Are you involved with a man going through divorce pulling away from you?
He’s probably going through a rollercoaster of emotions right now and finds it easier to pull away than he does to confide in you.
This is perfectly normal, it’s nothing you’re doing wrong.
Don’t be offended or hurt by his behavior, you will be able to get closer to him and help him open up if you do the right things to support him.
Here are 20 things you can do when a man is going through a divorce and pulling away from you to help bring him closer.
20 Things to Do when A Man Is Going Through Divorce and Pulling Away
1. Don’t Take It Personally
When a man is going through a divorce and pulling away from you, it’s important not to take it personally.
He’s likely going through a lot of emotions and needs some space to work through them, it’s not that you’re being a problem or annoying him.
If you don’t take it personally and can be understanding and supportive, he’ll be more likely to confide in you and open up eventually.
2. Listen when He Talks
When he does talk about what he’s going through, make sure you really listen to him.
Don’t try to offer advice or fix anything, just let him vent and get it all out. That’s what is going to bring him closer.
Sometimes (most of the time!) for a man going through a divorce to be able to talk about what he’s thinking and feeling is exactly what he needs.
3. Show Him that You’re There for Him
Actions speak louder than words sometimes, so don’t be afraid to show him that you’re there for him.
Doing little things like cooking him dinner, running errands for him, or just spending time with him doing things he enjoys can make the world of difference.
It will help take some of the stress off of him and let him know that he can rely on you.
4. Don’t Be Clingy or Pushy
It’s normal to want to be there for someone you care about, but it’s important not to be too clingy or pushy when a man is going through a divorce and pulling away.
Give him the space he needs and don’t try to force him into talking or spending time with you if he doesn’t want to.
If you push when he pulls, he’s just going to end up pulling away harder.
5. Be Prepared to Be Let Down
Sometimes, no matter how much you do to support a man going through a divorce, he may still end up pulling further away or doing things to leave you feeling let down.
It’s not easy to deal with, but it’s important to be prepared for the possibility so you don’t get too attached or invested and hurt yourself.
6. Give Him Space When He Needs It
When he wants some time to himself – which he will want – make sure you give it to him.
It’s not always easy, but part of not making him pull further away is respecting his wishes and letting him have the space he needs.
By giving him space, you’re also giving yourself some time to focus on other things and take some of that burden off of yourself.
7. Don’t React Badly if He Does Something That Hurts You
It’s only natural that you would react badly if he does something that hurts you, but it’s important not to.
If you do, it will only make him pull away more and feel like he can’t confide in you or rely on you.
You have to remember that he’s going through a difficult time right now, and he’s probably finding it difficult to explain how he’s feeling.
8. Don’t Ask Personal Questions
It’s your job to be there for him, not to probe into exactly what’s going on with his divorce.
If he wants you to know about the personal details, he’ll open up and talk to you about it.
If you make him feel uncomfortable you risk pushing him away and making him even more distant.
9. Don’t Gang up With Him Against His Ex-Wife
Even if you can’t stand his ex-wife, it’s important not to gang up against her with him.
It will only add more confusion to the way he’s balancing up his emotions and make him feel like he has to choose sides between the two of you.
If you have something negative to say about her, keep it to yourself or risk pushing him away even further.
10. Don’t Try Telling Him how He Should Be Handling It
You might think you know exactly how he should be handling his divorce and the situation with his ex-wife, but it’s not your place to tell him that.
He’s a grown man and he’ll figure out what works best for him in time.
The last thing you want to do is make him feel like he’s not doing the right things and that other people are judging him.
11. Don’t Give Him an Ultimatum Between You and His Ex-Wife
It’s important to not ask – or make him feel like – he has to choose between you and his ex-wife.
If you do, it will only make him resentful and pull away from both of you.
The last thing you want is for him to feel like he has to pick one person over the other, so avoid ultimatums at all and let him resolve his situation on his own terms.
12. Understand the Range of Emotions He’s Likely to Go Through
If this is the first time you’ve been close to a guy going through a divorce, I recommend reading up on the typical range of emotions they go through.
I wrote a post here explaining 10 emotions most men experience when going through a divorce – I think that will help you better understand him!
13. Don’t Ask Him to Make a Commitment to Your Future
This is a big one.
Don’t ask him to make any kind of commitment – whether it’s about your relationship or future plans together – until he’s ready.
He might not be ready for a long time, and if you push him he’ll only pull away.
14. Don’t Compare Yourself to His Ex-Wife
This is a common mistake a lot of women make when they are interested in a man who is going through a divorce.
They compare themselves to his ex-wife and try to find ways they’re better than her or point out her flaws in an attempt to make him feel like they’re a better choice.
Never do this!
You can’t replace what they’ve had, and you can’t just turn up and steal what they’ve had together over the years.
Painting yourself as the heroine is more likely to push him away than it is to bring him in closer to you.
15. Don’t Expect Him to Simply Bury His Past
This is another common mistake.
Just because he’s interested in you and has started dating you, it doesn’t mean he can just bury his past with his ex-wife.
You have to give him time to deal with the divorce, talk about it when he wants to, and work through his emotions.
And you also have to accept that he’s always going to have an ex-wife! Sounds obvious, I know, but it’s something to keep in mind.
16. Remember that It’s Not About You
I know it’s hard, but try to remember that his divorce and everything he’s going through is about him and his situation, not you.
It’s easy to feel like you’re the one who has to fix things or make him feel better, but that’s not your job.
The best thing you can do is be there for him when he needs you – and trust me, he will lean on you when he needs to.
17. Encourage Him to Talk to Someone Else About how He’s Feeling
If he’s not talking to you about how he’s feeling, suggest he talks to someone else – whether that’s a friend, therapist, or divorce coach.
It’s important for him to have someone to talk to who can understand what he’s going through from a male perspective.
Professional insights will help him better handle his emotions and form healthier relationships during this process.
18. Let Him Know How You’re Feeling
Finally, make sure you communicate your own needs and feelings to him.
It’s important that he knows how you’re feeling about the situation and that you’re there for him, but you also need to take care of yourself.
Make sure he knows what you need from him – whether that’s space, more communication, or just a shoulder to cry on.
19. Do Thoughtful Things that Make Him Smile
One of the best things you can do when you can see a guy is going through a tough time is to make sure you’re doing thoughtful things that make him smile.
It doesn’t have to be anything big – just little things that show you’re thinking of him and trying to make his day a little better.
You could send him a funny meme, bake him some cookies, whatever it is that you know will make him smile.
20. Tell Him You’ll Be There for Him for As Long as It Takes
Finally, tell him that you’re there for him and that you’ll support him for as long as it takes.
This is a difficult time for him, and it’s going to help him to know that he’s not alone.
Reassure him that you’re in it with him for the long haul and that you’re not going anywhere.
Image credits – Photo by Jonathan Zerger 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.