Men And The Emotional Stages Of Divorce
Men may have more to lose in a divorce in terms of health and happiness according to Psychology Today. Women are actually more likely to ask for divorce than men according to the American Sociological Association. For this reason, most men are often caught unprepared when their spouses ask for divorce, which only pushes them into a situation of uncertainty. Men easily get stressed when they have to deal with uncertainty about their future, but only few of them ever seek the help they need because of stigma surrounding men’s mental health.
Men are expected by society to “man up” when they are facing serious problems even if those problems are affecting their mental health. This is despite the fact that divorce is the second most stressful life event behind death according to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale. As a result, it often takes longer for them to get over a divorce. Men go through the emotional stages of divorce before they actually get over the divorce.
First emotional stage
In this stage you first experience shock and denial especially if the divorce was unexpected. In fact, right after you have been served or your spouse has asked for divorce, you will most likely be in denial that it is really happening. Then when you eventually get over the shock and denial, you will experience pain and guilt about the divorce. Guilt is often manifests itself when you start blaming yourself for not having worked hard enough to stop the divorce. You may find yourself saying “if only I did this and that”. You need to talk about that guilt with people you trust such as close friends and family. Turning to drugs or alcohol to cope with the pain will only make it worse.
Second emotional stage
The pain and guilt can quickly turn into anger. Men lash out at their friends or relatives when they are angry. But when you lash out at people who have nothing to do with the divorce it can only lead to more broken relationships. You need your friends are relatives to help you cope with the difficult divorce process. It is at this stage that you may find yourself bargaining with God to help restore your marriage.
Third Emotional Stage
Loneliness followed by depression can set in as you spend hours sadly reflecting about what could have been. This loneliness happens when you realise you are all alone in a cheap apartment or hotel room once your divorce is finalized. No sound of children running around the house, nobody to cook for and eat with, and no one to tell about what happened at work that day. Loneliness is inevitable for people that have gone through divorce. Do not close yourself off but make new friends and talk to your relatives. This will help you avoid sinking into depression.
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Last Emotional Stage
Eventually things will start getting better gradually each day. There will still be triggers but you will be more organized and sure about the direction your life is headed. Then you will reach the finish line where you accept that the divorce has happened and life has to go on. It could be the best time to start a new relationship.