How Long Does It Take For A Man to Get Over Divorce? 10 Factors That Affect Healing
"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.
Moving past a hurtful marriage can be difficult for anyone, but research studies have shown that men have a harder time getting over 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.
How Long Does It Take To Get Over A Divorce?
There is no real short answer to this question. The answer as to how long does it take to get over a divorce depends on many factors. Most psychologists and therapists' general rule is one year of healing and recovery for every five to seven years of marriage. However, it may not take quite long if you wanted the divorce, were unhappy with your marriage, or the divorce decision was mutual. 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.
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
One of the things divorcing men should keep in mind is that grieving after a divorce or breakup is normal. It is much like you would grieve a loved one who had died. While you may recognize that few things (like the death of a close family relatives, 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.
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.
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 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, which is sadly one of many inevitable effects of divorce. 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.
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. They find it difficult to start over after a divorce. 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. Divorce could come as a complete surprise if your spouse seemed happy or indifferent, and you didn't know there was a real problem. 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 how to move on after divorce. Because men are less likely to end a relationship than women, if you did initiate the divorce, you probably have already accepted that the marriage is broken. You are no longer happy the way things are. Having that acceptance greatly reduces the 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. For many men, cheating is the automatic end of a relationship. The man will often leave, 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 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. 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 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.
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
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.
One of the most vital pieces of divorce advice for men is to be resilient. 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. If you are concerned about life after divorce for men over 40, a consultation with professionals can help.
How Therapy Can Help
In short, it takes time to get over a divorce. 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. You still have options if you don't have the time or ability to see a therapist in person. ReGain is a great online counseling resource 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?
Commonly Asked Questions Below:
- Who suffers the most in a divorce?
- What should you not say to someone getting divorced?
- Who is worse off after a divorce?
- Who comes out worse from divorce?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about men and divorce.
How Long Does It Take A Man To Grieve Divorce?
As with any stressful life event, divorce can have long-lasting effects. In cases where there was abuse in a relationship, you can even come out of a divorce with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For many divorced men, grief is a long-term process that can eb and flow. There is no right way to grieve, and there is no timeline on grief. You will go through several emotional stages of grief, just like you would with any loss. You may even find that your self-esteem and self-respect are lower for a while.
If you find yourself grieving for more than a year, it may be time to seek professional help. There’s nothing shameful about getting emotional support and choosing to seek therapy is a strong and brave thing to do at any time in your life.
What Should You Not Say To Someone Getting Divorced?
If you are close friends with someone who is divorcing after being in a long-term relationship, there are some things you should never tell them. You should refrain from telling them to lose weight or to gain weight if they are having weight fluctuations. You should also refrain from mentioning their former spouse in any capacity or pressuring them to date another woman right away.
Try to distract them and help them with their grief by being present, kind, and validating when they are upset about their divorce. Chronic worry and physical health problems are common after a divorce, especially if it was a contested divorce (unwanted). Help your friend or family remain preoccupied and be present for them in any way that you can.
Is The First Relationship After A Divorce Doomed?
When considering getting into your next relationship, be sure that you have healed some of the hurts from your previous marriage. You may want to consider particular legal rights over children or assets. If you get married in the future, there may be custody changes or certain requests from your ex that could impact your relationship.
No relationship is doomed from the get-go, and there are ways to make your relationship work if it’s the right one for you. Just take it slow and be gentle with yourself. You have the right to grieve and take time alone if you need it.
Who hurts more after a divorce?
Though both men and women experience pain and hurt when going through a divorce, studies show that men struggle more than their female counterparts. It’s important to understand how divorce changes a man and how it can significantly affect their life. A difficult divorce can negatively impact the physical health, mental health, finances, and inner identity of a man. Let’s explore these issues in more detail.
First of all, many divorced men lose their sense of identity. Many men spend years building up their image and inner identity as a husband and father figure. They see themselves as half of a partnership and the provider for their children. Therefore, their whole life revolves around building a good living and happy home with their wife and children. But the divorce process rips these identities away from men. All the visions of a happy future dissolve in an instant, and usually, the man is not allowed to see his children nearly as much as he used to. After building up a certain life for years, divorced men are forced to find a whole new identity and purpose to create meaning in their lives.
A divorced guy will often experience intense loneliness as well. Though some men may have a great support network of friends, family, and colleagues, the truth is that many men experience intense loneliness, even within their marriage. Once they are divorced, they no longer have their ex-wife for emotional support. Furthermore, they may not see their children nearly as much. And if they don’t have close friends, they may find themselves alone to process their emotions and thoughts. If they don’t seek therapy or professional help, then they may experience a dip in their self-esteem and mental health.
They may also conduct bad habits or activities that are not in their best interest. For example, they may drink, smoke, or partake in substance usage more. They may do these things to numb themselves or try to forget about their problems. However, this doesn’t help heal any pain from the divorce process and may lead to significant health problems.
Speaking of health problems, divorced men also typically experience more issues with their health after a divorce. In addition to taking on bad habits, they may let go of good habits as well. For example, they may stop eating healthily or exercising. This can lead to weight fluctuations, weight gain, and other diet-related health problems.
Both men and women typically experience financial concerns after a divorce. That’s because they are no longer combining their financial resources, so they are each only living on one paycheck. Furthermore, the divorce process and divorce legal system can get fairly expensive which can take a huge toll on anyone’s resources.
What makes things worse is that family court systems more often pin the divorce as the man’s fault, so men typically bear most of the financial responsibility. They may have to spend more financial resources on alimony or child support than women typically do.
With all these factors considered, it is clear that men bear the brunt of the pain during life after divorce. A nasty divorce can significantly alter every aspect of a divorced guy’s life. Though the woman is typically not unscathed from a failed marriage or nasty divorce, she generally will have fewer problems and more emotional support than her ex husband.
But keep in mind that these are generalities. Depending on the situation, there are many times when women hurt more than men. And some men just go through the grieving process faster than others and are quick to move on and find new relationships. Every divorce is a unique situation.
Is it OK to date a man going through a divorce?
This is a complicated question to answer. It depends on the situation and all the people in question.
Technically, dating a man who is going through a divorce is not illegal, but things can become complicated very quickly. There is a lot of emotional pain, negotiation, and changes in financial resources that can cause problems with a man’s physical and mental health. Divorce is rarely something that can be easily done and then forgotten about, and you can expect it to take quite a toll on the man in question.
Furthermore, the new women and girlfriends in these situations often are harassed or feel the wrath of the ex-wives, so be cautious when starting a relationship with a man who is not fully divorced yet.
Moreover, keep in mind that some men rebound to a new partner soon after the divorce begins. That’s because they don’t know how to process the pain they feel and need a distraction or someone who can help them forget the pain. Many men (due to some toxic stigmas brought upon them by society) may not seek therapy or have a good support network to help them. So, instead, they jump into a new relationship without fully healing from their previous marriage.
But for some couples, a divorce process can take years (or the couple was separated for years before initiating the divorce), so dating a man who is finishing up a divorce process that is this long is probably okay. Usually, by this time, they have gone through therapy and dealt with all the concerns related to their mental health and self-esteem. Even though the paperwork is not finalized yet, they may be ready to start over and create a great life again.
But you should also ensure your new boyfriend is actually getting a divorce. Some men have created this lie to manipulate their new girlfriends into staying with them. Even when unhappy at home, divorced men initiate the divorce far less than women do. If he doesn’t have any plans to actually proceed with the divorce, then you probably won’t be very happy in this new relationship.
Finally, keep in mind that no matter what he says, your man will probably not be interested in a second marriage for a long time. Divorces are messy and complicated, and everyone involved gets hurt in some way. Unless the divorce has been a years-long process, your man may need to do more healing before committing to marriage again.
So as you can see, this is a complicated question to ask. What you should do is have a long talk about the divorce with him. Get an understanding of where he is at emotionally. A man who is still emotionally attached to his ex-wife will not be able to be fully present in a new relationship. But a man who is finalizing a years-long divorce may be emotionally, physically, and legally ready to create a life with a new woman.
Do men regret divorce?
This depends on the divorced guy in question, what caused the divorce, how messy the proceedings were, and other divorce-related issues. Some men divorce their ex-wives and never regret it. Others struggle with life after divorce and wonder, “what if?”
You should also understand how divorce changes a man. It often leads to health problems like weight gain, a significant reduction in financial resources, increased loneliness (which is worsened if he can’t see his children and doesn’t have friends or a support network), and decreased mental health and self-esteem. These are significant changes that can easily make some men spiral downward in a way that their female counterparts don’t experience as much. If this is the case, they probably do regret getting a divorce, as their life was probably far more stable when they were married. Very few men (and women) are completely unaffected by divorce, so it’s natural to have some regrets.
Divorce recovery is an essential key to determining if a man has any regrets. Men who work hard to develop a fulfilling life after divorce will tend to not regret the divorce. During this period, many men may seek professional help to help them process their emotions and feelings. This can do wonders for their mental health, self-esteem, and self-respect and is usually a good indicator that they are ready to move on with their lives.
They may also develop good habits and create a healthy lifestyle. For example, they may exercise more, eat better to combat weight gain, or partake in new exciting hobbies. All of these factors can prevent them from developing more health problems which mean they will have a greater quality of life and are less likely to experience regret.
Regret is also determined by how much divorced men care for their ex-wives. If they still have a deep emotional connection that they struggle with, then they are likely to regret getting a divorce. But if they have healed from their previous marriage or severely dislike their ex-wife, then they are not likely to have regrets.
And if they met more women and entered new relationships (or even a second marriage), then they are less likely to regret divorcing their ex-wives. Though new relationships can potentially be rebound relationships, for many men, these are a sign that they have moved on and are creating a new life.
How do you comfort a man going through a divorce?
Both men and women undergo stages of divorce. To accurately find a way to comfort a man going through a divorce, you must understand how divorce changes a man. Depending on the divorce-related issues, a man could be struggling to maintain his financial resources, get custody of his children, find a support network, get his life together, or find ways to solve disagreements with his former wife.
However, the best way to comfort a man is to assure him that you have his back. The most consistent divorce-related issues that men experience are increased loneliness, a lack of a support network, and issues with mental health and self-esteem. Most divorces end up with the man taking most of the blame and responsibility. Courts tend to be far more lenient with women, primarily giving them custody of children and providing them with more financial resources. It’s not that women don’t experience challenges in divorce, but on average, men are given the blame more than their female counterparts. Depending on the situation and divorce-related issues, the men may lose out on everything.
Because of this, divorced men experience significant hits to their mental health and well-being. More than ever, they need supportive friends and relationships to help them through this rough period of their life. Therefore, do whatever you can to prevent him from getting too lonely. Check in with him often and suggest routine hangouts. Invite him to events or the bar just to get out of the house and be with other people.
However, do not push him to date other women just yet. Right after a divorce, pursuing women and new relationships could turn into nasty rebounds that prevent the divorced man from healing from his past relationship. Male friends tend to think that having the guy hook up with lots of women is the cure, but it can actually worsen the problem. Therefore, instead, just focus on having a good time.
Furthermore, aim to be emotionally available to listen to any divorce-related issues he is having. Many men feel very lonely during a divorce and often need someone to talk to, even if they don’t directly say it. But if you are a trusted friend or family, he may seek you out for emotional support. Therefore, if he starts talking about his emotions and feelings surrounding the divorce, listen with empathy and provide emotional support.