Tag Archives: men and divorce

Children Coping With Divorce – Do Kids Get It As Bad As We Think?

Is Divorce Bad For KidsAs I have mentioned many time on my blog, children suffer the worst in divorce. While the emotional anguish a man after a divorce feel is incredibly difficult to deal with, children do not have the sort of maturity to understand and process what is happening. However, I read an article recently that challenged this view and indicated that children might have no long lasting issues due to divorce . So what is the truth of the matter? Is divorce really bad for kids or not?

The article states this:

Divorce affects most children in the short run, but research suggests that kids recover rapidly after the initial blow. In a 2002 study psychologist E. Mavis Hetherington of the University of Virginia and her then graduate student Anne Mitchell Elmore found that many children experience short-term negative effects from divorce, especially anxiety, anger, shock and disbelief. These reactions typically diminish or disappear by the end of the second year. Only a minority of kids suffer longer. – (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=is-divorce-bad-for-children)

I really question the methodology of this survey. They do not elaborate very much on how they came to the conclusion that kids do not suffer very long, or that it does not effect them further into adulthood. There is no mention of how big the sample size for this is either – though perhaps the book they are taking this from goes into more depth. MY personal opinion is that there is a LOT of damage that a BAD divorce can do to children in the short and long term. While children are very good at bouncing back from many of life’s troubles, how many times have we heard of men and women who have serious issues that come from buried memories and emotions they could never get through as a child. No survey can go that deep unless they are doing some serious psychological profiling.

Now, it does clarify that children coming from divorces that are extremely bad are going to suffer the most, while those who divorce well lead to happier children. That seems a no-brainer to me. However it goes on to state this which has me worried about the message and methodology again:

These findings suggest that only 15 percent of adult children of divorce experience problems over and above those from stable families. No one knows whether this difference is caused by the divorce itself or by variables, such as poorer parenting, that often accompany a marriage’s dissolution.

Cute Kid DivorceSo what they are saying is they do not consider the quality of life and the parenting patterns after divorce to be a part of how divorce affects children? How can it NOT be a part of this equation. How do they measure this? 15% seems too low to me, but it shows that it certainly does effect children long term and this is a MINIMUM number as I am certain they did not dig deep enough to find more problems.

Now, I do not want to scare men recovering from divorce about the state of their children. In fact I am encouraged that there are signs that children do bounce back fast from divorce. It also re-enforces my point about good co-parenting that is essential to minimise the impact of divorce. Good management of your divorce with as little conflict as possible seems to be the way to mitigate the worst of divorce fallout on your children and it may lead to a good recovery for them in the long term. I hope that is a spot of light if you are worrying about the mental health of your children.

It also states that is a marriage was so full of conflict before the divorce, then a separation might actually be more beneficial to the child. So if you were in an abusive relationship it could be a better outcome that you split as well, but only as long as you continue to manage parenting them well.

but what about me ebookMy eBook on Men After Divorce is mostly about helping men get through the struggles of being a divorced man and dad very often. However I am not a child psychologist or expert on children apart from being a father myself – I will not pretend to be an expert. One person that Is an expert however is Wendy Mollah the author of a really cool children’s book called But What about Me?. If you are looking for a way to help your kids understand the divorce so you can be a good father and help them while you are helping yourself through the hard emotional slog of divorce, then this might be a good way to help. Check out her site here if you are looking for some help in this area, it might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it might be right up your alley too.

www.HelpingKidsThroughDivorce.com

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

 

Do Men Try Harder in Divorce?

I was reading an old post on a blog the other day while doing some research about men’s efforts in a relationship pre and post divorce and was wondering; do men try harder?

I try to never generalise because there are lazy, inconsiderate, and plain useless men out there who don’t try at all and sometimes don’t care. However, ignoring the minority of troglodytes that behave like this I have come to the conclusion men often do try harder during this phase and often in a relationship too.

The post i linked to mentions why and I will summarise. Basically it seems to be because men are naturally problem solvers and divorce is a BIG problem. W want to win, we want to solve the problem, we want to fix something that is broken. Also, men usually never have come to terms with a divorce when it is initiated which seems reasonable … but women have. Women have thought about a great deal and talked it over with many friends and family and by the time it comes to the announcement they are convinced and have shut down emotionally.

So is this a good thing or a bad thing though? We tend to be very proud of when we work hard and put an effort in whether it is cleaning the house or saving a failing marriage. However my point of view is it is neither good nor bad … it just IS.

In some ways in fact it can be bad, I am all for saving a marriage in crisis that can be saved, but when it goes beyond the point of no return we are left clinging to a fading hope by our fingernails fighting the inevitable. Then people wonder why we appear even more crushed when it does not turn out right.

This is why I am always for men moving on after divorce, not with other women, but emotionally and spiritually. In some cases this has led to reconciliation, but for the most part it simply allows a man to find his true self and be happy with the despite his relationship problems.

Trying hard does not make you a hero and does not equate to success always. When the writing is on the wall, it is time to fix your own problems (and be a good parent too) not your partners.

How to Move on After Divorce for Men – The Power of the Pen

moving on after divorceDiscovering how to move on after divorce for men can be a long and arduous process. One of the biggest problems is the turbulent state of your mind and emotions. This shifting landscape of your mind makes it difficult to really understand the truth of the situations you are in and makes it difficult to move forward because your future and direction seem to be moving all over the place.

I remember at one stage after my divorce I changed my mind four times about going on a trip to clear my head. I even went as far as booking plane tickets then cancelling them and for the life of me, I could never quite work out who I wanted to go and why i did not! This is just a minor example, but some guys have massive problems in choosing a direction or understanding themselves because a single trigger can cloud your mind with anger, depression, anxiety, and other emotions that will change your mental state.

One thing that helped me when I was dealing with this volatile situation was using a pen.

That’s right, a pen. It was not even a fancy pen! It was a regular black biro with the lid missing and one end chewed from nervous fits when I was working out legalities of the divorce. The same pen that signed the divorce papers in fact helped me to move on from the divorce as well.

Ok, this was not some magic pen, the power of it is in the written word. You see, the written word does not change when you put it on paper. Your interpretation of it can change, but a well constructed letter can have usually a single meaning that will NOT shift and change like an upset mind.

So I offer this advice for guys finding it difficult to focus, understand themselves, understand the divorce, and of course move on from it – Write stuff down!

Some things to write when you are in a good frame of mind are:

  • Your plans for the immediate future
  • Your plans for the long term
  • Your emotions and frustrations
  • A letter to your ex wife (to be burned symbolically not sent!)
  • A letter to yourself to read again when you are feeling low
  • A budget! (this is more important for your mental health than you think …)
  • And more …

Harness the power of the pen guys! I talk more about how to use the written word to help you move on after divorce in my Men After Divorce guide as well.

How Divorce For Men Can Be Good For You

I was browsing around some website the other night and found an interesting piece about why failing in a relationship can be good for you. While it never feels like ti at the time, a divorce is only going to be painful and seem like a huge waste if you believe that and continue without making this a real learning experience.

I often refer to my divorce as a rebirth because it was such a painful experience but at the end gave me a new life, a new clarity, a new purpose. All this because i eventually came to see it from a different angle and incorporated what i learned into my new life. Some of these points were put forth pretty clearly in the writers (a Douglas LaBier, Ph.D) article:

“But what can go missing is a deeper learning, emotionally and spiritually: Learning not only what went wrong in your past, failed relationships; but also learning from the residue of the loss and using that awareness in your future relationships. That means incorporating the meaning of the loss or failure into the fabric of your life, and identifying what you need to learn from it as you go forward.”

This sort of introspection comes easily to some but very hard to others. While all guys should try to be aware of this, the other challenge in my opinion is to not let your emotions twist and distort the truth to form a negative thread in this tapestry of your life. Often we think we learn, but really we simply hold grudges, and add layers of shame and blame that do not really help us with future relationships; they harm them instead.

Another paragraph that grabbed my interest:

“Their legacy becomes woven into the larger tapestry of your life, even as that tapestry enlarges over time. The challenge is to incorporate all of it; learn about yourself from all of your experiences, especially what didn’t work or what was negative…or else keep repeating new versions of it.”

The repetition of the same mistakes we make over and over again is the curse of those who do not take the time, and sometimes the painful journey of really understanding themselves and their divorce. Sometimes it is because we shy away from the truths for easier comforts of anger or self pity … or even self loathing. The easy path is never the one that brings you the most emotional and spiritual gain.

“That’s what brought to mind the old tree trunk I saw as a young boy. Damaged where the lightning had struck, I noticed that the trunk had continued to grow around it and gradually encompassed the damaged part within it. It was like oneself: Even if you continue to grow and change, learn from your experiences and continue on with your life, your losses nevertheless remain part of you…. always there, a visible, enduring part of you. But by embracing that reality, loss of failure in love can be a good thing for your future relationships; if you can learn to integrate it and meld it into your ongoing life journey, your personal “evolution.””

Evolution is a very good word for it. Nothing in our minds is a revolution, nothing changes in a moment to be so different than before that you have a whole new perspective of life. Your mind and your outlook is an evolving thing and one that you can direct with an understanding of that evolutionary psychological flow.

This is something I try to highlight in my Men After Divorce Ebook which gives that understanding of your emotions and psychological makeup and how you can then evolve into a stronger person emotionally and spiritually.

You can read the full article here:

Why Romantic-Sexual Relationship Failures Are Good For You

Men After Divorce is Live!

Welcome to my blog at men after divorce!

I sure am glad I got my own website for this so I can continue to blog about mens issues cenetred around divorce, relationships and life  in general.

For any women readnig this, sorry it might be a bit heavy in guy talk but feel free to read and comment as well!

I am still waiting for the guys who will be handlign all the transactiopns for my ebook to approve it though, so if you came from the main page and want to purchase my book … go to the contact page and email me. I will let you know as soon as it is released.

Regards,
Kyle Morrison