Divorce is heartbreaking for everyone involved, but it can be even worse when you don't want the marriage to end. Men are often expected to remain stoic no matter what happens to them, but it's only natural to have a hard time after your wife leaves you. Whether you're newly separated or you've just signed the divorce papers, it's normal to grieve for your wife and the life you shared with her.
Let yourself feel. You may be sad, angry, relieved, anxious or any other number of feelings, but don't ignore them. Men sometimes feel that crying or being sad is a sign of weakness, but these are perfectly normal reactions to your wife leaving. If you try to ignore or bottle up your feelings, it will take you longer to move through the grieving process. Writing in a journal will help you get these feelings out.
Reach out to others. Have dinner with friends, talk to family members or sign up for counseling or a support group. You won't feel so alone, and talking to others will help you continue working through your feelings.
Take care of your physical self. Joining a gym and eating healthy foods will give you energy and make you feel good about your appearance. Exercise outdoors whenever possible. Walking or running in the sunlight and fresh air will help you feel like a part of the world rather than hiding out at home.
Rearrange your home. If she moved out, move some furniture around and take down photos of the two of you. This way, you won't be reminded of her every time you walk through the house. If you're the one moving into a new place, buy some new furniture and decorations so your new place doesn't look like your old home.
Start a new routine. Every couple has routines, such as going out to the same restaurant every Saturday or reading the paper together at the kitchen table. Doing these routines on your own will only make you miss her. Find a new restaurant and read the paper in the living room.
Take up a new hobby or activity. You'll keep your mind off your troubles, and you can meet new people with similar interests. Take cooking classes or tennis lessons, or join a hiking club.
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- If you have children, they will need plenty of your attention during this time. Avoid speaking negatively about your wife to them. Encourage them to talk about their feelings and make an effort to spend plenty of time doing enjoyable activities with the children. Helping them through this time makes the transition easier for them and gives you something else to focus on.
Cooking, travel and parenting are three of Kathryn Walsh's passions. She makes chicken nuggets during days nannying, whips up vegetarian feasts at night and road trips on weekends. Her work has appeared to The Syracuse Post-Standard and insider magazine. Walsh received a master's degree in journalism from Syracuse University.