Divorce advice for men

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

If there is still a chance of reconciliation when you have already separated click here for my review of an excellent resource.

If the two of you are still together but you're longing to sort things out, then I recommend Save the Marriage as well.

I've written this page specifically to give divorce advice for men. If you, like many men do, find it difficult to know how to handle all the 'drama' and the emotions that come with the ending of your marriage, I really hope to be able to help you along a bit.

If your wife or partner has told you that they want a divorce and there is no way back, then hop over to:

On this particular page I'm going to assume that you are the one wanting to end your marriage.   

How well prepared are you?

Knowing how to actually end your marriage is really hard to figure out - rightly so, I think. I've anticipated some of the questions you might have asked me if you'd come to see me for counselling, so I hope I can help you out here.

I'm guessing that you're probably already having a hard time and are dreading the road ahead. Ending a marriage or partnership is a painful step to take. It's unlikely to matter much how long you've actually been together.

How to tell your partner you want a divorce is a little more manageable if you come prepared. Relationship guidance is seldom included in information on divorce for men, so stick with me... I'll talk you through how you can deliver the bad news in the best possible way under the circumstances.

How sure are you?

First of all you need of course to be absolutely sure, before uttering the word divorce.  I know it sound obvious - but you know... in the heat of the moment...

If you have any doubt at all, I'd strongly suggest that you consider relationship counselling, marriage guidance counselling or you use this Stay or Walk Away questionnaire. Particularly if you have children you'll want to know that you've done all you possibly can to save the marriage.

More often a wife will contact me to ask for counselling. Men are more likely to come as a very last resort (but this isn't always the case though).

However, a well-trained and experienced couple counsellor will know how to help you personally, and your marriage, even if your partner won'’t come with you for counselling.

You can speak to a trained relationship therapist right now from my site if you like. It won't be half as scary as you might anticipate!

Does your partner anticipate a divorce?

Your partner may well be aware that there's trouble on the horizon. However, they may not suspect that you actually want to end the marriage! Your 'request' for a divorce may come as a complete surprise despite the difficulties. So, be prepared for a shock!

It's a cliche to say that men 'don't do feelings' very well. However, I think that divorce advice for men (in fact for women just as much) should include some guidance on dealing with the emotional roller-coaster too.

Divorce advice for men who hope to remain ‘friends’

I suspect you might have considered trying to soften the blow by saying that you want to remain friends. My best divorce advice for men is not to suggest you stay friends - I'm afraid that just won't work at all.

You're both on different time scales - you've had time to consider it all. Your partner may need many months to recover.

Couples do sometimes become friends again... but this usually takes up to a couple of years - if not longer - after the ending of a long-term relationship. You both need to be able to move on first. Only much later you may discover that you're developing a sort of friendship –- perhaps even despite yourself!

How much do you need to see of each other?

The complications and therefore the speed of the divorce are likely to dictate the frequency and length of your contact, if you don't have children. The division of property can complicate the ending, unless you have a prenuptial agreement.

If you do have children, then clearly you'll remain parents for the rest of your lives. For men this is even more important, as so often it's much harder for them to maintain contact with their children.

Do have a look at my page on Children in the Middle for further information on this.

Contact will to some extent be dictated by factors such as:

  • the age of your children
  • the quality of your relationship with them (is there anything you could you do to improve that?)
  • the quality of your relationship with your partner
  • the level of conflict between the two of you
  • both of your abilities to 'park' your needs for the sake of the children
  • life stages of all the family
  • family events

The quality of the contact with your children will be significantly affected by how you both react to events. So do try to create a dignified, considerate ending.

Ending a long term relationship or marriage is always a process. It's so important that you allow time to do it properly.

Read on to Part 2 for my top tips on How to Tell Your Partner You Want a Divorce.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

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Elly Prior

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It's me - Elly Prior, I'm the Founder and Author of this site. I'm a 'real' person! I'm hoping to make a positive difference, small or large, to every person who visits my site.

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