Posted in Separation / Divorce

So You’re Getting Divorced? Five Steps To Self Discovery for the Child-Free Man

She’s told you she’s leaving you. She might have left you for another man or she’s simply not in love with you any more. Once you are through the worst of the hearbreak, denial and pleading and finally accepted that its over, and though it might not feel like it while you’re going through it, you have a new lease of life.

The fact that you don’t have children means that your separation and divorce will be a little less complicated. You can have a clean break and you need never see your ex or soon to be ex-wife again. Once again, it may not feel like a stroke of fortune but two years from now when you are in a completely different place, you will look back on this and say “you know what, that was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

light-sunset-man-beach

Rediscover Yourself

Wait, please don’t run away. I’m not going to throw lots of ultra-spiritual new age pseudopsychology at you with lots of trite platitudes. That’s the last thing I will ever want to do. Rediscovering yourself is about taking up those things you set aside when you were in the relationship. Maybe you didn’t have the time. Maybe money was an issue. Maybe your ex was controlling and didn’t like you doing it. Whatever it is, now is the right time to take it up again. Rediscover a lost passion or take up something you tried once and promised you’d take up properly one day. That one day is now – you don’t have to answer to anybody else any more.

Go Out On Your Own

One of the strongest feelings you will have about now is loneliness. No matter how much support you have around you, you will feel lonely and there is no worse feeling that being lonely in a crowd. Avoid pubs and bars, that won’t be the right place for you to go. Go somewhere that you can really connect with yourself – in nature, a place of history or culture, an art gallery or museum. Hell, just go and sit on a beach for a few hours. It will do you good for the change of scenery if nothing else. These are really good places to go for basic mindfulness exercises.

Create Your Own Space

Necessity might dictate that you live together for the foreseeable future while you go through the emotional separation. Whichever of you is moving out, while you live together you need your own space. This is an important part of the separation. If she is moving out, you might find it therapeutic to begin a simple reorganisation. Not much, but organise your room the way you want it. If you are the one moving out, you need to create your own space while you are there. You need a man cave. The spare bedroom to which you are no doubt now relegated is usually ideal.

Spend Time With Friends and Family

You will need these people for emotional support, but sometimes it’s good just to organise something for the sake of it. Go out for a curry (or your food of choice) with your brother. Now might be a good time to reconnect with friendships you might have neglected. You won’t always need a reason to go over and see your mother or visit your friend who has just had a new baby. Seek out other recently single friends and just enjoy male company for the sake of male company. I sometimes feel we don’t do enough of that when we’re in relationships. Sometimes, our partners frown on it, or we think our partners will frown on it and let things fall by the wayside.

Travel

Go on holiday on your own. I mean it – you won’t regret it. Whether you travel 50 miles or 500 miles, you need a change of scene. You need to experience something new. You need to do new things and go new places, preferably somewhere you’ve never been before, ideally somewhere you’ve said you’ve always wanted to go. Travel broadens the mind and it’s very therapeutic for several reasons: it’ll help take your mind off the stress and strain of modern life, and it’ll prepare you for your new found freedom. I would also recommend, when the time is right, visiting places you visited as a couple and reclaiming them for yourself.

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Author:

I go by the name of Frank Speaking. My blog "In the Mind of Men" (former name Chin Up, Chest High) started out as a chronicle of my mental health recovery. Now it is a forum where I discuss issues related to male mental health.

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