How to Cope With Divorce As a Man: 12 Survival Tips (NEW Guide)

How to Cope With Divorce As a Man: 12 Survival Tips (NEW Guide)

Divorce specialist Natalie Maximets
Natalie Maximets is a certified life transformation coach with expertise in mindfulness and sustainability. She is a published author focused on the most progressive solutions in the field of Psychology. Natalie helps people go through fundamental life challenges, such as divorce, and build an entirely new life by reframing their personal narrative.

When it comes to men dealing with a divorce it can be stressful not only because it makes them lose their sense of identity but also because they are still stigmatized by our society. Society makes many men coping with divorce pretend to be calm and self-confident, all the while suffering from pain deep inside and we know that divorce hurts men also. This way men deal with divorce is detrimental to their mental health because it means no tears can be shown in public but, at the same time, agony lives on that no one can see during these emotional stages.

There are many other clichés that don’t allow men to fully express their pain, even to their close friends. Take, for example, the popular phrases including “man up!” or “big boys don't cry.” If males stick to these mantras most of the time, it can be really hard to discuss feelings on a mature level with them and get through divorce.

Remember that you can learn a lot about yourself after divorce and focus on moving forward through these stages of divorce. Though don't worry: in this article, we're not going to preach but rather provide you with actionable advice on how to move on with your life after divorce to go from husband to happy bachelor. You are going to inevitably grieve.

Here are 12 tips on how to truly overcome divorce, with its emotional turmoil, and start a new life. The tips include divorce advices that pertain to both the practical and emotional aspects of life, as well as things you’re better off avoiding so as not to evoke more pain and how to recover from divorce as a man.

5 Things to Avoid After Divorce

1. Do Not Attempt to Reconcile with Your Ex-Wife

No matter how badly you want to make peace with your former spouse, avoid reconciliation. You can still talk and co-parent obviously. However, it means that you shouldn't attempt to escape from the soul-sucking realization that a part of your life is gone and move forward from this divorce.

Thus, if you find yourself backsliding, it’s okay but don't get stuck in the denial phase for too long but no begging to return. Embrace and acknowledge the unknown and, finally, live through your difficult feelings if you want to be happy again and this is true for both, including men and women.

2. Make Sure that the Divorce Does not Affect Your Children

Men with kids post-marriage are prone to emotional reactions, and men are no exception when it comes to quarreling over divorce. The fact is that when it comes to coping with divorce for men with children you should be twice as careful not to hurt their feelings because it might affect their whole life.

If your ability to see your kids is limited, still avoid blaming their mother in front of them. Be a nice father instead, and spend quality time with your children by providing them with as much love as you can. Remember, the best and sometimes the only way to teach your children self-respect is through your own example. So, be the father your children will look up to!

3. Avoid Getting Addicted

Numerous men after divorce indulge in binge drinking, overwork, have casual sex, and even develop a dependency on drugs. It’s true: a completely “normal” person can go nuts due to the enormous stress divorce brings and the financial effects of any addiction.

When you seek short-term gratification you search for a quick fix for your life. But when you get this fix, it's not a long-term solution when your divorce is associated with pain and controlling ex. You can always indulge but in moderation is best after the dissolution of the marriage situation.

It is also quite clear that loose women can make you feel relief, wanted and even happy for a night, but in the morning you might feel even lonelier than before. Coming back to an empty apartment may not be the most exciting thing in the world, but feeding your broken self-esteem with quick fixes. Loneliness after divorce lets you get to know yourself.

4. Don't Lose Control over Your Feelings and Actions

Men often suppress feelings such as anger, frustration, fury, blame, and resentment because they would have to face social stigma of breaking down. This may lead to a sudden emotional outburst at an inappropriate place and time.

As a man, you know what it means to own your reactions and have the power to control yourself when you and other people truly need it. So, avoid doing either physical or emotional damage. Remember that any feeling is basically energy which you can transform in a way so that it serves you, not destroys you, so learn how to cope with divorce as a man.

5. Don't Start an Affair Before You’re Officially Free

No matter which one of you initiated the divorce, don't start dating before it's over as it’s not the way of how to feel better after divorce. Some men think they are beginning to ‘heal’ after divorce by starting over and dating other women out of revenge or to prove that they are worthy of female attention. These strategies are maladaptive, and they can only worsen your relationship. So it’s best to avoid dating so soon in order to avoid many of the unnecessary psychological effects of divorce on men. And besides, you want to have a meaningful relationship after your divorce to build on.

12 Survival Tips for Men on How to Start a New Life after Divorce

Practical Recommendations

1. Stop Sharing the Same Place as Soon as Possible

Numerous couples have to live under the same roof after the divorce, which often complicates the process of separation. However, staying together after officially splitting up may also impact your and your wife’s future. It will be impossible to bring in a new girlfriend or boyfriend, especially if there are kids and it interferes with the stages of divorce recovery.

Thus, one of the solutions may be to move in with your parents or friends if you can't afford to rent a separate apartment yet. Whatever option you choose, make sure that your new home is suitable for your children and redecorate to make it new and free of old memories. This is a good way to get a grip on the emotions you are going through after the divorce.

2. Establish a Convenient Weekly Schedule

Establishing daily routines and rituals might require some time and is necessary for life after divorce for men with or without kids. However, making a basic weekly schedule is definitely worth the effort, as it can help you keep your head above water whenever you feel lost or depressed. Of course, it won't be easy to start a new life while facing significant changes in the family structure. This is why it's crucial to prepare your new schedule beforehand to keep yourself on track through this tough time.

3. Take Care of Your Health and Well-Being

The effects of divorce on men’s health as well as mental health can be massive. Try to prioritize activities that will improve your well-being and support your health, especially if you work too much. Divorced men often suffer from health issues because they feel empty inside and don't get enough care. Nevertheless, you have to think about the future right now.

Recommendations on How to Deal with Intense Emotions

4. Make Sure to Deal with Post-Divorce Depression Correctly

Did you know that the Holmes-Rahe scale considers a contested divorce the second most awful stress in life, after the death of a spouse? Even superheroes have their weaknesses, and you are a human being, so it's normal to feel insecure and even depressed at times after heartbreak. Post-divorce depression is a serious issue that needs to be dealt with.

Did you know that the Holmes-Rahe scale considers a contested divorce the second most awful stress in life, after the death of a spouse? Even superheroes have their weaknesses, and you are a human being, so it's normal to feel insecure and even depressed at times after heartbreak. Post-divorce depression is a serious issue that needs to be dealt with.

  • Gloomy mood almost all day long for a long period;
  • Lack of interest in activities;
  • Eating disorders (consuming more or less food than usual);
  • Dramatically losing or putting on weight;
  • Insomnia or oversleeping;
  • Lack of energy; fatigue;
  • Problems with anxiety and focus on daily tasks.

There are even more severe symptoms of men dealing with divorce depression. If you are seriously influenced by the symptoms mentioned above, reach out for help immediately!

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to get instant help!

Please note that some symptoms of depression might be similar to the ones of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. It is better to visit a therapist who can prescribe treatment for the particular case you have.

5. Do Not Skip Grieving

Please note that some symptoms of depression might be similar to the ones of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. It is better to visit a therapist who can prescribe treatment for the particular case you have.

The grieving cycle is loosely divided into the following phases:

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

Thus, accept your loss and spend some time grieving and sorting out all your feelings that come with it. It’s essential to spend as much time as you need on grieving. The death of something means a new life in another. Although it may be hard to understand or even imagine a new you right now just believe that it's going to happen and you will find happiness after divorce.

6. Make a Conscious Effort to Overcome Your Pain

Never fear going to a therapist to feel whole and work through your emotions as it will pay off in the long run. Therapists will never label you, but will rather help you go through the transformation by respecting your unique path. There’s a common thread in almost every great work of literature: what writers refer to as the Hero's Journey. So, dare to be the hero of your own life without heeding to the expectations or norms of society. Society itself is imperfect, after all.

7. Use Mindfulness Techniques

Try mindfulness meditation and other techniques that will help you calm down and raise your awareness. Even if the world around you is spinning and it's really hard for you to control yourself now, it's worth the effort.

Try conscious walking. This kind of walking is probably the best mindfulness technique to start with, as it's relatively easy. Conscious walking includes paying attention to every small detail on your way. Mindful observation of the things around you will bring you to the present moment and make you feel significantly better, both physically and mentally.

8. Disconnect from Social Media Temporarily

It may be detrimental to disconnect from your supportive friends and relatives when you're facing difficult times, but this rule doesn't apply to social media. Firstly, constantly browsing your ex-wife’s Facebook page is no good, because you might see something that will break your heart, like seeing her with a new man.

So do yourself a favor – either unsubscribe from her page for a while (it's possible to do so without deleting her from your friend list) or don't check your social media accounts until you feel the desire and strength to face reality.

9. Reconnect with Your Favorite Hobbies and People

Overcoming a divorce isn't an easy period. It's like recovering from a severe illness, so treat yourself accordingly. You need lots of self-care now to enhance your well-being.

Start your busy week with a boxing class, go fishing on the weekend, musical instrument, join a public speaking community.

Nevertheless, cultivating new friendships will help you get out of the frame of your “past life” where everybody knows the person you used to be. Now, let’s be clear – there's no need to quit on your old friends for good but rather to make new connections to avoid social isolation and help you move on. So, start small with simple meetings. You can find lots of local activities on services like Meetup.

10. Say “No” to Alienation and “Yes” to “Me Time”

If you're suffering from loneliness, try replacing it with “me time”. Shift your focal point to a bit of self-indulgence! It might sound weird, but make sure that you have pleasant experiences on a regular basis without neglecting this practice.

At first, including pleasurable time in your daily schedule will require a conscious effort.

Nonetheless, in a while, you’ll benefit from “me” time as it will rebalance your body, mind, and soul. This will help turn your “lonely” time into “time for myself” and pave the way out from desolation.

11. Build a Meaningful Life

When your grief is finally over, you might find yourself quite lost, because your past is gone but your future hasn't come yet. This is often called a “transformation zone” with respect to personal crises.

What is unacceptable for you in a relationship, and what would you like to have instead of it? Always be honest with yourself and figure out what no longer matters to you. Sharing similar values is key to establishing a long-term relationship, and keeping in touch with each other’s emotions is key to a profound, long-term connection.

12. Learn to Forgive

You might find it difficult to accept the idea of forgiving your spouse at first, but the time will come when you become willing to do it, either consciously or subconsciously. In fact, resentment is one of the most punishing things that people can do to themselves. A person who can't get rid of resentment might end up being very unhappy.

You shouldn't force yourself to forgive, as this is simply impossible. However, you'll notice when the wave of your anger starts to decrease. Once you feel less bitter, you might want to quit holding that grudge for good and start living a happy life. This will mean that you are ready for forgiveness, which is the final phase of recovery after divorce. Remember that all people make mistakes, you and your ex so deal with those emotions and look forward.

How Long Does it Take For a Man To Get Over a Divorce?

Essentially, it takes time and can be different for each individual. You need to take the time to grieve and go through the stages. There are no shortcuts or quick fixes nor gender discrimination in your feelings, it’s not like taking a computer to the shop for repairs. Remember that you are human and must repair yourself. After you get through the emotional turmoil and get to know yourself, you will find a light at the end of the tunnel and find happiness and peace. Only then you are truly ready to start a new life and a more meaningful relationship.

Hopefully, these 12 tips will help you deal with your divorce and you can improve the quality of your life. However, remember that it is impossible to always control yourself, so it's ok to get down sometimes and not be perfect. Keep in mind that your future is in your own hands. It is you who's in charge of what your personal future will look like. And isn’t now the perfect time to take action?

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