Men and Divorce – what men fear most

divorce and men

Divorce and Men

I’m about 2 weeks away from becoming divorced. It’s been a hell of a journey from start to finish but I’m pleased to say that I have navigated it in such a way that I’d call it a success (if you can refer to a divorce in that way).

My ex partner and I are amicable and co parenting our son the best we can. We never had to get lawyers involved at any stage, which was partly due to the lack of assets we both had but also partly due to the work that we’ve both done on ourselves. All too often the breakdown of a marriage becomes a personal vendetta against the other person where even the kids are used to spite the other person.

I remember at different points during the breakdown of my marriage of being incredibly fearful of certain aspects of separation and subsequently divorce. The fear was so great sometimes that it literally kept me in the relationship longer than I should have been.

Below I take a look at the fears that kept me stuck and take a look at some of the other common aspects of separation and divorce that keep men in relationships for longer than they should be.

Fear of judgement

I was petrified of what people would think of me. My whole family, both my mother and fathers side, have never had one single divorce. There was a lot of shame for me being the first person to encounter this issue. We are not a religious family but I still felt a lot of pressure to make my marriage work even though it was clearly beyond repair. I was lucky to have very supportive parents and my sister was also a great help during it all. It still feels like there’s a stigma around divorcee’s, well at least that’s my belief, so becoming one was met with a lot of self judgement and fear of others judging me as harshly as I was judging myself.

Fear of another man fathering your children

I couldn’t even bare to think about another man coming into my son’s life prior to separation. The very thought felt like it was going to Annihilation me so I just didn’t let it in. It was a big unconscious driver that kept me in my marriage longer than I should’ve been. It must be a very primal, territorial thing that women possess also. I’ve spoken to a number of divorcees and they all say the same – the very thought of another person fathering or mothering your own children is almost unbearable to begin with. Over time the fear subsided and my partners new partner turned out to be a lovely guy and I couldn’t have asked for more.

Fear of not finding someone else

This one hit me soon after separation. I was at an all time low in my self worth because of the split and I just couldn’t see how anyone would love me again. My ex seemed to be doing really well after the separation and I was just in pieces. I was trying my best to get over my ex by using sex as a way of bolstering my sense of self worth. Women could smell the desperation and I was given a wide birth which just added to the pain I was experiencing. Once I found a reason to love myself again so did other people and this fear evaporated. I’m now in a healthy and happy relationship with a beautiful women.

Fear of losing his home

This one wasn’t totally off my radar until I moved out and I didn’t realise how painful it would be until I had house sat, cat sat and dog sat more times than I care to remember. I think I moved more than a dozen times in 18 months until I finally thought enough is enough and I need somewhere to grow some roots. I spent my first night under the stars in Centennial Park, too embarrassed to ask a friend and too hurt to care. The next year and a half was filled with temporary addresses unsure of where I’d go next. Losing your home is a huge trauma and don’t underestimate the affects it’ll have on your health and wellbeing.

Loss of emotional support and kids

Men usually put all of their emotional support eggs into one basket. Men are not likely to open up and if they do it’s to their wife. Once divorce and separation become a reality this is no longer an option but ironically this is when he needs it most. A huge trauma and no one to share it with can often be too much for men and depression and suicide can follow.

  • Men are 9 x more likely to commit suicide than women after divorce

Family life for a man is likely his only refuge from the intense, transactional atmosphere and stress of work. Coming home at night can feel like his only sanctuary and when this disappears along with his home there is no substitute.

Men and divorce don’t seem to mix too well but with the right support and practices in a his life it can actually become a huge awakening and source of growth.

Read my next blog to see what kind of support and practices can help you survive and eventually thrive in divorce

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