People don’t enter marriages planning to divorce. Divorce is the result of a lack of knowledge and preparation for marriage and the failure to commit to learning the skills of working together as a team in creating a successful intimate relationship. -Becky Lennox
1. Men Skip the Grieving Process
Divorce sucks for everyone involved, period. Men tend to begin the grieving process after the two by four has smacked them between the eyes or they have basically given up on the relationship. Men skip the grieving process and go right to the derailed life stage. They feel at a loss, goals and dreams are changed and their life plan suddenly finds itself at a standstill. They tend to focus on work and “get busy” causing them not to deal with the issues involved in a break-up or divorce.
Women are more likely to take time to grieve, which is a healthy emotion and much needed to move on. Women will also seek professional help or help from family members when they divorce to aid in their emotional state. When men bottle up their emotions, it can result in massive depression and anxiety.
2. Men’s Health Declines Drastically
Men experience more health problems in the process and after a divorce. The most common health problems include weight fluctuations, depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Men typically are faced with added tasks, managing finances and lose their identity. This makes them much more susceptible to both stroke and heart disease. Men are also more likely to self-medicate with alcohol and drugs than women are instead of seeking therapy as women do in stressful times.
When married, it is generally the wife who hounds on her husband to “go see the doctor” as well as nitpicks the man regarding eating habits and forming a healthy lifestyle. Although the intention is for his well-being, women create an atmosphere for dependence due to the fact men generally just “do what I am told because I don’t want to hear it”. If a man talks about his feelings at all, it will commonly be to this significant other. Women chat, share, talk, hash and rehash with friends, neighbors, family members, or therapist. Men are just not accustomed to seeking out emotional support from others that aren’t their spouse.
3. Men Lose Their Identity
When couples are together, they identify as being a wife or husband or a couple. This identity is a huge part of who you are. and this is a large part of who you are and how people view you.
Men, when going through a break-up or divorce, see themselves as no longer being half of a partnership, and feel lost. Most of the time women are social creatures or become involved in groups or activities outside the marriage due to interest, kids, need, or representing her family or relationship. Women will continue these activities where men rarely pick up and join the local PTA, Pilates class, meet-up group, or Cheer Club Mom’s Group.
4. Men Rush into New Relationships
Men don’t grieve correctly, so they jump. They jump off cliffs with new women who enable them to shove their feelings under the rug where the elephant in the room has been standing since the break-up. Being alone is not what most men identify as healthy or meaningful and attention from a woman can fill a void they don’t want to experience.
On the other hand, women take time out to grieve, examine, roll around in, over-think, and embrace their emotions. Women will also take their time before entering a new relationship, possibly start and quickly leave a relationship, or consume themselves with their kids.
5. Men Miss Their Children
Moms end up with the kids, most of the time. Men heavily grieve the loss of their children. Most men have grown accustomed to seeing their kids on a regular basis and getting the run down from their spouse regarding the kid’s activities, feelings, grades, friends, behaviors, and if they need to “go talk to her/him” upon returning home. Most men take suggestions, commands, instructions fairly well regarding the kids. When there is a break-up, men feel an enormous loss regarding their children and their roles change substantially. Men report feeling “shut out”, “not needed”, and “forgotten”.
Women, on the other hand, are still a significant player in the children’s lives if they live with their mom. Women will distract themselves with the kids, their activities, and “worrying and about the kids”, causing them to distract them from their own feelings of loss.
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CRT, CCDC, CACC | Counselor & Life Coach
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