Divorce can hugely impact men’s mental health and as a divorce coach, I know from my clients that the emotional toll of divorce is huge. This article outlines a few of the challenges men may face during and after the process.

One client told me he believed that his feelings of profound loss didn’t have a place in society. He said he didn’t want to present as a victim; however, he was hurt and vulnerable and everyone he spoke to acted like he would “just get over it”!

Another said he didn’t sleep any more.

Another that he couldn’t stop crying and felt so ashamed that he couldn’t get a grip of himself.

One client said he slept on a mattress in his office because he was scared of spending money he would need for the divorce and paying for his children to stay in their home.

The most common thing I hear from dads is: will my children hate me or blame me, or how do I be a parent when I don’t live with my children?

Like anyone else, men feel intense heartbreak. They may feel sadness, anger, confusion, and even relief when a difficult relationship ends, and it is crucial for men to understand that these emotions are normal responses to such a life-altering event. Encouraging open communication about these feelings can be a vital part of the healing process. However, these feelings can often cause a man to isolate, shut down, or mask their emotions by using drink, sex, drugs or overworking or overexercising.

An aspect of break-up coaching that has the most benefit, beyond the opportunity to talk about what is going on, is creating a clear Action Plan which helps clients know what to do next.

Men tell me they become stuck with their sense of loss, not just of the relationship itself but their role. Men often identify themselves strongly with their roles as husbands and fathers, and divorce can challenge that identity.

Feelings of inadequacy or self-doubt are normal during and after a divorce. My role as your divorce coach is to help you rebuild your confidence and remind you of your intrinsic value.

Life as a single dad may seem like it will be impossible. Coaching men with the parenting skills to create positive, open, new relationships with their children during and following separation is part of my process. My experience as a psychotherapist allows me to extend this coaching throughout the child’s upbringing so that a dad can offer the right parenting through all their child’s education and life changes.

Another significant aspect of divorce is the potential for increased stress and anxiety. Divorce proceedings, financial concerns, and co-parenting arrangements can all contribute to heightened stress levels. Providing coping strategies and stress management techniques is important to help men navigate these challenges. This is where I work with my male clients to find clarity about what to expect and encourage them to take responsibility by creating a clear step-by-step Action Plan so they can focus on the task at hand to move forwards.

Loneliness and isolation of men during and after divorce can leave them feeling depressed and helpless. Men often feel a lack of emotional support or have difficulty reconnecting with their social circles, especially if their friends are trying to encourage them to go out and do things that don’t feel right for them. During our coaching sessions we talk about what a good support team looks like, friends, family, or support groups and, where required, legal and financial support.

Financial implications play a massive role in men’s mental health during divorce. Many men worry about their financial stability post-divorce. My clients report difficulty sleeping as they worry through the night about how they will manage financially. They worry about paying for two homes when they are just about managing the finances running one. Men worry that their children will blame them if budgets have to be restricted.

In coaching, we create an Action Plan for financial planning and budgeting guidance, which can alleviate some of these concerns. However, the primary benefit for men reaching out for divorce coaching is discussing what is worrying you with someone who has been through it themselves and knows how to manage all these obstacles.

Despite the hard things, children want to know their dads are okay. When dealing with the changes that happen during separation, having a dad that is emotionally available, can communicate clearly and carefully about what is going to happen, and reassure them that he will be okay are the long-term benefits of dads seeking support during divorce and separation.

Finally, as a divorce coach, I should emphasise the importance of self-care. The Action Plan specifically includes activities like exercise, mindfulness, and having a little fun.

My role is to provide support, guidance, and a safe space for men to explore their emotions and challenges are crucial in helping them navigate this difficult transition to emerge stronger on the other side.

If this feels like you, here are the next steps:

  1. Pick a time and book a free 20-minute call or Zoom to have a chat. I will listen calmly and without judgment. All our meetings will be conducted in a conversational manner and will be confidential.
  2. I will tell you how I may be able to help or if you need other support, I will point you in the right direction.
  3. If we decide to work together, we will meet for one 1.5-hour meeting by Zoom or by phone. This call is a bit longer so you have plenty of time to share your story and at the end you will have a clear Action Plan outlining next steps to keep you motivated and moving forward.
  4. Following this first meeting, we will initially meet weekly or fortnightly and communicate during the week by text, WhatsApp, or email to keep you on track and supported.
  5. As part of my service, I also offer ongoing support out of hours if you need extra help as you transition to your new life during and after your separation.

Wherever you are in the process, I have professional resources to assist you, ensuring you feel supported and have expert advice.