If you've ever been friends with a couple who are going through a divorce, it's pretty needless to say that things can get messy. Friendships can change because of it, sometimes couples are put in a position where they need to choose sides and there can be difficult moments where giving advice can be....complex - especially if you're still married. Experts are sharing just how important it is for men doing through a divorce to have their married friends still as a big part of their life. However, they often struggle to stay friends with them during a time when they may need them most.
Psychotherapist Shirin Peykar spoke to Fatherly and shared that the root of it really has to do with the way that their day to day lives differ. “Married men and single men may develop less of an intimate relationship simply because of the lifestyle differences that happen due to their marital status. Often times, the relationship becomes more an acquaintance-like friendship.”
A lot of this has to do with the fact that divorced fathers tend to fall into a grey area, social scientists agree. This occurs because married men lean on their families for support while single men rely on their buddies - but where do divorced fathers turn? Taking things one step further, studies suggest that divorced men are more likely to lose the mutual friends they gained during their marriage than the woman would, after a divorce.
And the lack of support that divorced fathers are getting on a regular basis can explain why there are also increased rates of depression, insomnia, substance abuse and early death than women overall.
So then why does this happen? There are a few different theories, the main one being something called divorce contagion which is basically men avoiding their divorced friends because their wives might be afraid that they will become envious of their freedom - making the divorce have a ripple effect. So they ask their husbands to avoid these friends.
Overall, these friendships are a necessity during a tough time, like a divorce, and making time, plus establishing boundaries is very important.
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