How Does Divorce Change a Man?

Psychologists, family law attorneys, and medical researchers opine that men could experience one or more of the following changes after divorce:

How Does Divorce Change a Man?
  1. Depression and mental stress
  2. Financial stress
  3. Health problems
  4. Substance abuse

Marriage is a lifelong commitment. So, when someone marries, obviously he/she doesn’t marry to get divorced after a few years. The only thing people look forward to when they get married to someone they have fallen in love with – and that is to start a family and build a beautiful future together. When divorce hits, all those beautiful dreams get shattered and life can feel hopeless. Statistics reveal that the divorce rate in America is about 25%-27% for first marriages, which suggests that many divorced spouses are likely to be impacted by one or more of the changes mentioned above. Now here is how men may change after divorce:

Depression and Mental Stress

Medical researchers term the depression that follows a divorce as “situational depression.” Men and women experience different symptoms of depression after divorce. Men may start avoiding their family and friends, thereby missing out on the emotional support that one badly needs under such circumstances. They may start feeling guilty about failure in the relationship, perform below par at work, argue often, lose focus, experience anger and sorrow, bottle up their feelings, avoid seeking professional help, and end up ignoring their responsibilities.

Some men can lose trust and take a long time to commit to another relationship. They put their love life on the backburner or grieve on the inside to keep their masculine image intact, thereby squeezing some more depression-related triggers. Research has shown that marriage helps men protect against health-related issues and that a divorced man is 8 times more likely to kill himself than a divorced woman. Another study found that a divorced man is 2.4 times more likely to kill himself as compared to a married man.

Financial Stress

According to the last available statistics, in 40% of homes even though women are the primary income earners, just 3% of men in divorce cases get alimony. The statistics also say that just 12,000 divorced men receive alimony as compared to 380,000 divorced women.

It is now perceived that compared to women, more men pay alimony and child support, and have to look for a new place to reside and buy new furniture. In other words, generally, men have to incur significant expenses to start a new life. All this at a time when they have just lost their emotional anchor. So, men take a solid financial hit after divorce, which could lead to a financial stress.

Health Problems

Though traditionally the responsibility of cooking meals at home has been more with women, the trend has changed in our country and more men are seen spending time cooking these days. That said, it is probably going to take quite a long time to achieve gender equality in the kitchen, and women are still expected to dominate that workplace in the foreseeable future. Result: A study has found that divorced men are less likely to get proper nutrition.

Some men may start leading a sedentary life after divorce, which coupled with less nutritious or unhealthy food can further deteriorate their health. With no reliable and trusted partner to share concerns and encourage healthy habits and all the stress of starting a new life, a divorced man’s health can take a big hit.

Substance Abuse

Scientific research has discovered that divorce can increase the risk of alcoholism and that the chances of a divorced man abusing substances, especially alcohol, are very high. Another study has discovered that divorced men drink more than their unmarried counterparts, and are likely to be impacted by AUD (Alcohol Use Disorder). Well, alcohol and other substances seem like the easy way out after a traumatic event such as a divorce, but in reality, such addictions ruin your health and life.

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About the Author: Marco Brown
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Marco C. Brown was named Utah’s Outstanding Family Law Lawyer of the Year in 2015. He graduated with distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2007 and is currently the managing partner of Brown Family Law, LLC.
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