For guys going through divorce, there's no better advice than from those who've been there. But when it comes to open, honest talk about splitting up, we don't often hear from men -- and that's why we launched a new series called When Men Divorce.
We asked divorced men about the things every man needs to know if he finds himself faced with divorce papers. Here's what they said:
1. "Divorce is one of the most devastating events a man can experience, with the exception of a death, [but] don’t even think about going through this process solo. That’s a surefire way to make the pain last for way too long. Spend time with close men friends who can hear you without offering lots of advice. You just need to get it all out. You don’t need advice. Your friends can support you when you’re feeling at your lowest and you shouldn’t be shy about calling them whenever you need to talk. That’s what friends are for." -- Ken Solin, author of Act Like A Man and The Boomer Guide To Finding True Love Online.
2. "Whether you're considering jumping into a new relationship or reconciling an old one, it's important to remember that who you are today isn't who you'll be when you're healed and balanced again. Don't let 'Damaged You' make major life decisions or write checks for 'Future You.' Be patient. Become 'You' again. THEN decide what's next." -- Matt Fray, author of the blog Must Be This Tall To Ride.
3. "When I first started dating after my separation/divorce, several people who were already divorced told me I wasn’t ready; that it was too soon to get into a relationship. I scoffed at them; they didn’t know me. As I look back, they were right. You can’t jump into a new relationship until you are truly out of the old one." -- Al Deluise, author of the blog Conflict & Scotch.
4. "Keep the focus on the children at all times. First, that is where it should be, and second, that will ease some of the pain of what your spouse may be saying or doing and the agony of the disruption divorce causes." -- Joe Seldner
5. "Life with kids is schedule driven. Keep a calendar, and if your kids are old enough, teach them to add their events to it themselves. Have them look at it every day. In my house, if it wasn’t on the calendar, it didn’t exist. Baseball games, sleepovers, school plays, concerts, or any special event needs to go on the calendar. A few hard lessons early on will pay off exponentially." -- Bill Flanigin
6. "If you have children, their other parent remains one of your most important relationships, regardless of how you feel. For the same reasons we exercise professionalism and diplomacy to succeed in our careers, so too should we exhibit kindness and thoughtfulness with our ex-wives to succeed as parents. Be kind, even when it's hard. The benefits of doing so for yourself and your children cannot be overstated." -- Matt Fray
7. "Lawyers call it 'visitation', but your kids are not coming over to your house for a visit. Your house is a second home. They will be living there... with you. They will need to have expectations and privileges. When your kids are with you, it is not a vacation, it is life. Don’t try to be the 'cool' dad, be a father. You are no longer part of a parenting couple; you are on your own. Think through things thoroughly." -- Bill Flanigin
8. "Don't say anything negative to your children about their mother. It hurts them. Your children need you to be their father who teaches them about life." -- Elliott Katz, author of Being The Strong Man A Woman Wants: Timeless Wisdom On Being A Man.
9. "Don’t badmouth your ex to anyone who will listen. It’s boring, and worse, an absolute sign you haven’t healed and moved on. A big part of the healing work is understanding what your part was in the failed marriage. Few divorces are one person’s fault, and with the exception of substance abuse, both partners contributed to the failure. Understanding what your part was will help you not repeat that behavior in your next relationship." -- Ken Solin
10. "Give yourself one hour a day to think about what is going on in your life. Just one hour of your own choosing. If you start to think about your divorce during the day, push it aside and tell yourself, ‘I’ll think about that at six’. If you miss that hour for any reason, you then have to wait until the next day. Eventually, without conscience effort, you will miss those hours more and more.” -- Al Deluise
11. "Don't expect a quick ending. I recall being about six months into my divorce and telling a guy I met that I was glad it was almost over. He laughed and assured me it wasn't. Four years later -- still in the midst of it -- I agreed with him." -- Joe Seldner
12. "I became grateful for everything I already have: I am grateful that I have five amazing kids in my life who continually pay me back with their love and success. I am lucky to say that I have a long list of things I am grateful for, which I add to every week. When I am down, I read it and instantly cheer up." -- Matt Sweetwood