Twelve months ago my wife and I separated, amicably, and we dealt with the whole thing very well. In many ways, it was outside influences that drew us together in order to deal with the criticism and questioning.
We have a three-year-old daughter, and we did not cheat on each other. We separated because I needed some space to deal with postnatal depression. (Yes, men can get it too)
I had no idea there would be a stigma, or that people would mourn our break up, or fear it was infectious, or say we gave up too easily. However, it came, in many forms, and from all angles. We survived, because of these three tips.
Control Your Ego
I suspect someone’s ego was part of the problem in the first place. Whether it was yours, or your partners, it really doesn’t matter. What does matter is how you manage yours in the aftermath.
Your ego might tell you that your ex still belongs to you. That she is your property. Perhaps you are indignant that she had the temerity to leave you or drive you away. Late at night, maybe after some wine, your ego might want you to rant on social media about how hard done by you are.
Do not do this!
Do not attract unnecessary drama into your life. Your ex was the love of your life, and your best friend. She may be the mother of your children. People are waiting and watching, expecting you to fulfill a stereotype. To be angry, to stalk, to be possessive. Or perhaps disappear entirely.
The stigma is part of a stereotype. Avoid it.
This is incredibly important, because the divorce may have been caused by a failure to communicate. Learn from those lessons. It is not you vs your (ex) wife, it is a separated couple vs the world.
Hopefully, you still care for each other. So join forces. Stand back to back. The onslaught will start soon enough.
“Give it a little longer, did you really try everything?”
“Have a little break, but you should stay together for the children”
“No one cheated or was violent? Why not stay together?”
Communication is key. So listen and ask questions of each other. Keep emotion to the side. It is not about you, it is about surviving this process. Create a safe space where you both can be open with your thoughts and not feel attacked.
You were once everything to one another. It is both of you vs the breakup, not each other.
If you are both on the same page, and if everything has been talked out. Any fear, anxiety, and ego will have been managed. So you can now be you 100% with no guilt or shame to a third party.
Do not hide. Own what has happened and realize it is a good thing. The relationship ended for a reason. Do you want to spend the rest of your life in a relationship without romantic love?
Own your weaknesses. Own if you cheated, own if you were a bad husband. But also own what you learned, your grace, and your atonement.
Speak highly of your ex even if she wronged you. Once upon a time, she was your fairy tale princess.
If you control your ego, have communicated with your ex so you KNOW you speak the same language, and you own who you are. No stigma can get at you.
You broke the stereotype. You became an emotionally intelligent man; you have committed and fought the good fight. You are a catch that can only be described as a veteran of relationships.
You know your enemy, it is your ego. It is not your ex. You know your battle scars. You know what you are capable of. You know the depths of love and despair.
No stigma can touch you.
You have got this!
What’s your take on what you just read? Comment below or write a response and submit to us your own point of view or reaction here at the red box, below, which links to our submissions portal.
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