A recent article in The Huffington Post focused on the need for encouraging the grieving of men. The overriding theme of the article was that many men simply do not know how to deal with their emotions for a host of reasons.
One of the most commonly reported emotions felt deeply by men after divorce is guilt. In this entry, we’ll share tips for dealing with and moving on from post-divorce guilt.
Why Do Men Find it Harder to Deal With Emotions?
Speaking with ABC News, psychologist and author Terry Real said that our culture’s code of masculinity commands that “men don’t need relationships, men don’t need to be connected, and men don’t need to be heartfelt. And it’s simply a lie.”
Because divorce can be the psychological equivalent of open heart surgery, it’s key that men not keep their emotions to themselves.
Yes, we’re literally going to define the word “guilt” here. According to the dictionary definition, “guilt” is described as “a bad feeling caused by knowing or thinking you have done something bad or wrong.”
The optimum words in that definition are “bad” and “wrong.” It’s key to keep in mind that those words should apply to decisions made; not you as a person.
Helping Men Shed the Divorce Guilt
Experiencing feelings of guilt is a common part of the divorce experience. The challenge comes in how to get past it. Here are a few tips for doing that.
- Face your guilt head-on.
Acknowledge whatever you did to make you feel guilty and accept the fact that you’re human. Whatever mistake you made is not the first and it certainly will not be the last.
- Learn to forgive yourself.
When we normally seek forgiveness, we focus on other people. It’s crucial that you forgive yourself. Accepting responsibility is one thing, but constantly beating yourself up over things that are in the past does you no good whatsoever.
Rather than putting all that energy into self-blame, use it to move on and create a better life for yourself.
- Just as it takes two to make a relationship work…
No matter what you may feel or what your partner says to you, it definitely takes both partners for a marriage to end. Every relationship is the result of all of the people in them.
- Don’t necessarily think divorce is a bad thing.
For example, divorced dads often feel the pangs of guilt because they think they’ve done irreparable harm to their children. If that’s you, think about how you’re children would be affected if they were constantly exposed to conflict in a marriage.
You’re Not Alone; Call The Men’s Legal Center
It can be easy for men to fall into the trap of keeping all emotions and thoughts bottled up inside. Society has – falsely – told us that’s the manly thing to do.
But when you’re going through challenging times – and divorce can certainly be classified as one of those – you need someone on your side, listening to your concerns and fighting for your rights.