A separation or divorce is one of the most stressful experiences in a man’s life and can lead to a substantial decline in his mental health and wellbeing.
Research tells us that divorced men are more than twice as likely to suffer from mood and anxiety disorders than married men or those who had never married.
The breakdown of a relationship, financial pressures, and the responsibility of single parenthood are all factors which can impact on men during this tough time.
No man goes into a relationship thinking that it’s going to breakdown. We all think we’re going to be part of the 60 per cent of Australians whose marriages endure. So it’s heartbreaking when it does come to an end.
In our experience, many men are not as conscious of their relationships as their partner, meaning about 80 per cent of break-ups were initiated by women.
Most women think about the relationship they’re in, whereas a lot of men can tend to take it for granted and they get a shock when it ends because they didn’t see it coming.
They can also tend to take their children for granted until a relationship breaks down. All of a sudden they realise the importance of their children because they may not see their kids the way they used to and it has a real impact on them.
It is important for men not to turn to alcohol or drugs to get them through; and to maintain a positive relationship with their ex-partner, especially if kids are involved.
Men must be prepared to compromise and not think in terms of black and white; or loss.
They should try and look to the future and see an opportunity to build a new relationship with their ex-partner and children. And always do what is in the best interests of the kids.
Men who are feeling like they can’t cope must talk to someone. It’s the best thing they can do. Don’t cut off social ties. Maintain as much social contact as possible.
We urge men to seek professional help to get them through. Call Lifeline on 13 11 14.