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  • Writer's pictureBright Light Counseling Center

Men and Divorce: How to Handle the Emotional Stages of Separation

Going through a divorce is difficult for everyone. It is a huge life transition. Even if things end amicably or you know it’s for the best, it can feel like an emotional rollercoaster. As a man, you might think you have to hide your emotions or feel or act a certain way when it comes to what you’re going through. 

The reality is you’re bound to go through several emotional stages throughout your separation. It’s important to acknowledge those emotions. They will always demand to be felt. Pushing them down or trying to ignore them can wreak havoc on your mental health.


So, how can you handle the emotional stages of divorce in healthy, effective ways? 

Don’t Get Stuck in Denial

man in hooded jacket looking at gloomy beach

It’s important to look at a divorce as a loss. It’s something you’ll grieve, no matter what. One of the first stages of grief is denial, and you’re likely to experience that, especially early on in divorce proceedings. 

Don’t allow yourself to get “stuck” there. Thinking things will work out in your marriage or not accepting that the divorce is happening will only hurt you more. If you’re having a hard time dealing with denial, talk to friends or family members who have been through divorces in the past. Ask them how they managed to adjust and what their lives are like now. A bit of encouragement from others can help you step forward. 

Manage Your Anger

man on boardwalk in white shirt shouting

Anger is another common emotional stage of separation. You might be angry with your spouse or just the situation itself. Men tend to express anger more outwardly than women but try to find ways to manage it. 

The last thing you want is to get angry in front of your children if you have any with your spouse. The separation is not their fault; they don’t need to hear negative things about their other parent.


You also don’t want to let your anger show in court. A judge won’t look upon that favorably. So, try anger management techniques like mindfulness, meditation, journaling, or even talking to a therapist. 

Working Through Depression

Once you’ve accepted that the divorce is real and your life is going to change, you might start to dip into a state of depression. You can feel hopeless about the future, lose your motivation to do anything, and withdraw from the people you care about. 

Depression can take a toll on your mental and physical health, and create a sort of vicious cycle that makes matters worse. 

One of the best ways to combat depression is to work with a mental health professional. Therapy will help you better understand the root of your depression. It will also give you effective strategies for managing your symptoms and eventually overcoming those feelings of hopelessness. 

It’s Okay to Hold Onto Sadness

There’s no timeframe for “getting over” a divorce. You do have to accept it, and once you’ve reached that state, you’ll be able to move forward with your life and enjoy some of the positive things it has to offer. That doesn’t mean you forget about the loss you experienced. You’re just able to manage your emotions in healthier ways and still find joy in everyday situations. 

man in therapy session

The worst mistake you can make when you’re going through a divorce is trying to ignore your emotions because you’re a man and you think showing your feelings somehow makes you weak. In fact, it’s just the opposite. 

If you’re struggling through your divorce, consider reaching out for help. You don’t have to go through this journey on your own.

Contact us for more information or to set up an appointment. 


Disclaimer: Our content is on and related to the topic of mental health. The content is general information that may or may not apply to you. The content is not a substitute for professional services. This website does not contain professional advice, nor is any professional-client relationship established with you through your use of this website.


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