Life after divorce for men looks different for every individual: some will feel liberated, others will feel abandoned and betrayed, some will feel hopeful, and then there are some men that are just a little lost and confused after the divorce. Although we’ve given out Divorce Advice for Men, some of the differences mentioned above can be attributed to age, as well as individual experiences.
Men that get divorced in their 40s will have a different journey, and it won’t look the same as divorce in their 30s or even life after divorce for a man over 50 and older. We’re going to take a look at what life after divorce will look like for men in their 40s and the hurdles that they might face along the way.
The first thing to tackle head-on is the societal misconception that men who get divorced in their 40s actually just end up in a series of one-night-stands with young women who are on the lookout for distinguished, stable older men.
While some men at this age might experience this, the reality of divorce for most men at this age doesn’t have much to do with leading a playboy lifestyle. Life after divorce for men in their 40s is more about figuring out how to live alone, be a single father (if there are kids involved), and learning from what went wrong in their marriage to better prepare them for their future relationships.
Let’s take a look at some of the crucial aspects that men that get a divorce in their 40s must tackle for a healthy, happy future:
The thing about marriage is that it becomes a network of daily patterns that develop between two partners. The dissolution of this marriage means that people have to learn a whole new set of patterns that don’t involve their partner. Something as simple as making a single cup of coffee in the morning rather than two, or sleeping alone, are all things that have to be adjusted to.
For some men, this could be an easy task, while for others, this might be a long and painful process that takes time to adjust to. Of course, there are big-picture patterns, as well as small ones that men have to adjust to after they get a divorce.
Things like decision making, finances, holidays, working, dating, and lifestyle habits all fall into the big picture patterns, while things like cooking dinner, cleaning the house, and other everyday tasks are more small picture patterns that will now need to be learned alone.
Whether it’s something as simple as cooking yourself breakfast or a bit more complicated like learning how and when to pay the bills on time, learning how to do this on your own is an important part of the divorce process. This can be particularly challenging for men that were in a marriage that followed traditional gender roles, as they naturally struggle to cook, clean, and maintain their homes without their partner.
It can take months to get accustomed to, but it’s important to give yourself time to navigate this part of the divorce journey, as it plays an essential part in moving on from your old life and into your new one.
Understanding your priorities is an integral aspect of facing the world as a freshly-divorced man over the age of 40. Many of your priorities previously would have been partly dictated by the needs and priorities of your partner.
Now, your priorities are all your own (other than if you’ve got parenting to do). It’s time for you to figure out and implement the priorities that mean the most to you, and this could give some people the freedom that they didn’t have before. Household projects and other things that may have been a priority to your partner are no longer a given, and so you can choose to fill your time up with other things that bring you joy.
It’s important to keep in mind, however, that you should prioritize things that are going to have a positive impact on your lifestyle. Priorities like clubbing and drinking don’t look good on a man over the age of 40, and it is certainly not going to benefit your health or attract the right partner for the future.
Prioritize things that are going to give you the opportunity to explore yourself a little bit more and help to create a future that you feel fulfilled and excited by.
It might not seem like it, but the idea of getting back into the dating world is something that many men over the age of 40, that are recently divorced are actually overwhelmed by. Dating after a divorce is something that should not be rushed. You need time to process, heal and move on. Don’t let yourself be pressured by your friends into dating; if you are still mourning your marriage, then you are not ready for a new relationship. Bringing someone new into your life before you are ready will just lead to further hurt for you both.
It’s important to learn more about yourself and your own needs before you look for a new partner. Remember that moving on doesn’t have a time limit; do it at your own pace and when you are ready.
One of the hardest aspects of getting a divorce for men in general, no matter what age they are, is that they are largely expected to get on with their lives. Societal norms preach that men should be the tough guys – crying is for the weak and therapy is for the damaged. Many men struggle to reach out for help and support when they are going through a divorce because they have been led to believe that it’s something that they should just take on the chin.
Most men go through the same emotions and hurt that women do during the divorce process and yet are far less likely to reach out for help when they need it. It’s hugely important that you are honest about your feelings during your divorce journey and that you cultivate a support network that you can lean on and talk to when you are feeling down. Friends and family should be able to meet many of your emotional needs during this time, but if you ever feel overwhelmed or that you need something more, then never be afraid to reach out for professional help.
Reach out to a divorce support group for men in your area, ask your GP for therapist recommendations or chat with a divorce coach to help you through your toughest days.
Whether you are looking for someone to help you along the divorce process from the very first step, or you’re already divorced and need help moving on, Naked Divorce has the perfect programs, solutions, and support to get you where you want to be.
Get in touch with us, and we’ll show you how we can help you reach the fulfilling and exciting future that you are looking for after divorce.
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