After a divorce, ex-spouses are forced to create their own living arrangements, and whether it is a house, an apartment, or a trailer, individuals who have experienced divorce are now given the task of making this environment exclusively their home.
Part of what many men deal with when a spouse is no longer in the picture is a feeling of emptiness, and that can stem from the physical emptiness of their home. No matter whether you moved to a new space, or you kept the home that once housed your family, the sense of what once was can send an individual spiraling, in a desperate search for ways of filling their home.
Many attempt to fill this sense of emptiness by hosting events, bringing people in from social environments into your new home. This is not only in an attempt to connect with others, but to fill the home with people, a desire that is rooted in the notion of attempting to fill what is considered to be empty.
Many people seek fulfillment after a divorce, attempting to prove that they can sustain a career, a home, and a life all for themselves.
Children and feasibility
The part they often do not realize until later is that unless they have to show something to a judge as it pertains to custody or children, they have nothing to prove to anyone. They don’t need to show that they can succeed on their own, without their spouse. Even without a spouse in their life, they are perfectly capable of creating a healthy landscape to sustain themselves without the need to prove yourself to someone who no longer cares.
Some look to fill their homes with their children, if they have them. Regardless of which parent has a better ability of providing the best home for the children and regardless of feasibility of the matter, some parents will aggressively pursue primary custody, in an attempt to fill their home and sustain themselves.
This can sometimes be an attempt to fill the void left by the absence of the family dynamic and the marriage itself. If you have the children’s best interest at heart and actually can provide the best home possible for them, then of course, pursue primary custody. Be the best parent that you can be, and provide the best home for your children that you possibly can.
But if you feasibly cannot, you should not feel bad about that. Many parents who have experienced a divorce are not in a financial state to be able to provide for their children on a daily basis by themselves. In fact, out of an estimated 13.4 million parents, as of 2013, 22.1 million children younger than the age of 21 lived with one parent, while another parent lived elsewhere, according to the United States Census Bureau. Additionally, one in every six custodial parents was fathers.
By admitting that you are not capable at the present time of housing your children full-time, you are not making your living surroundings any less of a home. They will still visit, and you will still see them. You are putting their needs first and are providing for them the best opportunity to grow and succeed. While circumstances may change in the future, you still need to consider the here and now, rather than focusing on ways of making your house more of a home.
There are many who would classify this as a type of empty-nest syndrome. For individuals seeking ways of adapting to the changes of a post-divorce home, making it truly yours can help. When deciding how to decorate your home, you do not have to consult with a spouse. You make the decisions as to how you want it to look.
You also gain the ability to clean out everything you no longer want, which can include remnants of your previous marriage. If you want the television to be the focal point of the family room, rather than a piece of artwork, you can rearrange the furniture and make that happen. If you prefer wood tables and chairs to painted tables and chairs, you do not have to consult another person on that decision. You can make your home your own.
Support during uncertainty
For those still searching for ways to fill the sense of emptiness in their home after a divorce, there are resources that you can utilize. Finding support can be beneficial for your overall mental and emotional health. Your support system can provide you an outlet to which you can speak your peace and manage your anxiety. Therapy also can aid your mental health issues and help you accept the changes occurring within your life.
It’s understandable to be feeling anxiety. The uncertainty of whether or not your home will ever feel whole again coincides with the uncertainty of the future. It’s important to remember that you exited your relationship through a divorce because something was broken. There was an aspect to your marriage that did not function, and thus, one or both of you were left feeling unhappy or unsatisfied with the current arrangement. Understanding that the home that was filled, was not necessarily whole, will help you refocus your attention and create a better future.
Dan Pearce is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell Planning Partners. He has written countless pieces on MensDivorce.com, detailing the plight of men and fathers going through the divorce experience, as well as the issues seniors and their families experience throughout the estate planning journey on ElderCareLaw.com. Mr. Pearce has managed websites and helped create content, such as the Men’s Divorce Newsletter and the YouTube series, “Men’s Divorce Countdown.” He also has been a contributor on both the Men’s Divorce Podcast and ElderTalk with TuckerAllen.
Mr. Pearce assisted in fostering a Cordell Planning Partners practice area specific for Veterans, as they deal with the intricacies of their benefits while planning for the future. He also helped create the Cordell Planning Partners Resource Guide and the Cordell Planning Partners Guide to Alternative Residence Options, specific for seniors with questions regarding their needs and living arrangements.