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after a divorce origami heart been torn. Concept of breakup.

The ways men and women approach divorce are very different. No divorce is the same, and no couple is the same but, I have definitely noticed trends in how men versus women deal with this major life event. For example, almost all of my mother’s divorced female friends are still single, while almost all of their ex-husbands found a new spouse within just a couple of years after the divorce. And my mom has a lot of divorced friends so those are some figures that just cannot be ignored. It could have something to do with the fact that women are just happier after divorce than men are. So, they don’t need to fill some void with a quick replacement partner. There are a lot of reasons that could be, including the fact that many women feel like caregivers to their partners so, divorce is actually like…retirement! That’s just one of the many differences. Here is how men versus women handle divorce.

after a divorce Women standing together outdoors hugging

Women surround themselves with friends

Women immediately surround themselves with their support group. They’ll stay with friends or family for a while, or ask a good friend to live with them for a while during this difficult time. They make sure to be smothered in love.

after a divorce Black men texting on cell phone

Men don’t want pity hangs

Men are proud and don’t want pity hangs. If they sense that their friends are only asking them to hang out because they’re worried about them, they reject the invitation.

after a divorce frineds having fun in restaurant and using smart phone for mobile payment. Both with casual clothes.

Women have more friends anyways

The reality is that women are better at building and maintaining social networks than men are. Maybe it’s because we have a hormonal need to be in regular contact with close friends. Either way, that network is there and ready to support us.

after a divorce portrait of mid adult businessman with hand on face

Men didn’t build that network

Men tend to rely heavily on their romantic partners for their social life. It’s very common for men to just hand their partners control of their calendars and say, “Just tell me where to be and when.” They can find themselves rather lonely after a divorce because their partners were their whole social lives.

after a divorce woman in Barcelona traveling admiring the city from above

Women take personal time

Women take personal time. They go on trips. They take spa days. They ask for time off work. They go to meditation retreats. They understand the importance of self-care at this time.

after a divorce with laptop is on phone and looking threw papers at his office

Men dive into work

Men dive into work—they try to spend all of their time on the one thing they can control during a time when life feels so out of control.

after a divorce senior African-American woman in her 60s standing on a pool deck near lounge chairs.

Women stay single for a while

Women remain single for a long time. They are not ready to give of themselves in such a tremendous way, so quickly after such a big loss. They don’t take divorce lightly. They want to pause and reflect on what they’ve learned, and what they will want to be different about their next relationship.

marriage and divorce rates of bride’s arm wearing a wedding band and an engagement ring holding a bouquet.

Men re-marry quickly

Men dive back in. They re-marry quickly. Perhaps this is because their wives are their caretakers. So, while divorced women are getting a nice break from being caretakers, men feel completely lost and helpless and need a new partner fast.

mental health therapy woman sitting across the table from her therapist, receiving mental health counselling.

Women go to therapy

Women go to therapy. They understand the importance of having professional help after such a life-altering event. They also make sure to make the most of therapy by being present and doing the homework.

after a divorce of young man outdoors looking around and thinking


Men are much less likely to go to therapy. If they do, it will be because someone else urged them to. They may be resistant to it, and less likely to open up to their therapists.

after a divorce of a young businesswoman comforting her colleague on the steps in a modern office

Women talk to their friends

If a woman is going through a divorce, it will be the main thing discussed for at least six months after the divorce (and before it’s official). It’s a big deal, and her friends treat it as such.

after a divorce businessmen with coffee to go and smartphone

Men talk a little

Men might talk to their friends a little about the divorce but they feel self-conscious about monopolizing conversations with the topic. They may dedicate a few minutes to updates on the divorce and then change the subject.

after a divorce holding daughter at airport

Women stress about the children

Women immediately stress about the children—how is this affecting their emotional state? Will they still be properly cared for? How can the parents make sure their lives are not too disrupted?

fatherhood advice sitting with son

Men fight for time with children

Men seem to worry more about custody—often, they were just less involved in the children’s lives so their immediate worry is that custody will go to the mother.

after a divorce Of Crying Young Woman

Women grieve right away

Women grieve right away. In fact, they begin grieving before the divorce proceedings even begin. Women know when a relationship is over, long before it’s over.

after a divorce hoodie-wearing young man, seen sitting in the dark, holds his hand over his face, exhausted or miserable.

Men grieve later

Men put off the grieving for a long time. They’re more likely to be in denial, and insist that the divorce hasn’t really affected them. They’re more prone to abrupt and strange behavior, later, because of their suppressed emotions.

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