How Long Does It Take For A Man to Get Over Divorce? 10 Factors That Affect Healing

By Nicole Beasley |Updated August 8, 2022

"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, or have substance use issues. In addition to these hurdles, men are often more emotionally attached in their marriage than women. There are also a number of things to note for those who are dating a divorced man. 

Struggling With Divorce And How To Move On From It?

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. Many men divorce and move on in just a few months, while others take years to go through the process. Online therapy is a great tool to help you navigate this change, regardless of how long it takes you.

Getting Over Divorce

Getting over a divorce can be harder for men than it is for women, though that is not always the case. 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, or 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 can be 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. Men are much more likely to skip this essential healing step than women, making life after divorce much more difficult.

Health Problems

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 many men have their health decline immediately following a divorce.

Finding Themselves

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 and children. Therefore, they have a much harder time figuring out their identity, purpose, and what gives their life meaning after marriage.

Fools Rush In

Because men skip the grieving process, they are often hurrying to get back on the horse and immediately date another woman. They don't want to be alone, so they will jump back into dating quickly to avoid further emotional pain. They may even encourage women to date them before the ink is dried on their divorce papers.

Many men enter new relationships after a divorce as a way to rebound from their painful emotions and the terrible divorce process. In fact, many men who do this believe that it will help them move forward and help their divorce recovery. However, jumping into new relationships does not allow these men to heal from their marital dissolution. Instead, it is harder to get over the divorce because they are repressing their emotions and feelings about the divorce, which means healing never truly begins. They may even experience more hardships as they may experience more pain from dating or breaking up with the new women they are seeing.

Missing Kids

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.

In addition to the loneliness and missing his children, not being able to see his children (or seeing them less often) creates a huge hole in his identity. Men build up their purpose and identities around their families. When going through a divorce, these identities are shattered, and many men struggle to find meaning again in their lives. Having their children taken away leaves a void in their life and creates a long-lasting depression since they know they can’t be a part of their children’s lives anymore.

Getting Through Divorce

Getting through a divorce is often much harder for men than for women. That’s because there are several factors at work that determine how divorce changes a man.

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 since many divorces are initiated by women.

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 a better support network of friends and family than men, which gives them a greater social safety net to fall on when life becomes difficult after a divorce.

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 seek out new women. This suggests that men take longer to be ready to date again, but they have a much clearer idea of what they want in a woman, and when they find it, they remarry quickly. But keep in mind that some men remarry quickly because they are rebounding and haven’t fully processed their emotions and feelings. So be cautious of this if you are a woman starting to date a recently divorced man.

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 the marriage was, the longer it would 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 the 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 than women, 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.

Cheating

If your spouse cheated on you, it could make it harder or easier to get over the divorce. For many men, cheating is the automatic end of a relationship. 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.

Children

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. Men and women who do not have children together can end their marriage and never talk to each other again. But men and women with children are still in each other’s lives in some form. Because of this, 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

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. Men and women in lower-income marriages tend to become financially dependent on one another, so when the marriage ends, both find themselves in a tougher financial situation. Even though men tend to earn more than women, this doesn’t mean that all men are well-off, and many struggle financially during and after the divorce.

Struggling With Divorce And How To Move On From It?

Having A Job

Many 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 emotional 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.

Resiliency

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.

Support System

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 Therapy Can Help

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.

Commonly Asked Questions Below:

    1. How long does it take a man to grieve a divorce?
    2. How do you comfort a man going through a divorce?
    3. Who suffers the most in a divorce?
    4. Do men regret divorce?
    5. Is it OK to date a man going through divorce?
    6. Is the first relationship after a divorce doomed?
    7. What should you not say to someone getting divorced?
    8. Who is worse off after a divorce?
    9. Who hurts more after a divorce?
    10. Who comes out worse from divorce?

For Additional Help & Support With Your Concerns
Speak With A Licensed Therapist
This website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.
Get The Support You Need From One Of Our Therapists
This website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.