It often seems like most advice about getting through a divorce and moving on with your life is written by and for women. Although it’s a cliche, many women are more comfortable opening up about their feelings and fears than men are. However, divorced men can provide a wealth of information that can help other men still going through the process, particularly when it comes to big issues like parenting and new relationships.
While you may want to get back out into the dating pool, a couple of bloggers caution against getting into a new relationship while you’re still dealing with the aftermath of your marriage. One notes that the “damaged you” shouldn’t be making important life decisions that the “future you” may regret.
Instead of getting into a new relationship, if you’re a parent, a number of men offering advice recommend that you focus on your relationships with your kids and with your co-parent. As one blogger notes, no matter how you feel about the person, being thoughtful and kind, even when it’s a struggle, will help your children. It’s particularly essential not to speak badly of your children’s other parent to them.
Learning how to be a divorced parent takes some time. While it’s natural to want to be the “fun parent” when your kids are with you, remember that they still need structure and discipline. Even if you only have visitation rights, that doesn’t mean that when they’re at your home they’re on vacation. It’s their home, too, and there should be expectations that, as their father, you should make clear and enforce.
Scheduling is essential for co-parents. It can be easier to forget about games or recitals when you’re not in the same house with your kids all the time. There are apps like OurFamilyWizard that help parents and their kids one schedule so that confusion and conflicts are minimized. If they’re old enough, kids to see the schedule and make journal entries as well.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to others for help. Many divorced men are happy to share what they’ve learned the hard way if it will help someone else. While there are plenty of websites out there for divorced men, there’s probably at least one support group in your area where divorced men can talk about their unique challenges. Your family law attorney can help you find these resources.
Source: Huffington Post, “12 Things All Men Should Understand About Divorce,” James Cave, March 15, 2016