How Long Does It Take For A Man to Get Over Divorce? 10 Factors That Affect Healing
By: Nicole Beasley
Updated November 18, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Amy Brown
"Guys, you are not a failure for going through a divorce; in fact, you may be going through a life change that will place you in the path of a more pleasant future. Divorce can happen for various reasons, but the way you view it is the way you will cope with it. Try to see the divorce as an opportunity to make a fresh start and create a life that you want while learning from your past mistakes. You can still have a bright future!" - Dr. Wendy Boring-Bray, DBH, LPCC.
Getting over a divorce can be difficult for anyone, but research studies have shown that men have a harder time getting over a divorce than women in many cases. Several surveys and research studies have shown that men who go through a divorce are more likely to die at a younger age, have heart problems, and have substance abuse issues. In addition to these hurdles, men are often more emotionally attached in their marriage than women.
How Long Does It Take To Get Over A Divorce?
There is no real short answer to this question. How long it takes to get over a divorce depends on many factors. Most psychologists and therapists' general rule of thumb is one year of healing and recovery for every five to seven years of marriage. However, if you wanted the divorce, were unhappy with your marriage, or the divorce decision was mutual, it may not take quite as long. Some men can get over divorce in just a few months, while others take years to go through the process.
Getting Over Divorce
Getting over a divorce is harder for men than it is for women. In general, men tend to hold onto a marriage longer and harder than their female counterparts. They tend to look at divorce more negatively than women at first, even though men tend to remarry faster than women. Men also must face more emotional adjustment challenges than women, primarily because of the loss of intimacy, social connections, and reduced finances. Men may also face more challenges when managing custody and visitation, depending on the divorce circumstances and the nature of the relationship. In some of these cases, men must also cope with losing time with their children. Here are some more ways that getting over a divorce is harder for men than women.
Men Often Skip The Grieving Process
It is healthy to have a grieving process after a divorce or breakup, much in the same way as you would grieve a loved one who had died. While you may recognize that few things (like the death of a close family member, for instance) are as stressful as or more upsetting than a divorce, it can still be easy to forget that you deserve to give yourself time to grieve and mourn. If you skip the grieving process, you may find yourself at a loss with no idea what to do next.
Research studies have found that men often have more health problems following a breakup or divorce. Whether this is due to picking up or resuming bad habits, or some other unknown explanation, is not agreed upon in the psychological and medical community. But the fact remains that most men have their health decline immediately following a divorce.
In addition to coping with the stress of the end of a relationship, men have to spend time finding themselves and figuring out who they are alone. Men are much more likely than women to have few or no groups or activities, and they typically see themselves as half of a partnership. When they find themselves suddenly alone, they don't know who they are without their spouse.
Fools Rush In
Because men skip the grieving process, they are often hurrying to get back on the horse. They don't want to be alone, and they will jump back into dating quickly. This makes it harder to get over the divorce because they are repressing their emotions and thoughts about the divorce, which means healing never truly begins.
It is unfortunate at times, but often, the mother gets custody of the children, and the father only gets some visitation. Because men are no longer in the same home as their children daily, they find themselves missing their children terribly. This can cause several problems, including the onset of depression.
Getting Through Divorce
Getting through a divorce is often much harder for men than for women. There are several reasons for this. Men crave emotional relationships and connections as much as women do. Research studies show that men are typically happier in their marriages than women. They also tend to be the ones facing divorce unexpectedly, whereas more women initiate divorce.
Divorce also has more negative connotations for men than for women. A divorced man is more likely to have worse physical and mental health after a divorce than their spouse. Men are also more likely to develop feelings of hopelessness after divorce.
Part of the difference in men's health getting through a divorce is that women encourage men to be healthier. With the woman out of the picture, men are more likely to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, and abuse other drugs. Another difference is that women tend to have better support from friends and family than men.
Men often find it harder to start dating again after a divorce or breakup in the short term. Although men tend to remarry faster, it takes longer for them to get back on the horse. This suggests that men take longer to be ready to date again, but they have a much clearer idea of what they want, and when they find it, they remarry quickly.
Moving On After Divorce
Moving on from divorce, how long it takes, and how well you can cope are several factors. At least ten different factors can play a role in how long it takes for a man to get over a divorce. Other factors may also be present depending on your situation, but the most common factors to affect how long it takes to get over a divorce are below.
The Length Of The Marriage
Psychologists suggest that it takes an average of one year for every five to seven years of marriage to get over a divorce. It stands to reason that the longer you are married, the longer it will take to move on from divorce. The longer you are together, the more assets and belongings you have to divide, the more you have to think about children you have had together, and the harder the adjustment will be to living alone again.
The Element Of Surprise
If you don't see the divorce coming, it can be a huge shock and take much longer to accept and move on from. If your spouse seemed happy or even indifferent, and you didn't know there was a real problem, divorce could come as a complete surprise. In a perfect world, couples would communicate well enough that such a thing could never come out of nowhere, but in reality, often, a divorce seems sudden and out of the blue.
Whether You Were The Initiator
Men who initiate divorce generally find it much easier to move on from divorce. Because men are less likely to end a relationship, if you did initiate the divorce, it probably means that you have already accepted that the marriage is broken. You are no longer happy the way things are. Having that acceptance greatly reduces the amount of time it takes to get over the divorce. However, if your spouse initiated the divorce, you may feel betrayed, abandoned, or unloved, making it harder to get over and move on.
If your spouse cheated on you, it could make it harder or easier to get over the divorce. If their spouse cheats on them, it is automatically the end of the relationship for some men. The man will often leave and accept that the marriage is over and quickly move on with his life. However, for some men, the pain of their spouse being unfaithful could make the divorce that much harder as feelings of pain and betrayal muddy the waters of recovery. On the other hand, if your spouse didn't cheat on you and the problems were much deeper, it could take longer for you to come to terms with the divorce.
If there are children involved, you may be much more likely to take a long time to get over a divorce. This is because you will still have to communicate with, see, and co-parent with your ex. You will likely not be able to completely remove yourself from the situation to heal, making that healing take longer. This is especially true if you and your ex have a very hard time getting along for the children's sake.
Income level affects divorce in a big way. If you are financially stable and make enough income to support a household on your own, you are much more likely to move on from divorce quickly. This is because you have the financial freedom to set up a new household the way you want. You also have more options for legal representation when you have flush finances, which can greatly help you get through a divorce with fewer feelings of anger and resentment. However, if you lack income, it can make moving on very difficult.
Having A Job
Most men have a job, but you may not have that supportive work-family if you are self-employed, retired, or disabled. Research shows that if you have a job when you get divorced, you will have more support and be much more likely to adjust well to the transition from married to single.
Mediation vs. Litigation
If you can work with your ex-spouse to collaborate on a divorce settlement in mediation with a third party, you are more likely to get over the divorce more quickly. Not only is going to court for your divorce more financially draining and giving you less control over the outcome, but drawn-out litigation could also be more emotionally draining and trying.
If you are generally resilient and optimistic, generally seeing the positive in things, you are more likely to get over your divorce quickly. On the other hand, if you are resistant to change and have difficulty coping with stress, it could take longer. Seeing a therapist can help you gain resiliency so that you can move on with your life.
Unfortunately, many men lack the support systems that women often have. Men tend to have fewer friends, and they tend to have less contact with the family. If you don't have a good support system of friends and family and possibly a therapist, you will not have an easy time getting over your divorce.
How To Get Over A Divorce
In short, it takes time to get over a divorce. You might find that one of your best options for getting over a divorce quickly and in a healthy way (in addition to the tips discussed above) is to see a therapist, including those here at ReGain. A good therapist or counselor can help you analyze your marriage and divorce situations and give you good coping skills that will help you get over the divorce faster. If you don't have the time or ability to see a therapist in person, you still have options. ReGain is a great resource for online counseling that is available 24/7/365 for your convenience. Contact them today to get started.
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