Conversations about divorce have primarily focused on the concerns of a female spouse. On the other side of the equation are men who face divorce and the challenges they face after a divorce action. The dissolution of a marriage is hard for both parties, even if men are thought to be able to tough it out, party through it, and move on with newfound bachelor freedom. That’s far from the case for many men and so it’s wise to discuss some helpful tips to help guys deal with the blow of a failed union.
Here are five tips to help men who are going through a divorce:
Protect your financial interests. With any divorce proceeding, documentation is vital. Obtain copies of bank and credit card statements, take pictures or videos of personal property, and get a hold of tax records. This will be helpful when divvying up property.
Now is the time to plan for moving forward without your spouse. Separate shared bank accounts, and open your own. Remove your significant other from shared credit cards and any insurance payout designations. Start a budget for your new life, accounting for housing, alimony, child support and legal fees.
Take responsibility. Rather than blaming your spouse, take responsibility for what you may have contributed to the split. Whether it’s failed communication, infidelity, fiduciary abuse or another factor, accept what was done to cause or exacerbate a troublesome union. Be balanced in this, not allowing guilt or regret to consume you or keep you from accepting that the relationship is over.
Be encouraged that taking responsibility allows for control at a time in your life when things seem unsteady and confusing. You get to choose what you need to do to heal and you exclusively have the role of making sure you move forward successfully.
Take care of yourself. If you’ve gotten used to someone else cooking, ironing, or otherwise making life easier for you, now’s the time to adjust to having to care for these things yourself. Learn to make meals and care for household chores, getting into a new habit of household management. This will keep costs down and support your self-sufficiency.
Along with daily tasks, make sure to take care of your physical and emotional health. Adequate sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and learning to practice mindfulness can refresh you and prevent depression from consuming you. Staying on top of personal grooming not only will help you look good, but you will feel more confident. Talking to a therapist is helpful too, as your lawyer or spouse are not dumping grounds for your troublesome emotions. Add in time for friends and family, asking for–and accepting–company, help, and any other support.
Keep a handle on communication. All communication with your spouse should be kept as peaceful as possible, as difficult as it might be. Speak to your significant other using facts, rather than feelings and avoid resorting to intentionally hurtful terms and assault at all cost. Stay in contact with your children, staying in the home if possible, until the divorce is final to protect your interest regarding custody. Do not speak ill of your spouse to your children, family members or on social media, creating ammunition that can be used against you. If you need an outlet, consider journaling or speaking to your therapist or confidential friend.
Mind your impulses. Regardless of how restless you feel, hold on just a bit. Give yourself time to process what’s going on and to adjust. Refrain from spending impulsively, living wildly or promiscuously and otherwise coping by rushing from one high to the next. Where possible, don’t make more major, life changing decisions like quitting your job, moving across country, or making large purchases which could be largely fueled by emotion and detrimental to you in the divorce proceedings and custodial battles.
Let things run their course, finding whatever peace you can during this time. Use this opportunity to become grounded and secure in your new circumstance. Most importantly, use discernment as you navigate this huge shift in your life. If you are facing a divorce, give us a call. Our divorce attorneys at the Thomas Hogan Law Office can assist you.