If you’re close with a man going through a divorce – or maybe it’s you getting divorced – you’ll notice a range of emotions.
There is no set stages or flow of emotions every man going through a divorce will experience, but there are some expected emotions.
Here is a look at the typical emotions of a man going through divorce and how you can help them:
10 Common Emotions of a Man Going Through Divorce
1. Surprise and Denial
Even if the ‘writing was on the wall’, when the divorce papers are in front of a couple, there is usually a feeling of surprise that sets in.
This isn’t true in all cases, of course. But if you are close to someone who is surprised that it’s actually happening to him, he’s going to need someone to help ground him.
A lot of men are in denial at this point. They may think they can still save their marriage, or desperately want to, but it’s almost always better that they look forward instead.
2. Feeling Devastated and Helpless
The next set of emotions is usually a feeling of devastation and helplessness.
This is when the reality really starts to sink in that his life is going to change – and that he may have to live with some regrets.
He may feel like he’s failed as a husband, father, or both. He may even start to blame himself for the divorce, even if it wasn’t his fault.
At this point, he’s going to need a lot of support and understanding from those closest to him.
3. A Feeling of Betrayal
If there has been infidelity, a man going through a divorce will likely feel betrayed, or he may even feel betrayed simply because his wife wants a divorce.
This feeling of betrayal can be all-consuming and make it hard for him to think about anything else.
He may start to question everything he thought he knew about his relationship and his wife and this will knock most men’s self-esteem and self-worth.
This feeling of betrayal can make the healing process take much longer and leave a lasting effect on a man.
Confusion is another common emotion men experience during divorce.
He may be confused about why his wife wants a divorce, why she’s been unhappy, or even what he did wrong.
This confusion can lead to a feeling of being lost and unsure of himself.
It’s important for men going through this to talk to someone they trust who can see things from both sides without bias and help them come to terms with the reasoning.
5. Intense Anxiety
Intense anxiety is another common emotion men feel during a divorce.
He may be worried about the future, his finances, his relationship with his children, or all of the above.
This anxiety can make it hard for him to focus on anything else and make rational decision making difficult.
If you know someone who is going through a divorce and experiencing anxiety, the best thing you can do is work with them to reassure them and help lessen their anxieties.
Related – Tips for dating a divorced man in his 50s.
Anger is another common emotion men feel during divorce, but it’s often misplaced.
He may be angry at his wife for wanting a divorce, at himself for not being able to save the marriage, or even at the situation in general.
This anger can manifest itself in different ways and make the already difficult divorce process that much harder.
Don’t take it personally if you catch a lashing from him, he’s going through a challenging situation.
Depression is one of the most damaging emotions a man will experience during or after the divorce process, but it’s also very common.
It may be as bad that he starts to feel like there’s no point in anything anymore, that his life is over, or that he’ll never be happy again.
Depression can cause people to withdraw from friends and family and make it hard to focus on anything else, especially dealing with a divorce.
If you know someone that you suspect – or know – is depressed, it’s crucial that you try and convince them to seek professional help.
One of the emotions that some men will experience is relief.
For some men, divorcing is like lifting a weight off their shoulders. This is especially true if they’ve been unhappy for some time.
They may have been unhappy in their marriage for years, and now they are facing the reality of finally being free.
Or they may have seen the writing on the wall long before their wife filed for divorce, and it’s simply a relief to get it over with.
Although not an emotion in itself, men nearing or at the end of a divorce will have to face up to the fact that their lives have changed.
This realization of change comes with a range of emotions depending on what this change means for them.
Some men will find this change liberating and empowering, while others will feel scared and alone.
But all men going through a divorce have to accept that their lives will never be the same again. Whether that’s good or bad is up to them!
The final emotion that men will (hopefully) experience during divorce is acceptance.
This doesn’t mean that they are happy about the situation or have fully come to terms with everything that’s happened.
It simply means that they have realized that there is nothing they can do to change the situation and they have to accept it.
This can be a very difficult thing for a lot of men to do, but it’s important to remember that acceptance is the first – and most important – step on the road to recovery.
If you know someone who is going through a divorce, it helps to be mindful of these emotions of a man going through divorce so you can be understanding and supportive.
It’s a difficult time for them, and they will no doubt experience a wide range of emotions, whether they’re able to talk about it or not.
If you can be there for them, it will make a huge difference in how well they handle their divorce and how well they come out of it.
Image credits – Photo by Eugenia Maximova on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.