Divorce is stressful even if you know it is for the best in the long run, and most couples are so focussed on the ending of the relationship that they tend to overlook the smaller details that can massively impact their health.


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The Guardian's Luisa Dillner shone a spotlight over the fact that divorced men struggle with some major health issues after the ending of their marriage.

"Divorced men are more likely to die earlier," she writes, "have higher rates of alcohol and substance abuse and a 39% higher suicide rate than married men. Men who divorce also have less sex, and they are less satisfied with what they do have."

men divorce

Dillner also cites higher depression rates for separated men and higher blood pressure. It doesn't make for cheery reading - and considering a third of British marriages end in divorce - it seems like a death knell.

Chris McIntosh, director of Divorce Easily and HuffPost UK blogger says: "This research suggests that having a stiff upper lip may not do men any favours on divorce and beyond. Divorce is stressful and bottling up emotions can be damaging. If men don't feel comfortable opening up to friends or family, it is worth asking their GP for a referral to a counsellor which could start them off on the right path to divorced life."

By contrast, women are 'much happier' post divorce despite not necessarily being financially better off. A study of 10,000 people in the UK by the Centre for Research in Employment, Skills and Society at Kingston Business School revealed that women cope better with major life changes, reported The Daily Mail.

But why the difference? Divorce expert Liz Copeland says: "Men and women deal with this type of stress differently. Women do reach out to others, moan to their friends and work out their therapy verbally, which may help with this transition."

However she doesn't think that the adverse health repercussions are just limited to men.

She added: "It's easy to see men going down the beer-slob route and becoming unfit loners, but I think that's a bit of a stereotype. Both men and women sometimes handle the stress through overeating/over-drinking. The body then has to deal with the hormonal effects of emotional stress as well as the onslaught of poor food, lowered nutrient intake, too may calories and alcohol toxins."

men divorce

There's no getting round the stress of a divorce, but perhaps there are ways to lessen the pain. Liz advises:

  • 1. Get help from your friends, there will be resources in the people around you. A group of non-judgemental, non-advice giving friends will make it less stressful.
  • 2. Stressful situation are an opportunity for change. Professional help at this point can make the transition shorter and less expensive. A divorce coach will support you through the changes you are experiencing and enable you to get onto your new life with fewer bumps in the road.
  • 3. Decide, at some point in the divorce process, to start looking after yourself.

A recent American study called for doctors to be aware that men may need therapy post divorce. The Daily Mail reported that Professor Ridwan Shabsingh, of Cornell University and president of the International Society of Men's Health, said: "Popular perception, and many cultures as well as the media, present men as tough, resilient, and less vulnerable to psychological trauma than women.

"The fact is men get affected substantially by psychological trauma and negative life events such as divorce, bankruptcy, war and bereavement."

Related on HuffPost:

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  • Dita Von Teese

    Burlesque star Dita Von Teese was married to shock rocker Marilyn Manson for just over a year before she <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20005731,00.html" target="_blank">filed for divorce in January 2007</a>. Von Teese moved out on <a href="http://www.thehollywoodgossip.com/2007/04/dita-von-teese-on-love-marilyn-manson-nudity-etc/" target="_blank">Christmas Eve amid allegations</a> that Manson was having an affair with Evan Rachel Wood, then 19 years old. "I left with nothing. I knew that there was an inappropriate relationship going on in [my home], and I didn't want any part of it around to remind me," <a href="http://www.thehollywoodgossip.com/2007/04/dita-von-teese-on-love-marilyn-manson-nudity-etc/" target="_blank">she said</a>. "I didn't want that sofa. I didn't want that bed."

  • Eva Longoria

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  • Sienna Miller

    Sienna Miller was <a href="http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20143950,00.html" target="_blank">engaged to Jude Law</a> when it was revealed that he had cheated on her with his children's nanny. Miller has spoken out about the affair and how it affected her perception of love. "What makes me sad [is] that there was a loss of innocence on my part," <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20010446,00.html" target="_blank">she said</a>. "I was blinded by being a romantic person. I sort of feel like, 'What if I never love that vulnerably and that openly again?' But I feel like I'm really strong. I feel like I grew up."

  • Sophia Bush

    Sophia Bush and Chad Michael Murray were <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,1109973,00.html" target="_blank">married for only five months</a> before separating amidst allegations that he was <a href="http://www.thefrisky.com/photos/10-celebrity-cheatin-triangles/cheating-triangles-g10-jpg/" target="_blank">cheating with Paris Hilton</a>. "I can't say there are no hard feelings... I feel hurt, humiliated and broken-hearted," <a href="http://www.hollywood.com/news/celebrities/3473892/sophia-bush-speaks-out-about-chad-michael-murray-split?page=all" target="_blank">she said</a>.

  • Usher

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  • Kristen Stewart

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  • Whoopi Goldberg

    Whoopi Goldberg has been <a href="http://www.starpulse.com/news/index.php/2010/02/18/whoopi_goldberg_rules_out_marriage_" target="_blank">married three times</a>, but told her cohosts on The View that she has cheated while being married multiple times. "I did it five or six times… Yes, I screwed around while I was married, yeah. I made mistakes too. It happens sometimes," <a href="http://perezhilton.com/2010-04-05-whoopi-goldberg-admits-to-cheating-while-married#.UcttxD46V9V" target="_blank">she said</a>.

  • Meg Ryan

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  • Tiger Woods

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