Falling Forward: The Male Perspective On Divorce

2
11

Over the last 15 years, I have worked with hundreds of divorced Catholics helping them heal from their divorce experiences. I am grateful God saw fit to use my brokenness to help others who were suffering. My parish support program, Journey of Hope, is geared toward both men and women, but the groups are not co-ed for several reasons, one being that participants feel more secure sharing their heartaches with someone of the same sex. But I have noticed something interesting over the years… women often wonder if men have as difficult a time with divorce as they do? Men are always painted as the bad guy by the likes of attorneys and supportive friends of the woman and to be fair, some divorced men really are the bad guys. But so are some divorced women.

All divorced men are not evil and many of them suffer tremendous pain. But a lot of them simply don’t talk much about their divorces. They may move through it with the help of a confidant or counselor, but they mainly cope with it on their own. Or at least it seems that way. Based on the number of books about surviving divorce that are written for men (few) vs. how many are written for women (abundant) it’s tempting to believe that all divorced men just move right on to the next relationship and all they’re really concerned with are practical issues like money, sex, and protecting themselves legally.

It’s important to hear the male perspective on divorce, especially for men who may be feeling totally alone in their crisis. That’s why I’d like to introduce you to a powerful new book by a frequent CatholicMatch Institute contributor, Chris Easterly, Falling Forward: A Man’s Memoir of Divorce.

Chris says Falling Forward is a different kind of book. It explores the emotional journey of one man’s divorce, from his wife’s affair to his eventual healing, and it declares a resounding truth: you will survive. And this is no “hit piece” where the only goal is to denounce and defame his ex-wife. This book is a sincere and open look at the trials and challenges of losing a marriage he hoped would last a lifetime. It offers real perspective that can shed light on more than just managing visitation and protecting your assets.

In a recent podcast I did with Chris, I asked him what motivated him to write this book. He stated that when he was going through his divorce he was desperate to find books that would encourage him and let him know he would get through it, but all he kept finding were titles like, Runaway Husbands, or A Woman’s Journey Through Divorce. The books written for men seemed to be much more clinical and avoided the emotional aspect of it all. His motivation was to reach out to other men who were struggling with the emotions that result after a failed marriage and let them know there is hope for the future.

I asked Chris what the top three ways were he would suggest to help a guy going through a divorce. His recommendations were excellent, beginning with being available. “I think the biggest thing that helped me was just knowing that there were other men I could turn to that wouldn’t try to fix it, they would just let me talk. I had buddies I could go out with for a beer or lunch and I could just talk about my situation and they would listen and empathize and encourage me.” Chris 2 Small

Other suggestions he offered were to take them out to do things, highlighting that there is a time for being alone and mourning your loss, but it’s still important to get out of the house and be social, even if you don’t feel like it. Two other things he also recommended doing was to help your friend or loved one remain close to his faith, and encouraging him to go through the annulment process when the time is right.

You may already be familiar with Chris’s writing from some of his articles such as Phantom Pains: Letting Go After Loss, and, 3 Reasons Men Don’t Open Up About Depression. Not only is Chris’s advice for those going through a divorce right on target, but he is an award-winning screenwriter and writing instructor. If you are a man who has gone through a divorce and can benefit from Chris’s book, or if you know someone who is going through a divorce and could use some much-needed perspective and consolation, I encourage you to pick up a copy.

I look forward to hearing your feedback. Give me a shout-out at asklisa@catholicmatch.com or follow me on Twitter and let me know what you’re thinking 🙂



2
11



2 Comments

  1. Stephen-1439029 April 24, 2017 Reply

    divorce was finalized approx. two years ago except sale of “real” property, which basically left me homeless. trying to find a solution to this has also been a struggle. for years, i had hopes of reconciliation. until this last Easter(4/16/17) went to spend some time with some, but not all immediate family members. the strange thing, at least for me, was there was no longer any hope or desire for that reconciliation. no more anxiety, period. it was like The Lord had removed a tremendous burden from me. until that happened i was stuck in that rut that wouldn’t permit me to think of a positive future. like i was never going to be happy again, just living a life sadness and loneliness. since Easter, i have a new lease on life. optimistic about having a place to call home AND finding a woman that will take the time to understand me and give me a perspective that i have lacked for some time. praise God for His Goodness. And the opportunity to move forward. only need to get the annulment process started.

  2. Michael-1078043 February 12, 2015 Reply

    sounds like a spot on and needed book.

Post a comment