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For some, being emptynesters is not all that it is cracked up to be. Not all of these couples relish in the alone time they may get, now that their children no longer live with them, and they do not enjoy the uncertainty of what the future holds from here on out.

Many of these couples begin to experience marital problems and come to the conclusion that they are better off ending their marriage at this time, so that they can enter into a new phase of their life, enjoying the time that they have left.

This occurrence is called gray divorce, and while many who pursue this avenue have built up the necessary finances to do so and still live their days comfortably, this is not with the guarantee that they will actually be happy.

The study

A recent study, published in the Journal of Family Issues, by the University of North Carolina examined post-divorce life satisfaction in cases of gray divorce, or late-life divorce.

The study used an analytical sample of 150 men and 131 women who reported a divorce at age 50 or older and analyzed them, examining their situation, self, support, and coping strategies. They looked to see how these factors could influence the post-divorce life satisfaction that they may or may not experience.

The results

The results of the study showed that the divorce caused 28 percent variance of the life satisfaction of the women surveyed and 40 percent variance of the life satisfaction of the men surveyed, according to the regression model utilized by the researchers.

The researchers also found that being in a new relationship had a positive influence on both sexes, no matter if the new relationship was a new marriage or a new dating relationship. Similarly, stress or strain had a negative influence for both sexes.

In terms of those who have children, having at least one child age 18 or older at the time of the divorce was positively associated with the life satisfaction of women, in comparison to women without children. The results for men with or without children were not available.

The researchers stated that the social support and availability of companionship from a new spouse or partner may help account for the higher level of life satisfaction of respondents who stated that they were in new relationships.

The overall life satisfaction of divorced men and women showed higher levels of stress, strain, or pressure.

This is understandable because of the uncertainty of the moment. Those that pursue a divorce do not have any sort of guarantee that they will find someone new in their lives, and for those over the age of 50, the pressure of finding someone new may escalate, due to the fear of not knowing how much time they actually have left.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.
Combatting uncertainty

When you are pursuing a divorce, you are choosing to end a dysfunctional and unhappy relationship, and that act can take place at age 23 or age 73. Not knowing what comes next can be distressing, but should not be the determining factor in deciding to stay in an unhappy marriage.

There are methods, to which individuals over the age of 50 can ensure themselves greater life satisfaction after their divorce. One of the most important ways is to make sure that they are protected both in the divorce decree and with the status of their estate. These legal actions require having an attorney that can help you through the divorce experience and an attorney that can help you navigate the ins and outs of estate planning and asset protection.

After the legal, financial, and health aspects are settled, you can take the time you need to process the end of your relationship, in order to move forward on an emotionally-healthy level. You can enjoy aspects of your life that matter most to you. For those that have kids, that can mean spending more time with them. For those that enjoy their job, it could mean devoting more time at work.

Whatever the avenue may be, you can achieve a higher level of life satisfaction during a gray divorce without worrying about the uncertainty and pressures of the future. It is possible.

The post Study Examines Life Satisfaction After Gray Divorce appeared first on Men's Divorce.

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When you first begin dating someone, you hopefully get to see the various sides to their personality and decide for yourself whether you enjoy all of those various sides enough to be with that person for a longer commitment. However, there are times when you only get to see the sides that your significant other wants you to see, and so when you make that type of long term commitment and marry, you may be doing so under false pretenses.

They may begin to reveal the aspects of their personality that they had previously hidden, once you get married. One personality trait that causes a lot of problems in marriages and can turn them into divorces is arrogance.

Some who enter marriages may not know how much of an ego their new spouse actually has. They could have concealed it from them, or you may be the type of person who makes excuses about arrogant behaviors, blinding you from what they actually are.

They may be very successful in their accomplishments, and that may be part of the reason why you may have been blinded by their true nature. Arrogant individuals have the ability to succeed, not only in their careers but life in general.

Abilities of the arrogant

According to Psychology Today, this is due to their various abilities to express themselves in situations. They are able to express anger and intimidate others, leading to their own success. Arrogant individuals can be difficult to interact with, causing conflict avoidance with those who interact with them on a daily basis.

They can exhibit their dominance in social situations, which can lead them to obtaining some levels of power. Arrogant individuals can believe themselves to be superior and share traits with narcissists, in their mutual desire to win. This can put them on the attack.

Contact your attorney

This can make a divorce particularly difficult. In order to combat an arrogant individual, you will need to partner with a family law attorney, who understands what you are going through a can put your needs first.

They have the ability to represent your best interests, and especially in the cases of men and fathers, that can be challenging when facing a soon-to-be ex-spouse who demonstrates arrogant behavior.

During the process

Dealing with an arrogant soon-to-be ex-spouse during the divorce process can be a lot to handle. They may believe that they can do no wrong and can demonstrate a sense of entitlement. They may think that they deserve primary child custody, alimony, and child support, regardless of their schedule or ability to care for the child and regardless of their financial situation.

They may attempt to play off your emotions or try to bully or intimidate you during the process. It is important to keep calm and composed in moments when all you want to do is lash out. You cannot allow them to goad you into saying something or doing something that could be used against you in your divorce or child custody case.

As often as they may attempt to muscle their will into the proceedings, you have to be the bigger person and rely on your family law attorney. Their ability to represent your best interests may be critical in avoiding the maximum amount of damage that can be done in your case and to your future.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.
Threat of parental alienation

After the divorce decree is finalized, you still may have to deal with the arrogance of your ex-spouse, if you share children with them. Their personality traits may lead them to commit acts of parental alienation, turning your children against you.

This type of trauma is harmful to your children and can require professional assistance, in order to combat. It also can damage your self-worth and how you feel about yourself as an active parent, requiring you to seek help, in order to mentally and emotionally recover.

An arrogant ex-spouse may not realize the damage they are doing to their children by targeting you, as a parent. They may only see how it benefits their ego or how it could potentially benefit their child custody case.

Whatever the case may be, it is important to continue to play an active role in your child’s life. You cannot allow the arrogance of your co-parent to dictate how you raise your children. You need to continue to try to be a constant presence in their life.

Dealing with an ex

When it comes to dealing with your ex-spouse, if you do not have shared children with them, you do not have to worry about it. You can continue your life and your future without worrying about how their behavior will affect you.

If you do have shared children and have to co-parent with your ex-spouse, understand that their interests are in themselves and how parenting and your shared children interact with them. As many redeeming qualities as they may have, their arrogant tendencies may prohibit the level of selflessness that you may typically expect from a co-parent.

After adjusting expectations, you still should try to do your best to maintain a civil discourse with your co-parent. You certainly should not look to be best friends with them, but you do not want any negativity to affect your shared children and how they see their parents.

That delicate balance may be challenging, but it is necessary to try. The emotional damage that your ex-spouse once had the capability of doing to you through their arrogant behavior no longer can hurt you, but in order to protect your shared children, it is best to attempt a polite discourse, in order to shield them from future damage.

The post Dealing with Arrogance in the Divorce Experience appeared first on Men's Divorce.

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After a divorce, you may think you can handle it yourself. You may think that after the divorce decree is finalized and you no longer need to rely on the services of your family law attorney, you can create a life for yourself without the mental and emotional support of others.

You may feel like those who feel the need to contact a mental health professional to cope with the trauma of the process are “weak” or “lesser” for doing so.

While some may not require the help of a mental health professional, those that do are far from “weak” or “lesser” for doing so.

They are admitting the issues that they are facing and are taking an active role in their recovery. They are deciding that their mental health is better left in the hands of someone trained to help them during their time of need. They are recognizing their lack of familiarity in the mental and emotional aftermath of the divorce process.

Stay humble

They understand that when you are unfamiliar with how to do something, you should probably ask someone who is trained to do that task. Whether it is electrical work, plumbing, carpentry, or navigating the emotional landscape of a complicated divorce, relying on the professional training of someone who knows what they are doing will only benefit you.

Understanding that notion allows you to take a step forward and surpass many who are unsure, due to the fear involved in disclosing elements of your private life. However, if you are worried about conversations being private, mental health professionals are bound by a privacy rule within the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that creates national standards to protect your personal health information and medical records, including information about therapy and mental health.

Stay organized

Taking that step forward in your therapy requires you to get past those concerns and create a list, either a written one or a mental one, of topics that you would like to cover during the course of your therapy sessions.

This will give you a better idea of what you would like to accomplish during therapy. You may want to cover a wide variety of topics that adversely affect your mental health. However, you need to be aware that you are only paying for an allotted amount of time per session, so it will take multiple sessions, in order to cover all of the facets of every given topic.

Stay open

You also can take an active role in your post-divorce therapy by keeping an open mind throughout the process. Some who enter therapy already are looking toward the emotional solutions to their problems, without being open to the idea that their idea of an outcome may not be the outcome that leads to their emotional health and well-being.

The longer you hold onto your ideal mental and emotional outcome of your issues in post-divorce therapy, the longer it may take to open up your mind. According to research from Loyola University of Chicago, those who consider themselves to be experts in a field or who have an opinion of how things are going to go, are often more closed-minded to alternative viewpoints.

The best way to go about opening up your mind during post-divorce therapy is to be open to noticing new things. There may be issues during the course of your marriage and subsequent divorce that may have facets to them that you have never considered from a perspective other than your own.

You may have to open yourself up to the notion that it may not just be your ex-spouse’s fault. They may not necessarily be at the source of everything that troubles you from a mental and emotional perspective.

Whatever the case may be, keeping that open mind enhances the dialogue that you may need to restore your mental and emotional wellness. You may need the conversation to flow freer than a closed mind would have allowed, and that requires a level of honesty with yourself.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.
Stay honest

You cannot go into therapy with lies. It will accomplish nothing and waste your time and the time of the therapist. You have to approach this process with the honesty and integrity that you would want to be approached in your field. You have to show the respect that you would hope would be shown to you.

Given the emotional volatility that can exist during the divorce experience, that may be difficult for some, but it is important to remember that the longer you hold onto the resentment of something that already ended, the more opportunities will pass you by.

If you are unable to find a mental health professional, it is important to contact your family law attorney. They have the ability to assist you and your needs through the divorce experience.

The post Taking an Active Role in Your Post-Divorce Therapy appeared first on Men's Divorce.

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In an ideal world, you would treat yourself with respect by putting yourself in the best situations possible. You would look to better yourself by surrounding yourself with individuals who make you better and treat you with the same respect that they expect to be treated with. You would fall in love with someone who treated you with respect, just as you treat them.

These ideas are based on a greater level of hope that we, as human beings, have for ourselves. The hope is that love would last well past the act of marriage, and there would never be anything to interfere with the perfect union forged between you and your spouse.

However, this idea is far from realistic, and for many who go through a difficult marriage that ultimately ends in a divorce, this idea is a fairy tale, based on the hopes they once felt toward a relationship that simply did not work.

Believing in that fairy tale is an act that does not treat yourself with the level of self-respect that you deserve. You persevered through the challenges of the divorce experience and came out the other side, recognizing how you should and should not be treated in a relationship.

Treated with respect

You also recognize the role that you played in the divorce process. Your interactions with your family law attorney may have been the first time in a long time that you were treated with the respect and dignity that you deserve.

The kindness and compassion that they showed you during your moment of need may have been a moment of clarity, allowing you to recognize what socially acceptable behavior toward you is supposed to look like.

It also may have been the first time in a long time that someone showed you enough respect, to the point where your thoughts and feelings were well represented during the divorce process. Your rights as a parent were fought for with respect to your role as a father, and your financial limits were kept in mind when ironing out issues like alimony and child support.

Reality and respect

After a divorce, you may feel disrespected by a system that divided half of your assets and may have given your ex-spouse primary child custody rights. You may feel that you can never get back the self-respect that you lost during this challenging time.

The first step in attempting to regain some semblance of self-respect after the divorce decree is finalized is coming to grips with reality. When you go through a divorce, you inevitably will lose assets and parts of custody. The gains of exiting a dysfunctional and unhappy marriage come with the losses, and that is not something that should affect how much you respect yourself.

If your behavior did not include criminal, abusive, or remotely negative actions, you are not responsible for the losses that typically come with the divorce process, and you should not respect yourself less because of it.

You also should refocus your attention on all that you have going for you moving forward. You should think about your career and the advancements that you can make. If those are unavailable, you may consider going back to school, in order to obtain the necessary education for career advancements or an entirely new career opportunity.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.
Role as a father

You also have to consider your role as a father and how you can help your children adjust to their new life. They may have issues adjusting after the divorce, so it is important to monitor their behavior and seek help when needed. Depending on their age and maturity level, they may require professional assistance.

Asking for professional help for yourself or your child is not an action that should affect your self-respect. You are not weaker, because you need help. You are acting in the best interests of yourself or your child and displaying the responsibility that a good parent would.

Building yourself back up

After a divorce, there may be some in your life who treat you with less respect than you deserve, entirely based on the fact that you went through a divorce. These individuals are not behaving in a supportive manner and should not factor into how you view yourself.

After a divorce, your self-identity is in a state of transition. The crossroads of how you wish to proceed with the rest of your life will determine your ability to physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially recover from the end of your marriage.

You have to take steps to build yourself back up and create a better life for yourself. In doing so, you will exceed the amount of self-respect that you previously had for yourself and relish in your sense of accomplishment.

The post Navigating Respect During the Divorce Experience appeared first on Men's Divorce.

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Before divorce even becomes a thought in the heads of you or your spouse and you find yourself in a consistent pattern of toxicity and resentment in your increasingly dysfunctional dynamic, you have your own thoughts about how things are going. You have had your own experiences that define how you feel and what you are going to do moving forward.

When the process begins, you feel justified in your feelings, because they are defined by the actions, conversations, and experiences that have led you to this moment. The end of your marriage is a product of the sentiments that characterize the dysfunction and resentment of those actions, conversations, and experiences, and you are allowed to honor them.

Your family law attorney will honor your feelings, listening to aspects of your relationship that you feel impact your case. These are important moments, which is why it is important to hire a family law attorney who understands the unique situation that you face.

You are allowed

You are allowed to be angry that you have to stay in the marital home, or else you risk appearing as if you have abandoned the family. You are allowed to be angry about the possibility that you may not spend as much time with your children as you previously did. You are allowed to be angry about the possibility of having an order of protection made against you, in response to a false claim made by your soon-to-be ex-spouse.

You are allowed to feel like no matter what the outcome of the case may be, you are not getting your fair share in the divorce settlement. You are allowed to receive alimony no matter what gender you may be, and you are allowed to revisit aspects of your divorce at a future date.

After the divorce is finalized, you may have a variety of feelings that you have to sort through, and you are entitled to them. They are yours and you have every right to feel them, based on your individual experiences within the confines of your unhappy and dysfunctional marriage, as well as the events of the divorce process.

How you choose to process these feelings and express them is entirely up to you, but there are healthier and more appropriate ways of doing so than others. This does not include any instance of a topical and pertinent discussion in front of your children.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.
Healthy strategies

Regardless of what your co-parent and ex-spouse is doing, you should make an effort to be the bigger person and shield your children from any negativity directed at the opposite parent, and this includes sentiments coming from you. Avoid any awkward or serious discussions around the children, and look for private ways of expressing your frustration to your support system.

One of the healthiest ways of unpacking the complex emotional tapestry of the divorce process is through therapy. Therapy offers the nonjudgmental environment that you may need after a divorce. It gives you the chance to discuss what happened in your marriage with an unbiased licensed mental health professional.

It also gives you the opportunity to learn from the experience. By sorting through your actions and feelings with someone who did not experience them, you are better equipped to put things in perspective and move on without repeating those mistakes in future relationships.

Time also plays a factor in honoring the feelings you may have after a divorce. The more that passes, the less intense your feelings may be. Conversely, you may be more hardened in your position, regarding specific issues involved in your divorce or child custody case.

Holding on or letting go

Regardless of which occurs, you are justified in your feelings, but whether you hold onto them or let them go is entirely up to you. You are entitled to your opinion, but just like your feelings, that opinion can be subject to change over time, in order to help adjust to aspects of your new life and move on.

By holding onto the feelings of resentment, you may be giving your ex-spouse power. They can be controlling where you go for the fear of running into them. They can be controlling who you see for the fear of meeting someone similar to them.

Many of these feelings deserve to be let go, but if you are worried that letting go of those feelings dishonors any residual feelings you may have regarding the end of your marriage, you should not. The fact is that letting go of those feelings is one of the final steps in letting go of your unhappy marriage.

You are not dishonoring those feelings by letting them go. Instead, you are choosing to put yourself and your needs over the sentiments left over from a marriage that could not function. You are loving yourself the way that you deserve to be loved, and through that love, you will be able to move forward with your life.

The post Honoring Your Post-Divorce Feelings appeared first on Men's Divorce.

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Even before the word, ‘divorce,’ slips past your lips, you may have quite a bit to fight for, putting you in a defensive state of mind. You feel like you have to fight for your place in your household and in your relationship. You feel like you have to fight for your role as a father as a respected part in your child’s life.

When the divorce process begins, you have to develop a level of resilience necessary to get through it. You begin to compartmentalize certain aspects of your life and your relationships with others, in order to get through the day.

You may find yourself wearing a thicker skin, in order to withstand all of the challenges that going through the divorce process presents. Whether it is logistical challenges, mental challenges, emotional challenges, or financial challenges, there are many issues that may come up that may require some type of resilience.

Need an attorney

Many of these issues also will require a family law attorney who understands the difficulties of the divorce process, especially for guys. Men and fathers can face some of the toughest challenges against the biases of the family court system during divorce or child custody issues, so it is vital that you contact a family law attorney who focuses on these areas.

There may be many challenges that come up during the divorce process that may employ the resilience that you have developed. Many parents, especially fathers, are forced out of their child’s life, while still expected to pay child support and alimony.

Difficulties in court

It is one thing to desire your child to be provided for, but it is entirely another to deny the parenting time that an active and loving parent deserves. For many, this is their burden, due to the pervasive gender stereotypes that can be found in many family courts.

Many who go through the divorce process also may have to deal with false accusations being made against them. This can take a mental and emotional toll, due to how damaging and slanderous they can get, not to mention the consequences that they can have on your case.

False allegations, especially ones of abuse, can be damaging to a case, and given how easily a protective order can be issued, disproving the false allegations against you may cost you additional time, effort, and financial resources.

However, if you are able to do so, you are able to discredit your soon-to-be ex-spouse in court, lessening the value of their word and swinging the momentum of the case in your favor.

After the divorce process is finalized, there still are plenty of instances when the resilience that you may have built up will be employed. Depending on the amount of resilience you employ, your ability to recover from the divorce experience can be directly affected.

Psychological Science study

A study published in both the Psychological Science journal and The Atlantic examined the ease of recovery after a divorce. The researchers examined 105 divorcees who were married for over 13 years. They were surveyed and asked questions about their former spouses, which was proceeded a discussion about the separation itself.

These surveys and discussions were analyzed by trained coders, rating them for their self-compassion, self-esteem, optimism, and ease with relationships. The study indicated that those with high levels of self-compassion at the start recovered faster and fared better on average.

The study indicated that among the personality traits considered in the analysis, self-compassion was the only one that significantly predicted post-breakup resilience.

Journal of Divorce and Remarriage study

After a divorce, many develop a level of resiliency in divorce recovery workshops, according to a study published in the Journal of Divorce and Remarriage. The study was designed to determine the effectiveness of the divorce recovery workshops and how they affect the dispositional resilience of those who have gone through the divorce process.

The results of the study indicated that those who participated in the divorce recovery workshops significantly benefited from the experience, in terms of divorce adjustment and that the level of resilience before the workshops significantly and positively contributed to their divorce adjustment after attending the workshops.

Lowering your defenses

After going through the divorce experience, your defenses may stay up for an unknown amount of time, as a defense mechanism, but it is important for you to remember that in order to meet someone new after a divorce, you eventually will have to let them in, lowering your defenses.

As resilient as you may be and may have been before, during, and after the divorce process, you may no longer need to protect yourself, and you need to know that that is OK. It is OK to be vulnerable again, and it is OK to show others who you are behind all of the defense mechanisms that you may have had to employ during this difficult time in your life.

The post Utilizing Resilience During the Divorce Experience appeared first on Men's Divorce.

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In the divorce experience, you may have people in your life who do not believe in what you are doing. They will talk about how much stronger marriages were in their day and will fail to grasp the level of toxic dysfunction and unhappiness that resonated in your union.

You may face those that will suggest counseling, even though you have explored that option ad nauseam. You may have spent hours in couples counseling, hashing through every possible issue that comes between the two of you to no avail.

Whether it is a parent, a sibling, a friend, a co-worker, a neighbor, or someone else, there may be someone in your life, who does not know when to hold their tongue, regarding their differing opinion. They may believe that there will never be “the right time” to express their differing thoughts, or they may not know how to keep them to themselves.

Keeping focused on your needs

Whatever the situation may be, you have to be focused on your needs, just as your family law attorney is. You cannot be bogged down mentally or emotionally by the opinions of someone outside of the divorce itself.

It is challenging enough dealing with a high conflict divorce or a divorce in general. Splitting all of the marital assets and deciding who gets what can be taxing enough, not to mention figuring out child custody, child support, and alimony.

These are complicated and taxing issues that you need to be focused on, and paying any mind to the thoughts of someone who is not being constructive in their disapproval will not help the matter.

By listening to those people who do not understand the difficulties of what you may have gone through in your marriage, you are making an active choice, in self-sabotaging your mental and emotional well-being, and if that choice is being made during the divorce process, you are actively choosing to put your case and future at risk.

Different backgrounds

Their disapproval may be a result of a specific religion, country of origin, or culture that they grew up in. According to research from Tilburg University in The Netherlands, many communities avoid the person going through the divorce and ostracize him or her from the community, making them feel unwelcome.

In their study, they examined the tolerance of divorce in 44 difference countries and found that familialism played a part in the disapproval of divorce in countries like Italy, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, and Chile. Familialism is a cultural value that emphasizes close family relationships, and given that divorce is the ending of a family unit, it makes sense that in some countries and cultures, the ending of that family unit would be inherently disapproved.

This is in stark contrast of countries that value individualism, such as Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, and New Zealand.

Dealing with disapproval

No matter who is expressing disapproval of your divorce, you have control of the conversation. You have to decide whether or not they are worth listening to and whether or not you want to heed any of their advice.

After the divorce process has ended, the disapproving voices may express more regret, regarding the end of your marriage, than you actually feel. Many find themselves personally invested in the relationships of others, and when those relationships end, they do not know what to do with themselves.

They see the end of the marriage as something that needs to be fixed, when the reality of the situation can only be viewed in its entirety by the two people who were a part of the unhappiness and the dysfunction of the situation.

Outside perspective can breed clarity, but when the perspective comes in with their own agenda in mind, it cannot be taken objectively seriously. After a divorce, you should be focused on building a new life for yourself and your children, if you have them. You cannot maintain that level of focus if you concern yourself with the opinions of others.

As difficult as it may be to phase out the criticism of others, it is for your benefit, with the hope being that the person who is offering their critical thoughts on the situation will notice that you are not paying them mind and behave differently.

The post Dealing with the Criticism of your Divorce appeared first on Men's Divorce.

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With Mother’s Day approaching, you, as a divorced dad, have your own feelings to unpack, regarding the holiday. Given how the divorce experience can often create tension between co-parents and how events, actions, and words can sometimes be used negatively when issues regarding child custody are called into question, your feelings are probably justified.

However, it is important to remember the children’s perspectives when deciding the best method of expressing these feelings. Regardless of how you feel about your co-parent, she still is their mother, and for them, that makes her worth celebrating.

Your mother and your children

Think about your mother for a second. You may have had a great relationship with her. You may have spent countless hours with one another, as she helped you with your homework or cooked you dinner. She may have been a provider in the house or someone who drove you to and from school or football practice.

For some, not all, this can be the case with your children. Your children may look to their mother for many of the comforts that you received from yours, and that is no fault of theirs. Child custody decisions force children to rely on the parent that receives a favorable outcome, and that should not be held against the children.

Legal help

In order to remedy this, it is important to take legal action if you wish to improve your child custody case and increase your parenting time. This means partnering with a family law attorney who understands the plight of men and fathers who may be slighted by the gender stereotypes that can exist in the family court system.

There may be rulings that have existed for years that you wish to revisit, modifying aspects of the child custody agreement and parenting plan, but just because they have existed for years, does not mean they cannot be revisited.

Benefits of shared parenting

Just like the case itself, having an emotionally volatile divorce does not mean that your co-parenting relationship cannot be revisited and repaired. Especially in situations where the child custody agreement and parenting plan are modified, it can be beneficial to have both you and your co-parent on the same page, promoting the health and well-being of your child.

Countless studies have highlighted the benefits of shared parenting, and as a father, you need to put the needs of your children first. This means setting aside all of the history and emotions involved in the breakdown of your marriage and work with your ex-spouse to be the best parents that you can be.

This includes Mother’s Day, a day designed for the appreciation of everything that a mother does in the life of their child. While you may not have such a positive outlook on your co-parent, your children may, and destroying that outlook can be a slippery slope, especially with Father’s Day just a month away.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.
Respect for the day

You may be forced to ask yourself “Would you want your co-parent to affect how you celebrate Father’s Day?” If the answer to that question is a resounding “No.”, then perhaps it is best to allow your children to have that day to celebrate the role that their mother plays in their lives.

Whether you know for a fact that your co-parent would attempt to mess with Father’s Day, in an effort to undermine your relationship with your children, should you not offer the same level of respect to Mother’s Day as you would hope your co-parent would show for Father’s Day?

Leading by example

By making that effort, you are putting yourself in a better position with your children and with your child custody case. You are showing the court that you can put your feelings and history aside and honor your co-parent’s place in your child’s life.

You are showing your children that regardless of the divorce and the fact that you are no longer with their mother, you still have the ability to take the high road and respect her place in their lives. You actively are teaching them life lessons, in how to deal with someone that you may not like and showing them that the emotions of a complicated situation should not guide the decision-making process.

It may be a little uncomfortable taking these steps in honoring your co-parent’s place in the lives of your children, and Mother’s Day may intensify your discomfort. However, it is not about you. It is about your children, and you have an opportunity to be the bigger person in this situation by helping your children with Mother’s Day. Take them to go get a card, a gift, or flowers. Teach them how to cook Mom’s favorite breakfast.

By helping your children in this area, you are humbling yourself and leading by example. Even if you and your co-parent do not have a civil relationship, you can show them what it means to be a selfless and loving parent.

The post Unpacking Mother’s Day Feelings as a Divorced Dad appeared first on Men's Divorce.

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When you begin the divorce process, you can sometimes feel like the commitment that you made during the act of marriage is dissolving between your fingers. If you wished to keep the commitment, you may mourn it and become angry that you will no longer have that relationship in your life.

If you were the one interested in ending the union, you may express relief that you will no longer be brought down by the dysfunction and the unhappiness of the relationship. An action like spousal infidelity may have fueled your decision to divorce, shifting your perspective about future relationships.

The shift of perspective is an understandable consequence of the broken trust from your damaged and ending marriage. It may not have even involved infidelity, and you still may have issues in future relationships, regarding necessary components like trust and commitment.

Receiving guidance

These are important components for any relationship, and after the divorce process is finalized and years go by, you may have to readdress facets of your marriage, such as adjustments in child custody arrangements, child support, or alimony, which will require the help of your family law attorney.

They will be able to provide to you the guidance necessary during a time in your life when you may begin to distrust people and their ability to be honest and committed to your cause. When it comes to your case, they will put your mind at ease.

Understanding the fear

After going through a divorce, the level of distrust you may feel, regarding others and their intentions, is entirely understandable. When you or your ex-spouse ends a commitment that is meant to last forever, it can make you question the validity of commitments in general. If someone who promises to love you, honor you, and be committed to you for the rest of time is unable to do so, what does that say about commitment as a concept?

Part of that stems from a psychological phenomenon that was studied by the Relationship Institute at UCLA. Researchers found that commitment is more fickle of a concept for many, who are unwilling or unable to make a relationship or marriage work when challenges confront it.

“It’s easy to be committed to your relationship when it’s going well,” said senior study author Thomas Bradbury to the UCLA Newsroom. “As a relationship changes, however, shouldn’t you at some point be like, ‘I’m committed to this relationship, but it’s not going very well – I need to have some resolve, make some sacrifices and take the steps I need to take to keep this relationship moving forward. It’s not just that I like the relationship, which is true but that I’m going to step up and take active steps to maintain this relationship, even if it means I’m not going to get my way in certain areas?’”

The research indicated that couples who frequently disagree with one another need to communicate and find the source of their disagreement.

For many, however, the source of their disagreement is the commitment itself. There are many that do not take their commitments in relationships and marriages as seriously as others, and as a result, they are not as hurt by the divorce, leaving their ex-spouse emotionally wounded by the experience and in a position where they may find it difficult to put their heart on the line and commit to someone again.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.
Some stay willing to commit

This may not be you. Many individuals who go through the divorce experience have no problem committing again. In fact, many who find themselves single in their 30s, 40s, and 50s look to date people who have gone through a divorce.

According to The Huffington Post, there are many men and women who are willing to commit, even after they go through the divorce experience. They have failed to give up on love and actively still are seeking that special someone.

That does not mean there are not certain behaviors to watch out for. It just means that not everyone is jaded or fearful of the possibility of committing again after a divorce.

Ending the influence

The fear of commitment can be understandable after the divorce experience, but by holding onto that fear, you are giving your ex-spouse power beyond the end of your marriage. You are allowing them to influence the outcome of future relationships.

Letting go of that fear will allow you the opportunity to move forward in your life, away from the influence of your ex-spouse, giving you the chance to heal.

The post Navigating a Fear of Commitment in Post-Divorce Relationships appeared first on Men's Divorce.

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After your divorce is finalized, you may experience an inclination to hide from the world. The feeling is like there is some sort of visual symbol on your person that signified that you got a divorce, like a scarlet A.

If you are feeling this way, do not feel like you are behaving abnormally. Everyone who goes through the divorce experience handles it in their own unique way, and a level of understanding should be granted to them.

Various feelings

The feeling like you need to hide is understandable. After a divorce, some experience a level of shame or regret. They feel as though they were unable to live up to the institution of marriage and the expectations that can often come with it. They may feel like they have failed their spouse or that they were not good enough for their spouse to hold up their end of the deal.

Some are simply angry. They feel cynical and as though they are betrayed, and depending on the events that occurred within the marriage and within the relationship, they very well may be justified in their feelings.

They may feel as though their spouse was supposed to stand by their side through thick and thin, and they may have failed to live up to their end of the agreement. They may have broken their vows in some way or done something to cause the marriage to become untenable. They may not want people around while they still are seething.

Others are shy and introverted. They may not be looking for the support system to get through the divorce experience, because they would not be looking to spend time with other people, even if they were not fresh off a divorce. They may attempt to avoid spending time with others out of preference, and this antisocial behavior appears amplified in the context of the divorce that just occurred.

Whatever the case may be, you can feel justified in wanting to seclude yourself from the world. If the divorce was finalized recently, you still may feel the pain from the experience. You still may be working with your family law attorney, navigating the ins and outs of the finalized details of the decree and may not want to deal with the questions and concerns of others who are prying into your business.

You may not want a support system after a divorce, but that does not mean you do not need one. Those that go through the divorce experience are at risk for many physical and mental health issues, and without the proper support system in place that involves the level of social interaction to maintain a status of health and wellness, you may find yourself at risk too.

Physical health risks

Studies have shown that those who were divorced or widowed were 20 percent more likely to have diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or another chronic condition. The chronic stress of divorce also can cause difficulty sleeping, change in sex drive, lack of motivation, elevated blood pressure, headaches, increased risk of developing viral infections, changes in appetite, chest pains, or an upset stomach, according to researchers at Ohio University.

They also have been linked to flairs of acne, eczema, migraines, and back trouble. There have even been instances where the level of chronic stress can trigger those with heart disease into suffer arrhythmias, heart attacks, and even death.

You may not understand the full scope of the physical risks that you face, because you are so deeply focused on the emotional side of the divorce experience. This is understandable, and given the mental and emotional issues that can arise during the divorce experience, putting them on your radar is a smart way to spot ailments before they do lasting damage.

Mental health risks

The mental health issues that you may face after going through the divorce process cannot be understated. According to studies at the University of California, Riverside, divorced men and women are at a higher risk of suicide than married men and women.

Additionally, divorced and separated individuals were over twice as likely, in comparison to married individuals to commit suicide. The study also indicated that the risk of suicide among divorced men was over twice as likely as that of married men, whereas in women, there was no statistical difference in married and divorced women.

Many researchers attribute the high number of suicides to social integration. Many men who have experienced a divorce are more likely to isolate themselves and foster an environment prone to poor mental health and low self-worth.

Many men also have to deal with the notion that help-seeking for mental issues is gendered against them. Research published in the Sociology of Health and Illness journal shows that men often interpret depression as stress and the discourse of help-seeking was gendered, due to the masculine ideal that a man intolerant to pain does not seek the health care that they need.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.
Healthier solutions

Considering a more isolated lifestyle may sound relaxing, and you may think that it will lower the stress level in your life. However, the amount of mental health issues that can arise from that level of seclusion should make you question it as a possible solution.

Instead, creating a support system and finding a healthy way of dealing with the complex emotional landscape of the divorce experience are two methods that are far more beneficial than isolation. Contact a mental health professional, and schedule an appointment. They can help you navigate the ins and outs of what you are going through, and if you do not know where to get one, contact your family law attorney. They will help you get in touch with one.

You also may have friends and family members interested in helping you get back onto your feet after your divorce. They may look to help you get out and socialize, which may bring up some level of social fear.

However, the health benefits of social interaction outweigh the social fear. Both quantitative and qualitative social relationships affect mental health, physical health, health behaviors, and mortality rate, according to studies published in the Journal of Health and Social Behaviors.

According to The New England Journal of Medicine, social interaction has been known to reduce the risk of heart attacks in men, and the Duke University Medical Center found that social ties can reduce death among those with serious medical conditions. The University of Texas found in their research that social interaction enhances good health behaviors, such as more of a likelihood of exercise, a lesser likelihood of smoking, more of a likelihood of consuming a balanced diet, and a lesser likelihood of abusing drugs or alcohol.

New start

Your inclination to seclude yourself after the divorce experience is understandable, but it ignores the potential of life after divorce. It is entirely your life, and you get to decide how fully you would like to live it.

However, there are too many risks in keeping yourself in isolation to ignore. You need to take charge of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being after a divorce and create a life that reflects the benefits the fresh start that you have.

The post Exploring Seclusion After Divorce appeared first on Men's Divorce.

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