Over a year ago To my newly divorced brothers seeking spouses became a rather popular post on this blog. Subsequently, the need has arisen to write a follow-up. Very often single women who have been introduced to newly or long-divorced men have little inkling of the unchecked trauma divorced men go through, oversimplified in their own eyes and the eyes of society. We women often translate it as the off-putting ‘huge ego’.
“Often a divorced man has to contend with his entire sense of self worth being tied up with his marriage. He had locked his self worth to marriage. Society’s notions of commitment, love, fatherhood, and the responsibility of being the head of the household then reinforced binding marriage to his ego. A man who has been divorced finds himself adrift without knowing his place or worth because he gained so much of his sense of self from his partner and had not developed a true understanding of his real self. This is what causes the anger, depression, anxiety and often-uncontrollable, strangely manifested desperation. Men recovering from divorce need to put aside the quest to make themselves feel better through short-term self esteem boosting activities, and focus instead on building their self respect. Recovery from divorce for men is about moving through the phases of grief and coming out the end with a new outlook and a new life, not fighting to put your old life back together as your ego wants it. [Paraphrased - Kyle Morrison, Men After Divorce.]
Due to so many men failing to glean the lessons from their failed marriages and consequently never healing their wounds, statistically for men, second marriages fail at a much higher rate than first marriages. These numbers are definitely not in favour of women considering becoming attached to uncounselled and unhealed men. So, while there is enormous Deeni encouragement and blessings in ‘settling down’, proceeding glibly requires patience and deep-rooted self-awareness.
Considering the brutal second-marriage, male divorce statistics, it’s not only a question of being smart, it boils down to the ancient Greek aphorism, one of the Delphic maxims: "Know thyself”. Very few women can accept leaving themselves [and their children] vulnerable to the mood swings, the meanness, the inconsideration, the irrational and hurtful ego trips, the unchecked temper and projection of past experiences on to them. It would serve all of humankind well if divorced men seek thorough counselling before even 'looking' -- and the women (mothers, sisters, cousins, aunts) who care about them encourage them to realise their whole selves.
Wa billah, at'taufeeq.