Many people are surprised to learn that a majority of divorces are initiated by women. The fact that men are deeply affected by divorce, especially if they did not choose that solution, is not hard to understand.Myths persist that men are less in need of the comfort and support that a stable relationship provides but this is not the case.
While the culture is changing, it is still less acceptable for men to admit to feelings of fear, helplessness, sadness, grief and anxiety.
But ALL of these emotions are very common and normal when a relationship breaks apart.
Denial of the more frightening emotions-grief, fear, anxiety, etc., will only prolong the process of healing and recovery. Cultural expectations still tend to favor mothers in custody matters leaving many men without the time they want with their children.
That can make it difficult for a man to remain as involved with his children as he wishes to be.
While our society continues to teach men to hide or avoid expression of their feelings, those feelings do not go away.
They often appear intensely when a man is abandoned by a spouse or partner.A man who is losing his partner will feel out of control of his life.Anger can be a tool to regain power, punishing with words and deeds the person who seems to be causing the pain. “She cheated on me, she was always drinking, she was a lousy wife/mother/sister.” We have all heard these howls from our friends who are separated.These include isolation, substance abuse, frantic seeking of a replacement partner, denial and an unwillingness to share grief with friends and family.Women also turn to these solutions, but less frequently than men as healthier responses are more acceptable for women.A high price is paid for that momentary sense of power; further isolation and often further despair.A greater toll is taken when the anger leads to a more complicated divorce or when children are exposed to the toxicity of a parent’s hostility.If there were major failings in the woman, why did he choose her and what about himself allowed him to stay?Acceptance of his own role in this life calamity will help him to avoid problems with the next relationship.Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to hear men say that they have thought of suicide, usually for the first time in their lives.That men can have extreme reactions should not come as a surprise.