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Men Facing Separation

Updated on January 21, 2011

Why do men suffer more from separation? What makes them more vulnerable? How should they deal with this situation?


After separation, men often go through more difficulties than women. Many times, they cannot even realize what they are feeling or what they think of their new situation. It can take months before they realize what is happening and they have often reached a state of depression too difficult to overcome by this time.

It is usually friends or relatives who realize first. The separated man's palms are sweaty all the time, their throat dry, they run out of breath very easily and they feel a persistent desire to mourn. 

Denial causes the person to continue with the routines of their life while descending in a spiral of repressed and denied feelings. When family members try to help, they are often rejected. This is part of the denial coupled with the difficulty of accepting help after wanting to gain more and more independence from the family for years. 

Then comes a friend or an acquaintance, someone who they saw a few months ago and who is not aware of the whole situation. This friend asks them if they are OK and what has happened. It is to this person that they open up, on whom they unburden all their pent-up anguish, a whole sea of emotions that they could not recognize, then they sink even more. Therefore, they need professional help, because such a state is what professionals understand by depression. 

The routines of being a man

Studies indicate that 45% of depressed people who go to professionals are men who must deal with their double role in the world. These professionals ensure that women tend to build a stronger network of relationships with men.

They live in a much more social world: they attend meetings of the school where their children study, they organize dinners at home, they visit their neighbors and they get to know more people. Meanwhile, many men engage in work and make sure they do not miss anything in the family.

Women also work for the same purpose, but the difference is that they do not avoid their social life because of this. For men, work and family are a refuge from everything else, even from their own feelings.

For these reasons, it is difficult to bear for men to find a gap separating them from these things. They find an emptiness that makes them wonder why they do what they do. Why do they keep working? Why do they keep getting up every morning to go to the office?

I have no time for this, can you give me a pill?

A man aged about forty or fifty comes to a clinic to have an interview with a psychoanalyst. This man wants the analyst to handle his problems so that he can continue working in the office. He thinks that two or three sessions and a few pills will do.

But then the doctor asks him what happened when he was 14 or 15 years old. He asks when he was able to realize and be aware of what he wanted for himself, and how he related to his parents and family. It may be that this person was apparently so eager to solve his problems that he becomes someone who does not want to invest too much time in the treatment. “I have a work meeting I have to attend. Can I take some pills, huh?”

The loneliness of being human

While women go through their daily struggles and have won more freedom, independence and security than they have ever had, men are lost in the new role they have to play in their relationships and in the society they live in.

The fabulous singles life

You should add up all the practical issues involving separation. The man is usually the main breadwinner of the family, but it is the mother who gets custody of the kids. So, you must overcome many legal difficulties and reach agreements to see them on weekends.

This happens if he has a good job, one that allows him to pay the food and have an income high enough to survive. There are cases in which the father is not allowed to see his children because his income is lower than a certain level imposed, even if his salary allows him to pay for food.

These men cannot even return to their single lives, no matter how much divorce advice for men they got. They should continue worrying about keeping the family, but they are allowed to enjoy it whenever they want.

Blind men

Most often, men do not even realize that the relationship is nearing completion. They simply appear in their homes and their wife says she wants to break up and is taking the kids. 

Statistics indicate that 64% of the time, it is the women who decide on their own and initiate the process of separation, without needing too much divorce advice for women. The statistics are enforced as women earn greater economic independence. This means that, at the time of separation, they are better prepared because they have spent some time thinking and planning, while men usually see themselves facing the situation.

Men find it difficult to see the evidence as sufficient to advance a separation. On the one hand, they are not used to communicating through signs, but they have a more frontal way of relating to people. On the other hand, denial can make a blind man become more perceptive.

Post-separation treatment

In order to overcome this situation, they need to be emotionally anesthetized. They need to stop feeling things and going about their daily routine. Others are anesthetized with alcohol or drugs and there are those who become violent, who have an uncontrolled rage or who act in a self-destructive way.

It is necessary for men to realize and be aware of their emotions. You need to seek help to quit. You should be open to communication. They need real communication to express their feelings, the kind of communication which does not make them fear the fact that they might be judged.

Talking with friends is something that helps, but you should consider professional help. There are things that we cannot tell our friends about, but we can tell them to a complete stranger who will not see us ever again.

A psychologist can be that person or that someone who understands your history and guides you through your feelings without judging what you feel or what you do. A professional can show your emotions the way to being revealed.


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