As over 1,000,000 people divorce annually in the United States, approximately 500,000 men each year are left searching for answers and guidance. However, men often don’t have the emotionally supportive relationships more traditionally associated with women in our culture. Thus, while all family members are often traumatized by divorce, the emotional fall out for men is more wide reaching than previously believed. In 2002, statistics cited by the American Pediatric Association, estimated half of the children in divorced homes would have little or no contact with their fathers following divorce. This loss experienced by men is compounded by the pain of children who “lose” when their fathers become alienated and remote. The very real societal repercussions are just now being fully realized as a generation of children are left “fatherless.” Many men experience divorce in ways different from women that the literature hasn’t addressed.
A study published last year in Social Science Quarterly, concluded that men who are divorced are 39 percent more likely to commit suicide than those still married. Other research has shown that married men enjoy major health benefits, including a boost to longevity and a decreased risk of smoking or alcohol and drug abuse. Health experts remain unsure of the specific reason for the widespread incongruity, but the author of the study has suggested that marriage offers a support system for men that’s uniquely beneficial. Whether you are a father or husband without chldren, the following list of titles are suggested as a source of information to help you through the divorce process.
Men on Divorce: The Other Side of the Story by Penny Kaganoff (Mariner Books 1997). “The editors of the anthology Women on Divorce now use the same format to examine the men’s side of marriage break-up: 15 authors write about their divorces. In their introduction, the editors compare their two anthologies and note that the children of divorce play a much less prominent role here than in the women’s collection and that the men seem to have idealized their wives-at first-much more than the women had their husbands. Men also seem more prone to ‘serial divorce’ (repeating the same pattern in one marriage after another) and are more aware of how divorce can become a family tradition. The literary quality is uniformly high, making this a rare, unusually focused anthology of original essays that both entertains and instructs.” Publishers Weekly
A Man’s Feelings, Finding Closure After Divorce. Eads, M. Red San Reading, 2008. A unique book, which addresses a calamity many men face, was written by a Northwest author, this is a personal account of how Michael went through these hard times, and how he came out the other end with a positive attitude, and a vigorous new life. Going through this crisis, he found his own identity and self-esteem in question. His whole life was a question mark from the day his wife first said the word, Divorce,’ but with a step-by-step process, and help from friends and counseling, he got through it! Amazon Review.
Finish the Journey: A Man’s Guide Through Divorce. Florentino, J.Iuniverse.com 2009. The author is a regular middle-class guy who chose to do something positive with his divorce; to turn tragedy into triumph. Now every man can benefit from Joe’s nearly two years of research, his interviews with over two hundred men, and his own personal experience. This book specifically details: Understanding what went wrong; Healthy ways to accept responsibility without beating yourself up; Advice to help the children adjust while becoming a great single parent; Strategies to make it through the dark days of emotional depression; Re-entering the dating world in a way that best fits each individual. Amazon description.
Man’s Guide to a Civilized Divorce: How to Divorce with Grace, a Little Class, and a Lot of Common Sense, Marguilies, S. Ph.D., J.D., Rodale Books (July 16, 2004) Sam Margulies, Ph.D., J.D., one of the most experienced mediators in the country, shares his experience to help men make this unpleasant process as quick and amicable as possible. His suggestions on how to manage this turbulent period will significantly minimize the effects of divorce on the separating couple and on any children in the relationship. Taking into consideration custody issues, and giving specific financial and legal advice, this book will inform men about how to choose a lawyer, how to deal with a pre-nup,and when not to go to trial. Dr. Margulies explores all the elements that make for a good, fair divorce, as well as the importance of timing and the decision to get counseling. He also explains how to avoid a legal mess, how to predict the long-term implications of alimony and child support, how to divide up property, and how to negotiate the final agreement. In A Man’s Guide to a Civilized Divorce, Dr. Margulies helps men avoid the treacherous waters of divorce and illustrates how, with the right advice, one can actually come through the process in pretty good shape
Marital Separation, Robert Weiss (see also, his book Rebuilding When Your Relationship Ends) Impact Publishers, Inc.; 3 edition (January 1, 2005) Although not written for men, I selected this book in the hope that the male voice will be of assistance to men in facing the challenges of divorce. It is primarily about the emotional and psychological side of separation and divorce and how to deal with those issues, rather than “how to destroy the one you used to love.” It has quotations from people who have gone through it anywhere from “now” to 20 years ago and shows that people can and do “get through it”.
Crazy Time: Surviving Divorce & Building a New Life Abigail Trafford Harper Perennial; Revised edition (December 2, 1992) This is a classic, recognized for more than 15 years as the essential guidebook for getting through divorce. Trafford is compassionate, articulate, and ever so savvy about the pain people go through when they have to deal with divorce.