After a divorce, there are some who turn to their favorite vices, in order to recover from the emotional weight of the divorce process and to distract themselves from the uncertainty of the future. They turn to drinking, drugs, food, gambling, and other pleasures, in order to mask the pain of the situation and to help them move on from any unresolved feelings that they may have regarding their ex-spouse.
You may know better than that. You may see those avenues as unhealthy or financially unwise decisions, that will ultimately harm you and your post-divorce well-being.
You may understand how the use of these types of vices can impact your ongoing case. You may understand that excessive drinking or drug use can change a child custody case and give your ex-spouse the leverage they need to modify any existing parenting plan.
Knowing all of these things ahead of time will put any decisions you make into perspective. You are better prepared, when you go to your family law attorney either during the divorce process or later down the line, looking to modify aspects of the decree. You will be in a better position to change the parenting plan, or seek a reduction to child support or alimony.
Keeping those elements in perspective is vital to your future. You do not want to be paying alimony indefinitely, and you do not want your child support to be going toward things that have nothing to do with your child. You need to keep your eye on the ball.
That means focusing on yourself and making yourself a priority. Your wellness after a divorce can dictate so many aspects of your life, your relationships, and your case.
The complexity of emotion
Not keeping your emotional wellness in mind after your divorce is finalized is ignoring the emotional weight of ending a marriage. The end of a marriage is not a decision reached lightly. There may have been some actions, such as infidelity or abuse, that sparked your decision or your ex-spouse’s decision to pursue divorce.
It also may have been a lack of emotional honesty. Many enter marriages with a damaged relationship or without an honest picture of what the marriage would entail. After you say “I do,” you find yourself in a constant state of confusion, committed to an emotionally dishonest union and suffering from the emotionally poisonous consequences of your actions.
Without maintaining your emotional wellness in these types of situations, you may find yourself experiencing difficulties with your health, especially if divorce already has been decided as a pursued option.
Physical and mental wellness
Those who were divorced or widowed are 20 percent more likely to have heart disease diabetes, cancer, or another chronic condition at some point in their life, according to WebMD. In fact, studies from the University of Texas have shown that 37.5 percent of divorced men were predicted to have been affected by cardiovascular disease.
These types of concerns do not just affect the physical aspects of wellness, but also the mental ones. Many men do not wish to admit that they may be facing mental health issues, due to their gendered perceptions of help-seeking.
You may have similar concerns and may not think that you need to seek help for any sort of post-divorce mental health issues. However, you should not avoid help because you feel like doing so makes you weaker or lesser. You should not feel like you are the only one capable of solving the mental challenges going on after your divorce.
Seeking a therapist does not make you less of man, just as seeking a veterinarian does not make you less of a pet owner. You are seeking a solution for what ails you (or your pet), and seeking help does not affect your identity.
The truth of wellness is that you are looking for your normal, and while that may be fairly new in a post-divorce life, it does not mean it is less equal to your pre-divorce existence. You are you, and that means finding healthy and productive means of achieving wholeness.
Through seeking the assistance of a mental health professional, relying on the abilities of a family law attorney, and narrowing your focus onto yourself in a post-divorce life, you will be able to counteract the negativity of the experience and become happier as a result, putting you in a better position moving forward.
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.