Figuring out how to survive and thrive after divorce is no easy task.
Divorce is a life event that completely shakes up your life and can leave you feeling like a shell of your former self.
It is not just the fact that your family is splitting apart, your living situation is changing, and your finances are taking a hit. Divorce also has a very real impact on your physical and mental health.
Here are some of the most significant ways divorce can impact your health.
When the body is stressed, it releases the hormone cortisol. Overexposure to cortisol can disrupt nearly every system in the body and can contribute to anxiety, heart disease, depression, digestive problems, and other issues.
According to a study published in Social Science & Medicine, ending a marriage can lead to a less healthy diet for men.
That is not surprising. A lot of guys might not have handled cooking duties while they were married. And after divorce, it is common to cope with comfort foods (who couldn’t use a night on the couch with some pizza and beer after a tough breakup?).
That nutritional decline can have serious consequences, however, as a lack of fruits and vegetables puts a person at greater risk for cardiovascular disease and cancer.
The chronic stress of divorce also can cause trouble sleeping. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation is one of those things that can easily snowball. A lack of sleep leads to more stress, which makes it even harder to fall asleep, which causes more anxiety, and so on.
“In the sleep world, stress is to sleep as yin is to yang – opposite forces that are forever linked,” said Chris Winter, medical director of the Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Center. “Stress prevents sleep. Sleep deprivation increases stress and its consequences.”
Fortunately, there are some practical steps you can take to improve your sleep hygiene so that it is easier to fall asleep.
Depression goes hand-in-hand with stress and anxiety, so it should come as no surprise that many men struggle with depression after divorce.
The end of a marriage conjures a lot of emotional turmoil, and a lot of men are not equipped to deal with these mental health issues on their own. The situation is even worse if you were dealt an unfavorable child custody arrangement forcing you to spend less time with your kids than you would like.
Do not hesitate to reach out for help if you feel overwhelmed. A mental health professional can help you find a sense of stability and start to get back on your feet after divorce.
Research shows that excessive alcohol or drug abuse is the third most common reason for divorce. Divorce itself may pose a risk factor for addiction as a Medscape study found that getting a divorce increases the risk of developing an alcohol use disorder by almost sixfold in men.
Many guys try to cope with the heartbreak of their by numbing the pain with drugs or alcohol.
This is a dangerous road to go down. If substance abuse becomes your primary means of coping with what you are going through, you are veering towards addiction and should seek help immediately.
The post The Disturbing Ways Divorce Can Impact Your Health appeared first on Dads Divorce.
The road to divorce recovery is typically long and arduous. Family court is set up in a way that tends to breed conflict, making amicable breakups tough to accomplish.
Unfortunately, the divorce process tends to be even more challenging for men and fathers. So many guys end up with alimony and child support payments that bleed them dry financially and far too many fathers are left with unfavorable child custody arrangements that limit the role they play in their children’s lives.
The stress and emotional turmoil of divorce increases the physical and mental health risks men are exposed to – divorce increases the rate of early mortality by up to 250 percent.
One of the reasons divorce wreaks so much havoc is that many guys make avoidable mistakes throughout the process that compound the damage. Here are some practical steps to take during divorce that can go a long way toward minimizing the harm done and speed your divorce recovery.
Meet with an attorney ASAP
There is a multitude of free information and resources available on the Internet that can be very useful throughout your divorce. There are literally thousands of helpful articles here on DadsDivorce and our partner sites, MensDivorce.com and MensRights.com.
However, most of the information you find while researching divorce online is generalized because every case is unique. It is difficult to determine how the laws and legal statutes are going to apply to your specific situation. It is a major mistake to try to resolve your case without the guidance of someone more knowledgeable on the topic.
You may have an aversion to getting an attorney involved and might prefer to handle the case on your own, especially if you and your ex are splitting on friendly terms. The problem is that the divorce process can cause amicable relationships to turn bitter without the help of legal professional to sort through the messy and confusing details.
At the very least, meet with an attorney for an initial consultation, which comes at a nominal free and sometimes is even free. This does not require retaining the attorney and can provide valuable information as you determine the next steps to take in your divorce.
The cost of a lawyer can be pricey, depending on how issues there are to sort out, but hiring an attorney who focuses on men’s and fathers’ rights is an investment that can save you from additional costs, headaches, and heartbreak in the long run.
A certain amount of stress is unavoidable in most divorce cases. It ranks as the second-most stressful life event a person can experience. So keep in mind during your divorce that there are likely going to be days you feel completely overwhelmed.
Regardless of how messy your divorce gets, you can do yourself a huge favor by prioritizing taking care of yourself. That means eating right, getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly, and doing what you can to maintain your mental health.
If you reach a point where you do not know how to cope with everything that is on your plate, consider seeing a licensed counselor or therapist. Mental health professional can help you figure out strategies to manage your stress better than you ever though was possible.
One reason divorce recovery is such an uphill climb for many guys is that it is so expensive. The cost of attorney fees, alimony, and child support can wipe out your bank account, and it can take years to get back on your feet.
One of the reasons hiring a family law attorney is such a worthwhile investment is that they can help minimize the long-term monetary damage of your divorce. However, there also are some steps you can personally take to keep yourself afloat financially.
Come up with a realistic budget that you can stick to before, during, and after divorce that factors in all of your monthly costs and expenses. This will give you a clear understanding of the money you have coming in and where all your money is going to each month. Once you have a detailed budget put together, you can then determine whether you need to trim some expenses or find a way to bring in more income.
It also is critical to avoid any major purchases before your divorce is final. If you are in a dispute over child support or alimony, your wife’s attorney likely will take note if you were able to drop a bunch of money on a new car and that could decrease your chances of winning.
The post How To Minimize Divorce Damage And Speed Your Recovery appeared first on Dads Divorce.
Divorce has a way of impacting nearly every part of your life.
The costs of divorce – attorney fees, child support, alimony, and more – can wreck your finances. Depending on how the division of property goes, your living situation can drastically change. And worst of all, divorce can even change the amount of time you get to spend with your children.
With so much at stake, it is understandable if you start to feel stressed and overwhelmed. That can take a huge toll on both your mind and body.
It is critical to be proactive in taking steps to minimize the physical and mental strain of divorce so that you maintain your overall health.
Go to the doctor
Men face a number of increased health risks in the wake of divorce. The long-term consequences of the stress that comes with the divorce process can lead to some very serious long-term issues, some of which are even life-threatening.
In general, men seem less inclined to take care of their health, even when they are not going through divorce. Men are often more reluctant to go to the doctor, and that almost certainly contributes to a lower life expectancy than women.
At the very least, you should go in for an annual checkup, especially if you have a family history of certain ailments.
Your doctor can provide a roadmap to help lower your risk factor of developing serious conditions and help you deal with any preexisting conditions.
See a therapist
Looking after your mental well-being is every bit as important as taking care of your physical health. The emotional turmoil of divorce can create a spiral of anxiety and depression that seems unending.
When the stress seems overwhelming, there is no shame in asking for help. You might reach a point where it is beneficial to seek the professional guidance of a licensed mental health professional.
Some men might feel hesitant to open up about their feelings. Traditional views of masculinity emphasize the importance of toughness, fearlessness, and invulnerability to pain, but these unrealistic notions are counterproductive and prevent many men from seeking the help they need.
Not only will a therapist allow you to vent about what you are going through, but they are qualified to recognize the symptoms of depression and can determine the best way to treat the disorder.
Divorce is not the time to hold things in. That is only going to make things worse. A therapist can help you manage the negative feelings you are experiencing and help you get back on your feet.
Avoid bad habits
One of the factors contributing to the increased health risks men face during and after divorce is their propensity to fall into bad habits.
With so much stress and frustration, there is a natural temptation to try to drown your sorrows in a case of beer or bottle of liquor, but self-medicating with alcohol is a slippery slope.
Research shows men are more likely to binge drink during divorce. Not only is this a risky behavior health-wise, but it could potentially be used as evidence to paint you as an unfit father during your child custody case.
Another mistake a lot of guys make immediately after divorce is jumping into a rebound relationship too quickly and becoming a habitual dater. Starting a new relationship too soon after divorce makes it more likely that someone ends up hurt – whether that is you or the person you are dating.
You can find love again after divorce, but it is important to be responsible as you manage your dating life.
The split of a marriage means splitting time with the kids. You are going to have at least some time to yourself while they are with their mom.
This can be a lonely and difficult adjustment, so filling this empty void with new hobbies and fun activities can help boost your moral and your social life.
Here are five ways divorced dads can use their time away from the kids.
Develop New Hobbies
Developing new hobbies can be an exciting and rewarding accomplishment. From volunteering at local organizations to learning how to cook unique foods, hobbies can give you a feeling of achievement.
Whether you have always wanted to take up photography, learn to fish or play an instrument, this is your time to finally take action and do the activities you have always dreamed of but continued to put off.
DIY, known as do it yourself, has become a trend that people of all ages are interested in. Rather than going out and buying certain things you need, it can be fun to do it yourself and create those items. This can consist of small crafts to home improvement projects to handmade objects.
Work on your Health and Exercise
People are becoming more aware of how important exercise is to maintaining proper health and fitness.
This newfound free time can enable dads to partake in a healthy lifestyle by going to the gym, going on bike rides or even going on a run. Joining a recreational team such as baseball, soccer or basketball can be a fun way to not only exercise, but to meet new people too.
Join the City Dads Group
If you are a dad who wants to boost his social life but does not know how, join the City Dads Group. This organization is located in a multitude of cities from Anchorage, Ala., to Orlando, Fla. Meetups include educational workshops, special events and dad’s nights out to movies, sporting events and more.
This group creates a supportive atmosphere for dads from all backgrounds. Whether you are divorced, married, a stay-at-home dad or a full time worker, City Dad’s Group has a goal of bringing dads together with or without the kids for support and social time.
Get Back into the Dating Game
It’s time to put your best foot forward and leave the complications of your divorce in the past. Your kids should remain a priority, but this does not mean you do not deserve happiness with someone else.
Getting back into the dating game can be difficult, especially if it has been a while. That’s OK because the 21st century is an evolving period for technology and social media. Online dating sites are the new way for single people to meet. Sites such as OkCupid, Match and eHarmony have created thousands of lasting relationships.
Prioritize Me Time
Self-care is crucial for happiness. This means giving yourself a period to recharge and rest. The University of Michigan found that a lack of “me time” is a large cause of unhappy marriages. This gives you the necessary time to reboot your brain, help you unwind and make you more productive.
As the age-old saying goes “time is money.” Most people do not have the time to spend on me time. That is why the quality of your me time is better than the quantity of it. Use your me time to explore new hobbies, unplug from devices you feel addicted to and invest in experiences rather than material goods.
With these five tips, time away from your kids does not have to be lonely, rather it can be a way for you to invest your time into new activities and passions as well as take the necessary time for yourself.
Of course, while some time apart from your children after divorce is probably unavoidable, you still want to do whatever you can to make sure you get as much parenting time as possible. To ensure you receive a fair and balanced child custody decision, contact a divorce attorney who focuses on protecting the rights of fathers.
The post 5 Ways For Divorced Dads To Utilize Their Time Away From The Kids appeared first on Dads Divorce.
There are numerous challenges facing dads after divorce. Getting back on your feet is a difficult process, to say the least.
Many fathers end up with an unfavorable child custody arrangement that limits their access to their children. They also might be shouldered with significant child support and alimony payments that decimate their finances. And of course, there is the emotional anguish and turmoil of going through a breakup coupled with the breakdown of the family.
The combination of these hurdles result in an enormous amount of stress, which can lead to serious health problems. It is a vicious cycle.
Making sure you retain a family law attorney focused on helping men and fathers can alleviate a lot of these issues, but moving on after divorce still is a process.
During this time, it is helpful to take a step back and breathe to assess your situation. As harrowing as the divorce process is, it is not a death sentence. Life will go on. It might take some time, but you can find happiness again.
Here are some tips to help you get back on your feet after a divorce.
Be the best divorced dad possible
Depending on your child custody arrangement, the amount of parenting time you have with your children might be limited. Nonetheless, it is your responsibility to make the most of it.
Be as active and engaged as possible. (Fortunately, that is something modern dads are especially good at doing.) Do not fall into the trap of becoming a “Disneyland Dad” and trying to plan elaborate outings every time your kids stay with you. Instead, focus on the little but meaningful moments that end up being way more impactful in the long run.
Help them with their homework. Talk to them about how they are doing in school. Learn everything about their interests, passions, fears, and frustrations.
More than anything, being a good divorced dad is about remaining as present as possible when you spend time with your children.
Take time for yourself
Although as a father your No. 1 priority is going to be putting your children’s best interest first, it still is important to take plenty of time for your own self-care.
Self-care means making sure you are eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. It also means partaking in healthy activities you enjoy that leave you with a sense of fulfillment. In fact, the days following a divorce present a great opportunity to develop new hobbies and explore new interests.
Find someone to talk to
A lot of guys have the natural inclination to clam up when they are going through something stressful or heartbreaking. They might be hurting on the inside, but outside doing everything to maintain an image of toughness or stoicism.
Keeping your emotions bottled up can have disastrous consequences. You are not weak for asking for help or finding someone you trust to discuss your issues with.
One of the reasons divorce is often harder for guys is because they are not as good as women at developing a reliable support group. If you are not comfortable talking about the details of your divorce with friends or family, you should consider enlisting the help of a licensed counselor or therapist.
The post 3 Tips To Help Divorced Dads Get Back On Their Feet appeared first on Dads Divorce.
One of the greatest challenges divorced dads face is the process of rebuilding trust and maintaining a positive, healthy relationship with their children.
As a father, your children tend to look to you as a source of protection and stability. When they see their parents argue and then divorce, that secure foundation is rocked.
Depending on the age of your child, they might blame you for the divorce and side up with their mother. That can be even worse if your ex-wife engages in the process of parental alienation, which should be considered a serious threat to the child’s overall well-being.
The period immediately following your divorce is a critical time for your relationship with your kids. Depending on the circumstances of your divorce, you might need to devote considerable time toward rebuilding a level of trust with them.
Here are several ways divorced dads can build back trust with their children.
Encourage open communication
It is important to be considerate of the emotional turmoil that your children have experienced and encourage them to talk about what they are feeling.
Repressing emotions is extremely harmful and can lead to long-term mental and physical health issues. Let your children know that it is OK to express whatever they are feeling. Be aware that this might mean you hear them talk about feeling anger towards you, but that is better than letting them harbor hidden resentment that festers.
Your children might not feel comfortable discussing everything with you. They might feel like that means they are taking sides with you or their mother. If that is the case, you should consider whether your kids would benefit from seeing a licensed professional therapist or counselor who can help them work through everything they are going through.
It is important to be considerate of the emotional turmoil that your children have experienced and encourage them to talk about what they are feeling.
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Be a good co-parent
The major dilemma children of divorce face is that they love both of their parents, even though their parents no longer love each other. Maintaining strong, healthy relationships with both parents is a challenge due to the inherent complications of divorce.
This is problematic because having two active and engaged parents is the best way to offset many of the risks children of divorce face.
With that being the case, the onus is on you and your ex-wife to put your personal differences aside in order to find a way to effectively co-parent. This involves swallowing some pride and acknowledging that your children are better off having their mother involved in their lives, even if she is a person who has wronged you.
Good co-parenting requires clear communication, flexibility, and cooperation. Co-parenting takes effort from both sides, so you only have so much control if your ex is particularly disagreeable. If that is the scenario you find yourself in, consider parallel parenting, which is a high-conflict co-parenting model.
If you have done everything you can think of to get your ex to cooperate with you and she is still starting arguments and failing to live up to her end of the deal in your co-parenting arrangement, you should contact your family law attorney. An attorney who focuses on men’s and father’s rights can determine whether there are any legal remedies available that could improve your co-parenting situation.
Always keep in mind that co-parenting is about doing what is best for your kids. That should give you more than enough incentive to find a co-parenting system that works.
You are now sharing custody of your children, which means it is critical to make the most out of the parenting time you do have. It is not enough to just spend time with your kids. You need to ensure that you are actively engaged and present every second you are together.
“Being present is really about how much of yourself you really give to your kids,” said Han-Son Lee, who runs DaddiLife, a website and community for modern dads. “We see a lot of parents who are sometimes on the phone and there physically in the same space as their kids but not emotionally or mentally there. I think being present is about really being there for our kids and making sure there aren’t those digital distractions and various notifications and beeps and buzzes so that way you can really be present in the time that is most necessary for Dad.”
This should not be an issue for most fathers. The latest fatherhood research tells us modern dads are finding new and creative ways to stay active in their children’s lives more so than previous generations of fathers ever did.
The post How Divorced Dads Can Reestablish Trust With Their Children appeared first on Dads Divorce.
Children of divorce are forced to adjust to so many dramatic changes. As difficult as your divorce might be for you, at least you have the prospect of starting your life anew and escaping an unhappy relationship.
Children of divorce must reconcile the fact that their parents do not love each other anymore. Sometimes, one parent will demonize the other and attempt to engage the child in parental alienation, a serious threat to the child’s well-being.
On top of all that, children of divorce must deal with a new living situation, new routines, potentially a new school, and much more. Divorce turns their entire world upside down and puts them at risk for many different negative life outcomes.
All these changes can result in behavioral problems that can lead to larger issues if they are not addressed. How your child responds to your divorce can vary depending on their age, but here are some common behaviors to look out for that might indicate they are struggling and need more help.
Of course, the best way to make sure your child has a healthy adjustment to your divorce is by ensuring that both you and their mother remain actively involved in their life. Shared parenting is proven to be the best post-divorce arrangement for children.
With that in mind, the impetus is on you to do everything you can to make sure you receive a fair child custody decision and the best way to achieve that is by making sure you have a family law attorney fighting for fathers’ rights in your corner who will keep your child’s best interests in mind.
Some children of divorce tend to shut down, especially in social settings. In situations where they used to be lively and active, they suddenly appear shy and timid. This might be because they are feeling depressed.
It also is common for otherwise friendly children to suddenly start acting overly aggressive with their peers. This could be because they are hurt by your divorce and struggling to come to terms with those feelings of anger.
Keep an eye on your child when they are around other children. Ask close friends, family members, and your child’s teachers to be on the lookout for unusual behavior, so you can address the problem before they develop into a larger social issue.
Another common problem children of divorce often deal with is trouble sleeping. This is understandable considering the amount of stress they are under.
In addition to all the heartache of seeing their parents break up, they are trying to adapt to new routines and a new living situation. You and your ex need to work together to co-parent and establish regular routines as much as possible. Regular times to do homework, eat dinner, and get ready for bed can go a long way toward ensuring your child gets plenty of shuteye.
If your child persistently fails to get enough sleep, the problem could snowball into trouble at school and lead to other health issues.
Loss of appetite
Some kids struggling to adjust to their parents’ divorce will experience a loss of appetite. This is important to be on the lookout for because a proper diet and nutrition is critical to a child’s healthy development.
Make sure you plan ahead and prepare healthy, balanced meals for your child. (Teaching them how to cook also is a great opportunity for bonding time with Dad.) If your child tries to push away their plate, set rules so that they must eat finish their veggies before moving on to another activity.
What you can do
The most important thing you can do as a dad is be observant and conscious of how your child is acting so that you immediately recognize any abnormalities. Communicate with your child and encourage them to speak up about how they are feeling both physically and emotionally.
If you notice persistent problems in their behavior, it might be worth seeking the help of a licensed counselor or therapist. You can ask your family law attorney if they have any recommendations as it is common for them to have working relationships with mental health professionals.
Interesting linksHere are some interesting links for you! Enjoy your stay :)
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- Avoiding the Mistake of the Middle Marriage: Your Brain on Divorce