Life After Divorce for Men –
Coping With Separation and Divorce May
Leave Guys Angry and Lonely
By: Christina Gregoire
Men's lives change after divorce. Men have double the rate of depression that women do. Men can lose money, children, and social connection, resulting in loneliness.
Half of all marriages end in divorce and that number is even higher for second marriages. Well, so many articles, studies, and family members are concerned about how women are coping with divorce but, sometimes, it seems like divorced men are being ignored.
Divorce for Men
In reality, men usually have bigger emotional adjustment problems from divorce than women do. The causes are:
- Loss of social connection
And, while men often complain about the money (spousal maintenance, child support, loss of assets), this is probably because it is easier for guys to talk about money than it is for them to talk about love and other emotions.
Well, no one should ignore the fact that divorce is hard on everyone. Women (and children) also take a big financial hit, lose their friends, and go through many of the same things that men do. However, if there are younger children in the family, divorced women will continue to have the company of their kids. While, often, the dads are left all alone.
Men's Divorce Anger
Most of the time, a wife will have been the spouse initiating the divorce. And, according to Kathleen O’Connell Corcoran, PhD, in the article "Psychological and Emotional Aspects of Divorce" on Mediate.com, “When a (person) has not initiated the divorce, they may feel” the following emotions:
While all of these feelings are common, men should remember that it takes two to get a divorce. Don't blame everything on the wife. (And, wives, don't blame everything on the husband.) Also, just because these feelings of anger and sadness are common, a man should not act out his anger or desire to get even.
Men and Depression
While both men and women have a higher risk of depression after a divorce, a longitudinal study, in Canada, revealed that men have a much higher risk of post divorce depression than women do. The Canadian study followed couples after the dissolution of their marriages, as well as couples after the breakup of their common-law marriages (couples who were living together, but unmarried).
According to the May 22, 2007 article "Study: Marital Breakdown and Subsequent Depression", in The Daily of Canada, “Men aged 20 to 64 who had divorced or separated were six times more likely to report an episode of depression than were men who remained married.”
The Canadian study controlled for other variables, which are often factors during a divorce, and can contribute to depression, but are sometimes unrelated to divorce. These variables are:
After controlling for these variables, men were still 3.3 times more likely to be depressed after divorce than a married man was. Women were 2.2 times more likely to be depressed than their married sisters were.
The research suggests that a man’s loss of contact with his children is one of the most stressful components of his life after divorce. Men are upset by the loss of custody and the change in parental responsibility.
Women and children suffer quite a lot in divorce, but men are the ones who might benefit the most from a divorce support group or from better family support. Many divorced men confide in their post divorce girlfriends, saying that they are angry, lonely, and depressed, but more needs to be done to reach out to divorced dads.
Any man who is not getting emotional support from his social network should consider forwarding this article to his family. Most parents and siblings do not understand how hard it is for a guy to go through a divorce.
Information from this article is not intended to be a substitute for advice from a lawyer, financial planner, therapist, or other professional. Please consult a lawyer or other professional for specific advice.
Corcoran, Kathleen O’Connell, PhD. Mediate.com. Psychological and Emotional Aspects of Divorce, June, 1997 (accessed March 22, 2010).
Statistics Canada.Study: Marital Breakdown and Subsequent Depression, May 22, 2007 (accessed March 22, 2010).