Phoenix Men is a fellowship that offers advice and support to heartbroken, lonely or ageing men.

Sifting Through The Ashes:

“Whilst going through my own divorce I tried to put into words what I came to realize over time and what helped me during my own anguish. Hopefully my insight will help you through your pain. Stay Strong!, Thornton”

You are not a womaniser, a heavy drinker or a gambler. You are not perfect, but who is? You have worked hard to provide for your family. Like most marriages yours had its ups and downs, but nothing could ever have prepared you for your present situation. You never saw it coming; you honestly thought your marriage was for life. This tidal wave came out of the blue and has swept you away. Now you’re drowning and the friends and family you thought you had have turned into sharks, taking bites out of you as you struggle to stay afloat in a sea of emotional turmoil.

You are not the first and certainly will not be the last. As you’re reading this thousands of men around the world are going through the same gut-wrenching anguish and pain as you. It’s a pain that you’re going to have to face alone. Sure, real friends and close family try to support you, but, at the end of the day, when the lights go out and you’re all alone it’s just you and your torturous thoughts.

No matter how supportive your inner circle is words of comfort fall way short of their desired effect. Somehow, “There are plenty more fish in the sea” or “You’re better off without her”, are meaningless and alien to you at this point in your grief.

You’re probably in the over-thinking phase right now. You’re trying to piece together where it all went wrong, going over in your mind every little detail, every word that was said, every action. Then, on top of this, you have to somehow cope with overwhelming feelings of self-pity, anger, hurt, bitterness, depression, disbelief, denial, isolation and betrayal.

You WILL ride this roller coaster of emotions many times. Remember, you’re not alone, thousands of men around the world are on this roller coaster with you.

You’re at a crossroads in your life now.

You’re going to have a lot more time on your hands and most of that time is going to be spent sitting on your sofa analysing every aspect of your break-up. You will look to the Internet for answers to questions such as: ‘How long does heartache last?’ and ‘How do I win my wife back?’

You may try dating sites and throw yourself at women who, in normal circumstances, you would not look at twice. You may get drunk and say and do stupid things; it’s all part of the healing process. You’re soul searching, you’re confused and just trying to make sense of a world that is foreign to you now.

You’re a human being with hard-wired feelings. Contrary to what you have read, or been told, it is impossible to ever fully get over the hurt, but the pain will become bearable enough with time so that you can move forward and build a new life.

Poor advice

You’ve no doubt already come across the hundreds of online, self-proclaimed divorce experts, relationship gurus and academic counsellors who have never married. There is also the odd divorced guy who actually makes a little sense. Certain things you read will strike a chord, but the majority of advice out there is the same annoying, regurgitated search-engine fodder.

What really helped me?

Find an old photograph of yourself when you were young and look at this photograph long and hard. Try to remember everything you can about this kid staring back at you. This kid was carefree and confident. Where did he go? He never went anywhere! He is still with you, but somewhere along the way he lost his confidence and got buried under a mountain of negative thoughts, self-blame, and all the other day-to-day worries we have been conditioned to think are important. Think back, right back, reconnect and get to know this kid again. I guarantee you will learn from this confident, carefree soul you once knew so well.

Try to accept the following!

  • Accept your situation. Sure, you’re at rock bottom now, but, on the flip side, the only way left is up.
  • Accept that there are three sides to a story: your side, her side and the truth.
  • Accept that everyone is different, whether good or bad. You cannot control other people’s actions or come up with explanations for their behaviour. That’s just the way it is.

Continue Reading: Rising From The Ashes…