21 Ways How Divorce Changes A Man Forever (2024) & What To Do

In this guide, you’ll discover how divorce changes a man.

How Divorce Changes A Man
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Maybe you’re close to someone going through a divorce and would like to understand the changes in their behavior. Perhaps you are going through a divorce and want to prepare for the challenges that lay ahead. EIther way, this guide should help you. 

I help a lot of divorced men and women in my role as a life coach – and I’ll include some advice to help divorcees get their life on the right track too.  

So, let’s dive in.

Does Divorce Affect Men More?

It’s often suggested that divorce affects men more harshly than women. This isn’t always the truth. It can differ on a case-by-case basis.

However, there are a number of circumstances that can make divorce tougher which are more likely to happen to men.  

Why Are Men More Affected By Divorce?

Family Law Protects Women More Than Men

In most parts of the world, the wife is far more likely to secure a favorable deal after a divorce. 

It’s usually the woman who secures custody of their children and a hefty financial settlement to boot. As such, the wife gains and the husband loses. This is a huge reason why divorce can be much harder for men to stomach. They have to rebuild their life from scratch while their wife leaves with more than she ever had before the marriage.

Stronger Support Networks

Women usually have a stronger emotional support network to help them recover from a divorce. Men can find it tougher to process difficult emotions whether they have support from loved ones or not. Men are still prone to bottle all their feelings up rather than processing them. This has harsh long-term consequences for their mental health.

Subsequent Relationships 

It’s often easier for women to secure new relationships off the back of a divorce too. 

This isn’t just because women initiate the majority of divorces, and therefore give themselves time to prepare for a monkey-branch from a failed relationship to a new one. It’s also because there’s generally a queue of desperate men ready to date older women, even if they aren’t  at her physical and emotional peak.  

Women tend to have higher standards for who they’ll date, so a man will often find it tougher to secure a new relationship, especially if he has been emotionally and financially destroyed by his departing wife.   

Do Men Regret Divorce?

Men don’t regret divorce as much as they regret marrying the wrong person. It can be tough losing a substantial portion of their net worth and custody of their children. Still, this is generally seen as the price of marrying the wrong woman. Most men accept that the mistake was offering that woman a wedding ring in the first place. 

When A Man Files For Divorce

A husband files for divorce less often than the wife. When a man files for divorce, there’s a possibility that he’ll end up regretting it. Still, it’s more likely that the regret surrounds his decision to marry the wrong woman in the first place. 

Emotions Of A Man Going Through Divorce

Divorced Man
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1. A Bad Temper

The divorce process is painful. As a man, you’re often fighting to keep hold of everything you’ve worked to earn over the years. Once you’re divorced, it’s even more stressful coping with losing most of it.

It’s rare for a man to admit that he was fairly dealt with in the trial, so it’s perhaps understandable if he becomes a little more short-tempered after a divorce.

2. Bitterness

When you believe your ex-wife and the divorce courts have screwed you over royally, it’s tough not to be a little bitter about it. Perhaps you’ll hear resentful comments about her or women in general years after the divorce is finalised. Of course, this does nothing to help them move on from the split and cultivate better future relationships.

Bitterness and resentment should be two emotions that are processed and done away with during the grieving process.

3. A Lost Identity

A lot of married men shape their whole identity around being a ‘family man’. When their wife leaves and takes the children with her, it can be tough for a divorced man to know who he is or what he should do with his life.

This is enough to make some people clinically depressed. Male depression occurs most commonly between the ages of 35 and 40, and the loss of purpose following a divorce is a major reason for this. 

It’s highly recommended that men find a fulfilling purpose outside their family, either while they’re married or after divorce proceedings begin.  

4. Insecure

A divorced man can become insecure in a number of ways. He can lose trust in those closest to him, and who can blame him after his true love rips his whole world apart?

It’s also common that a divorced guy loses his confidence too. Maybe his confidence was based on the loving family and wealth he had built. When men lose access to this, they often feel as if they have nothing else to offer the world.  

When a man has lost so much wealth and access to his loved ones, he often feels as if he has nothing to contribute to a future relationship.  

5. Anti-Social

When a man is feeling angry, bitter, insecure and quite possibly depressed, it’s common that he decides to isolate himself from friends and family members. A lot of men don’t want others to see them struggling. They prefer to deal with their problems alone rather than potentially being perceived as weak by their loved ones.

This is a terrible shame because social interactions can be in the best interest of a lonely divorcee. A close friend or family member could be a man’s best ally to help him through the grieving period after a divorce. Once he’s over the initial grieving, it could do him a lot of good to get out there and start being social again.

If he’s able to join groups, engage in his hobbies and meet new people, this can do a lot to make him feel like his old self.    

6. Broken Man After Divorce

The ‘broken man’ is somewhat of a cliche and it’s a harsh way of describing the aforementioned emotional baggage that can grow after a divorce. However, it’s a common sensation.

Perhaps the most common attribute is the belief that things won’t get better. This is what needs to be avoided at all costs. 

7. They’re Cagey About Future Relationships

Divorced men tend to be careful when it comes to getting into new relationships. Perhaps they’re more suspicious of a woman’s intentions. Maybe they don’t feel ready to fall in love (and potentially be hurt) again.

Whatever the underlying reason is, one might need to be a bit more persuasive to convince them to get into a long-term relationship    

8. Their Belief In True Love Has Faded  

Perhaps this guy was a true romantic before his previous marriage failed. Maybe he decided to marry early in the belief that he’d found his soul mate. That’s less likely to be the case after a spouse breaks his heart and takes away his family.

A man might have a new perspective on true love after a divorce. Moving forwards, perhaps he begins to make decisions with his head rather than his heart.  

9. Their Beliefs About Female Nature Change

There are a few fast-growing online communities that are committed to spreading warnings about female nature – and a lot of men who follow this advice who have been hurt by women in the past.

This advice isn’t too positive about women’s romantic intentions – and it inspires a lot of men to avoid committed relationships with them altogether.  

10. Their Beliefs About Marriage Change

It’s reasonably common for divorced men to claim that they’ll never get married again. New marriages are off the table for a lot of them, even if they do find a woman they get along well with. The pain of their first marriages is too much for them to bear going through again. They don’t want to risk making the same mistakes twice.  

11. Not All Divorced Men Are Broken. Some Are Determined To Turn Their Life Around

A rock bottom moment leaves a lot of men broken. But strong men use it as motivation to succeed more than ever before.

Perhaps they seek a new family and a second marriage. Maybe they build an incredible life as a bachelor. Maybe they actually win child custody and raise their children to become outstanding citizens.

This is the type of divorcee you should aim to become no matter what happened during your divorce proceedings.  

How Do Men Act After Divorce?

Life After Divorce
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12. There Are Divorced Men Who Go On To Live Happy Lives WIthout Their Wives

I don’t want to be too fatalistic about divorced men (or divorced women). There are plenty who go on to live happy lives after their marriage dissolution.

These are usually those with a great attitude who accept that bad things happen in life occasionally.

Often these individuals have a good support network around them or choose to seek therapy if they’re struggling to adapt to their new life. 

It’s possible to achieve this – and that’s the goal that divorcees should aim for. 

With that said, we’ll now focus on some of the behaviors that broken men choose after going through a divorce. 

13. Coping Mechanisms

The most effective solution to all of life’s problems is to deal with them head-on.

Still, many people find it easier to run away from their problems with the help of vices like comfort eating, drugs, alcohol, pornography or sex workers.

This is easier in the short-term, but your problems will still be waiting for you once the high has worn off. In the case of using junk food, drugs and alcohol to run away from your problems, there could be health problems arising too.

Most men understand this, but the pain of losing so much in their divorce can be tough to face head on. Some may not be too worried about impending health problems if they believe it’s impossible to get their social lives back on track.   

14. They’re Less Healthy

Data shows that married men are healthier and have longer lifespans than men who are not married. Their drop in healthy behaviors might come as a result of coping mechanisms, or simply not having a partner to encourage them to work out and attend their doctor’s appointments.      

15. They’re Less Active

Maybe they’re less active because their unhealthy behaviors have led to weight gain. Perhaps they don’t have a desire to be out and about when they’re feeling so down in the dumps. Either way, it’s a common symptom of divorce, especially during the grieving period. 

16. They’re Less Generous With Their Money 

This could be as a result of having less money to spend, or a side-effect of losing so much money to someone they loved and trusted.

17. They’ll Do Anything To See Their Kids

It might be that a man was somewhat of a deadbeat dad while he was married. Maybe he loved his kids but was barely around them because he was working so often.

Still, once divorce proceedings are underway, you’ll often see fathers do everything they can to enhance their visitation rights and play a significant role in their children’s lives. It’s almost as if you don’t value what you have until someone threatens to take it away.  

18. They Cut Off Connections With Mutual Friends  

When a married couple divorces, their mutual friends often have to pick a side. Many of a man’s treasured friends will be gone forever after his marriage ends.  

The man will usually keep his old friends that he made before meeting his wife. However, many of these might have families of their own and aren’t as available as they were in their early twenties.

It’s tougher to maintain strong friendships as you grow older and that’s another reason why divorce can be such a stressful event for both men and women.  

19. They Try To Turn People Against Their Ex-Wives

In the aftermath of many divorces, there can be a general consensus that it was the man’s fault.

This isn’t always fair and it can be extremely difficult for a man to accept this narrative without a fight. 

That’s why you often see a divorced man telling anyone who’ll listen that his wife was to blame for the marriage falling apart

You might see fathers trying to convince their kids to pick sides, but this is incredibly unhealthy for them and should be discouraged.

20. The ‘Mid-Life Crisis’ Begins

When a middle-aged man makes purchases or embarks on missions more suited to twenty-somethings, it’s called a ‘mid-life crisis’.

This so-called crisis usually begins when something makes him realize he doesn’t have forever to enjoy all the pleasures of life.

He’ll usually target items and experiences unavailable to him in his younger years. Perhaps he’ll buy a fancy car or start buyng VIP tables at a nightclub. 

This is perhaps more likely to occur if a man is planning to try and date a series of younger women.    

21. He’s Just Not His Old Self

Maybe this guy doesn’t have noticeable changes in his behavior, but you just sense that he’s not his old self.

This is a common occurrence as well. Many men try to put a brave face when they’re hurting on the inside. The emotional effects of his divorce might be hidden. 

If you consider yourself a beloved friend or family member to a man growing through a divorce, spend some time with him. Encourage him. Show him how much you care. These gestures can go a long way.  

Related Content: Signs Your Marriage Will End In Divorce  

Life After Divorce

First and foremost, it’s important for men to realize that there is a life after divorce. There are plenty of men who have recovered after a brutal divorce process. I’d recommend seeking counsel from or reading the stories of these men.

Divorce recovery is rarely simple, but it’s a lot easier when you have hope of a better life after a failed marriage. 

There is professional help available from therapists if you’re struggling to recover – and it’s highly recommended you seek support from someone. 

From there, the key is to stay positive, make the best of what you have and take steps to improve your situation every day. You’ve got this.    

Life After Divorce For Men Over 40

The good news for men is that they can still retain a lot of the charactieristics that amazing women desire beyond 40 years old. In fact, they’re likely to be more assertive, brave, charismatic, wealthy, powerful and high status than they were at 20.

A man might lose a lot of his financial resources in a divorce. His mental health might not be as strong as it used to be. However, there’s still time to build yourself back up. Indeed, a recent study has suggested that a man’s desirability on dating apps typically peaks at age 50. 

Life After A Divorce For A Man Over 50

If data suggests a man’s desirability peaks at 50, that would suggest there’s plenty of room for them to find a better new partner after a broken marriage in their 50s. Of course, it depends how desirable they remained throughout the course of their marriage. The better their physical health, financial situation and emotional wellbeing, the easier they should find it.  

Life After A Divorce For A Man Over 60

It’s still possible for a man to build a great new life after divorce at age 60. It’s fair to assume that health problems might take a more prominent role at this age, so looking after themselves is key. Hopefully, you have loved ones to take care of you should you begin to struggle with health issues.

Your attitude plays a key role in your divorce recovery. If you believe it’s possible to recover, it is. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you’re struggling to see a bright future for yourself.

Any More Questions About How Divorce Changes A Man?

Thanks for reading my guide on how divorce changes a man. I hope it provided the information and inspiration that you needed.

It’s said that divorce is the second most stressful event that one can go through, after the death of a spouse or a child. That says a lot about the severity of this topic. 

If you have any questions on the aftermath of divorce, feel free to leave a comment below. 

It would be great to hear from you. 

About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.