Practical Tips For Men Facing Divorce and Separation
Being logical creatures, us men like to know what’s what. We like to know where and when. We like to stay in control and keep things in check… especially our emotions. So there’s nothing quite like a divorce or separation to shake a guy’s world to the foundations.
How do men facing divorce handle things?
Our first impulse is to get ourselves in check.
If our partner has left us, we want them to think we’re okay, even when in reality we’re falling apart at the seems. We may still want her back and we think there’s half a chance, so the trick has to be to tell her we’re okay, or “Getting our head around things”. But there are three things with this approach…
First, in truth you’re probably not okay.
Women are experts in the art of seeing right through us. If you try the above approach and fail she’s going to doubt you. First thing you shoot here is her trust on what comes out of your mouth. Now she’ll doubt things you say and for good reason.
Second, if she’s left you, there’s a reason.
Chances are she’s not coming back, whatever trickery we try. And if she did come back, what then… she’s there on false pretences, either because she feels sorry for you, is confused or manipulated.
So, don’t tell her your getting your head around things.
Even if you think you are. Because you’re probably not. What you are getting your head around is that something that has been familiar for years is gone. Chances are your divorce will involve children. They’ll probably be left behind and you’ll miss them too and you now have a divorce to handle, plus your job and the worries about the future, juggling a mortgage, paying for your kids and somehow starting all over again. Truth is it hurts like hell and you’re struggling to pull your act together.
When I went through my divorce an old friend told me that divorce was like a roller coaster ride you couldn’t get off. It sounded funny at the time, but pretty soon I knew what he meant. My emotions went up and down. For several months I felt like a manic depressive.
I’d have moments where I felt I was getting things sorted. I felt like life was moving on and I was “Getting my head around things,” then out of the blue, and often for no particular reason, I’d slump – depressed or exhausted. Basically I’d burnt out.
One of the things I found hardest was turning my brain off.
It would go around and around with things I needed to sort out. It might be something I thought of after a conversation with my ex or a friend. it might be something I had to tell my solicitor. And most often… and most annoyingly, these things would come up just at the moment where I had dozed off. Ping I was wide awake and ready to go again.
At work things would go around in my head too.
At the time I worked up ladders. I’d be up there and suddenly I’d have a bubble of emotions well up. When you’re fourteen feet up in the air that is a bit inconvenient. Once or twice the stress and emotion got too much and blacked out – which is more inconvenient.
There were several occasions when I had to give up and go home. The problem was being self-employed with solicitors fees and a mortgage to still pay, you can’t afford too much of it. So the stress actually mounted even more.
Of course your circumstances, your separation, your work, your situation with kids, will be different to mine. But two things will be the same: You will have emotions and you will have the practical issues of life to get in order. For pratical tips on dealing with divorce, find out more here.