Article by M Porteous
With the statistics showing that divorce is at an all time high the level of support for divorcees has skyrocketed to help people get through this very difficult time in their lives and find a way to move on. Unfortunately that level of support is extremely skewed to help women, not men dealing with divorce! So with divorce support for men so low what does a man after divorce do? OR perhaps more importantly what should they NOT do!
The first problem most guys face is coping with the reality of being a divorcee. This can sometimes take some time to sink in and before the realization settles men can go through a wide range of emotions and actions. Many can refuse to believe they are really divorced, in their hearts they are still married even if they do not feel in love and others feel in love but feel separated. To cope with these things men will usually do one of two things: Nothing or Everything! When they do nothing they can become deeply depressed and a recent statistic shows they are much more likely than the woman to commit suicide, whether this stems from the lack of support for men compared to women or just that men are more susceptible to these things is unclear but since men are usually creatures of action doing the opposite can be very detrimental to their mental health.The opposite effect is that the man tries to cope with this new situation by doing as much as he can with his life so he does not have to focus on his emotions. A great focus on work or on socializing or some other activity to keep himself busy becomes the main goal in the mans life. While this can be better than the lethargy of depression men often do things they regret during this period such as; sleeping around to fill the void of intimacy, alcoholism, getting into fights, and of course not resolving their emotional conflict.To compound these issues women are more likely to have a social network of friends they can rely on to help them emotionally whereas the man will not have the relationships with his friends to talk about such things and the man himself may not feel comfortable looking for help from other men even professionals.
So where is a divorced man suppose to go for help? There may be no perfect advice for men after divorce and while we can generalize on the character of males we are all different enough that we all need different solutions. The best advice I have heard however that man is is a natural problem solver, give a man the information and tools he needs to solve a problem and he will eventually build something that works. Divorce support for men may simply be giving a man as much easily accessed information so he can occupy himself with solving his own problems. Men dealing with divorce and separation may always be seen as lesser problem than the women but thanks to the internet it is much easier for men to access the help they need without the social stigma and embarrassment they might feel in real life.
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