.

What forgiveness is NOT is:

  • Forgiveness is NOT about forgetting the problems, actions or insults. Whatever happened, happened and must serve as a reminder.
  • Forgiveness is NOT about excusing the actions of your wife or yourself and making them okay in any way.
  • Forgiveness is NOT about giving permission for continuance of these issues by yourself of by your wife.
  • Forgiveness is NOT about reconciliation. Just because you forgive someone does not mean you need to enter into a relationship again with them. That is a separate issue and should not be taking in this case because we are trying to make a new life not rebuild the ashes of the old one.
  • Forgiveness is NOT about religion and spirituality, unless you want it to be. Religion has its own interpretation which helps many people understand, but if you are not religious then this is a purely a mental process, and an important one too.

Forgiveness is a release from the anger, it is a way to acknowledge the hurt and set it free instead of keeping it in your heart. It is letting go for the need for vengeance so that you can mentally untie yourself completely form the negative emotions of the divorce and live your life without a burden. To lose the anger you must forgive those that wronged you because anger will never make anything better in your life. You must let it go and move on because emotionally it is crippling, and logically it achieves nothing.

For more information how to do this check out my full Men After Divorce E-book which will go through the complex psychological hurdles that make it difficult to forgive, and gives you the framework to be happy after a divorce no matter how bad it was.