I just wanted to open up this blog with a discussion about self esteem for men going through divorce, and also living life after it. Firstly what do we mean by self esteem really? It is a phrase you hear quite a lot but the concept is often poorly understood at a deeper level. Divorced men in particular should know how self esteem affects their lives because it can hit a record low and not get much beyond there for a while.
Self esteem is your opinion of yourself at a surface level. It is how you feel about yourself as a person, as a father, as a partner, as a man in general. Being divorced placed a massive negative image on all of those things. It can even creep into your career making you feel you never earned enough, or on the opposite end that you worked too much and didn’t spend enough time. In the mind of a divorced man who is already feeling that he was not good enough somehow, so many more links can be found even if they are totally wrong!
This is the thing that guys need to realise after a divorce, that the low self esteem comes from within, it is not caused by outside events, but only your perception of them.
For example, a friend of mine Robert went through a divorce where he basically lost his kids to his ex wife. Rob was a good dad, he was not perfect but he was a good and attentive guy to his kids and his marriage. Of course, no one told him that directly and it wouldn’t have made any difference in his mind because his divorce and loss of his kids made him feel like a bad father. He didn’t not realise how much of his self image was tied into his view of being a good parent. From this a landslide of negativity followed. He felt his job was pointless, he felt no women would want him because he was a bad father. From this he felt unattractive and depressed and didn’t have any goals for some time.
As you can see, he was exactly the same man he was before, but the mind turned everything to shit and his self esteem plummeted. He allowed this to happen in a way because his own sense of self worth was directly targeted. The problem is his sense of self worth seemed to be dictated by circumstance and other people’s opinions and not by your own inner core beliefs.
This knowledge is part of the healing process that you must go through as a man after divorce. The next part is knowing how to fix it!
My guide on Men after Divorce explains this in more detail but knowing is half the battle as the saying goes so I hope that might help some guys 🙂