Divorce is a terrible catastrophe and often it is very difficult to survive whether you are a woman or a man. Unfortunately, whereas there is lots of support and advise for wives/women, there is little support for men who go through lots of pain and heartbreak. It is an excellent thing that more and more women are as independent – financially and socially – as historically men have been, and it gives them equal opportunities to divorce their man and chart out new life paths just as men could do in the olden days. So naturally, when a divorce happens, there is a great chance that a man has been abandoned and not a woman and hence requires lots of support.
Even if it is not a case of abandonment sometimes couples simply cannot live together due to various reasons. In such case scenario, no matter how painful the separation is, people have to get a divorce and both in such cases go through equal amount of pain. They both need to survive the divorce in their individual ways. Listed below are a few things you can do in order to survive a divorce as a man.
Know your legal rights and get good legal advice
A divorce can make people ruthless and don’t be caught by surprise if that happens to you. You should know your legal rights otherwise an unfavorable settlement can wreak havoc to your present and future life. As a side note, it is always good to part ways when things are not completely messed up so that you don’t get into unfathomable legal tangles later on.
Accept that the divorce has happened and life has changed for ever
In order to survive the divorce first of all you have to accept that the eventuality has happened. Lots of trouble happens because as a man often it becomes very difficult for you to accept that the bond between your family was not strong enough and you couldn’t hold the thread of your family together. In order to move on, you have to accept the fact that you are no longer together. The sooner you accept that, the easier it will be for you to move on and make the necessary changes to your lifestyle.
Don’t indulge in blame game
Whatever has happened has happened and you cannot go back by trying to establish who is to blame for the divorce. Sometimes divorce or separation is better than having a life long pain and making life difficult for each other. Respect your spouse as another individual and wish her well; this will give you lots of peace.
Don’t take to drinking and wallow in self-pity
This is something men often do after going through a divorce and this is not a good way of surviving it. Booze can completely destroy your life, including your career. Take a break if you want to, even party if you want to (after all, you are free again) but don’t indulge in excessive drinking. This may also hinder your child custody chances.
Seek help from your friends
After the divorce, there is nothing to feel ashamed of and you should mingle with your friends as much as possible, and they will also understand that at this particular point you need to be with them rather than being alone or being with people you shouldn’t be. Surviving a divorce will be a lot easier if you have friends with you, especially good friends.
If you have had kids, remember that you’re still their father
You have to survive a divorce if for nothing else then just for your kids. Whether you’re living with your wife or not, whether the custody of your kids has gone to you or your wife, you are still their father and they need a strong dad they can count on. Meet them whenever you can if you are no longer living with them and explain to them that they had nothing to do with the current situation and they are not to be blamed. Tell them that sometimes it is not possible for a couple to stay together and live a happy life and you all will be better off by not living together. Kids adjust very fast no matter how miserable they are feeling right now.
Spend your time rekindling your old hobbies
A marriage takes its toll whether it is for good or for bad and you must have sacrificed some of your hobbies or favorite pastimes when you got busy taking care of marital responsibilities. Now that they are over, you can take up your favorite hobbies. Do reading, go on trekking with your friends, watch movies you always wanted to watch but your wife never allowed you to, play goals, do whatever you want to do basically as long as it is not harmful to you.
Join a support group
There are many support groups that are exclusively for men to survive a divorce. You can either join online forums are you can physically visit such groups. The problem with joining online forums is, although the support can be great, physically you are still isolated and you are in the same environment.
Get rid of most of the things that remind you of her
Hey, by this I don’t mean to say that you get rid of your kids (just joking). Ideally, things that remind you of her shouldn’t bother you, but if they do, get rid of them, may it be the old bedsheets, or particular furniture, or perfumes that smell like her or her favorite toothpaste, or have photographs with you, etc. Move on.
A divorce, no matter how horrible it seems right now (or whenever it is happening) is not the end of the world. In fact, many times, it is the beginning of a new world. It is a new change. It is not a reflection on you because a marriage is a mutual exercise. Accept the divorce and move on.