Be it a year, a decade, or a quarter of a century, when your marriage ends, you’re left half of who you used to be. The way you live each day has changed. Try as you might, you don’t recognize the man staring back at you in the mirror.
By now, you’ve heard it all. You’ve mastered the art of getting out of bed. And you’re ready for what comes next — getting your groove back.
For some, this part comes easy. You’re a social butterfly ready to have all the adventures you’ve ever wanted. You’ve got your buddies ready and waiting for you down at the bar. You’re reading this thinking, “Aw yeah! Let’s do this!” Good for you!
But if you’re not the type to go get ‘em, and you’re starting out fighting the urge to call your ex-wife to tell you how to work the washer and dryer, don’t. Call your most self-sufficient buddy and ask him.
Adjusting to Life After Divorce: Form a Network of Support
Be they your bros, your buds, your old college football buddies — whoever — the point is to form a group of guys you trust who’ve been down the road you’ve just started traveling down. They can help you learn to fend for yourself if you’re not 100% used to it.
What’s more, they’ll cheer you on when your ex is being unreasonable, can lift you up when you’re having issues with you ex, and can help you get your life together.
Where once your ex had your back, you’ll now have your buddies you can count on.
Co-parenting isn’t new to you. You’ve been co-parenting for as long as you’ve been a parent. What’s new to you is being a single parent and following a parenting plan or agreement.
The process for adjusting to the new world you live in with separate houses and separate rules and your kids visiting goes faster for your kids than it does for you. They might seem like the end of your marriage didn’t phase them. It did. Kids just bounce back faster than the grown ups do.
If anything, you’ll be the one trying to make sense of it all. You might wish your kids seemed a bit sadder than they do, that they miss the old way of life like you do. They do, but they’ve learned to be okay without the comforts they grew up with.
You’re now a single dad. There’s nothing wrong with being one.
Guys sometimes have a hard time accepting their new role in their children’s lives. This lack of acceptance causes a rift, a distance between the father and his kids. Overcome it by consciously reaching out to your children. Keep them in your line of sight. If your ex is making it difficult to see them, assert your rights in court if you have to. Your kids need you.
Entering the Dating Scene
You’ll definitely need your buddies’ support once you decide you’re ready to date. Online dating might be your best bet if you’re just starting out and want to get your proverbial feet wet. Or if you’re quite the Casanova, you might be good with just a wing man.
If online dating is more your speed, start by figuring out what it is that you want from an ideal person. Odds are you’re nowhere near ready to start another serious relationship. If not, you might just be on the rebound. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Navigating a world of singles is easier when you know what you’re looking for. From there, you can narrow down your prospects. From there, you can initiate contact and start up a conversation in a pressure-free environment. You’ll know right away if she likes you or not, and you won’t lose anything by trying.
Your Financial Life After Divorce
In some cases, your credit can take a major hit after divorce. It doesn’t help that you’re shouldered with new financial burdens you didn’t have to deal with before like alimony and child support. Add to that college tuition expenses for your kids, and you’re up shit’s creek!
Financially recovering from divorce takes time, a plan, and the right people to help you take the right steps to get there. Like everything that’s brought you this far, recovering from the financial effects of divorce is a process that will take time.
You’ll also have to consider your yearly tax filings to the IRS. Find out what your filing status is, and consult with a CPA or tax preparer to help you get through your first tax season on your own.
Learning to Cook on Your Own
We live in an age where men can do everything for themselves without any help from anyone else. And if you’re quite the Emeril Lagasse in the kitchen, hat’s off to you, fine sir!
But if you struggle with not burning water, we sympathize. And the only way to get there is by having the right tools and lots and lots of practice.
Cooking for yourself will save you a lot of money in take out, and will impress any gal you might entertain!
Grieving the End of Your Marriage
How long it takes you to acclimate yourself to life after divorce is entirely up to you. Having a network of supportive friends and family who’ve already been through divorce can make the difference in whether you end up better off than you were before.
If you have kids, you’ll always be connected to your ex. Keep them as close as you can, and be there for them. Communicate with your little one often, every day if you can. Resist the urge to pull away when your ex makes it difficult to see them to talk to them.
Going through the motions and having supportive friends to help you will move through the stages of grief faster than you would go through them on your own. With time, you’ll get better at doing the jobs of two people on your own.