Divorce is typically a difficult ordeal for everyone involved, and the emotional repercussions can be devastating. According to DivorceInfo.com, divorced people are three times more likely to commit suicide than people who are married. On top of this, divorced men are more likely to commit suicide than divorced women—two and a half times more likely, according to CNN. Though everyone works through the effects of divorce in his or her own way, divorcing someone should not be a death sentence. By looking for the warning signs of suicide in an ex-husband and acting quickly, you can prevent the avoidable loss of life.
Encourage your husband to make emotional connections with his friends. Men socialize differently from women, and may be hesitant to share their emotional vulnerabilities with male friends—remind him that doing so is OK, so he doesn't bear the emotional burden of divorce by himself.
Assure him that he isn't solely responsible for the split. Infidelity cases aside, divorce is seldom the sole fault of one person—a rift in the relationship can be widened by both the husband and wife. Men may become suicidal when they feel as though they failed the relationship, or brought the divorce on alone, so take time to talk about why you are divorcing and what went wrong.
Exercise, and encourage your husband to do the same. Taking care of yourself is crucial to maintaining a good mental state.
Watch for warning signs, like withdrawing from society, increased drinking, risky behaviors or statements that imply suicidal thoughts. Don't hesitate to confront your husband if he exhibits these warning signs.
Encourage your children to stay close to your husband. Men often lose primary custody in divorce proceedings, drastically changing the father-child dynamic. Make sure that they spend ample quality time together.
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Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
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