Men and Divorce: What’s Holding Us Back

In a recent livestream, Ben and Nikki talked to Kate Anthony and Susan Guthrie about the cultural implications of Men and Divorce. It’s no secret that men stereotypically have a harder time talking about their feelings and dealing with the emotional side of divorce. Women are also more likely to file a divorce, with 75% of divorces being filed by women. It can be argued that this is due to the women being the “doers” in the relationship, but some have more bitter opinions on why that statistic exists. Nonetheless, there seems to be a strong cultural divide between how men and women are supposed to differentiate in how they handle their divorce, emotionally and logistically. 

If there’s anyone that’s not the norm, it’s Ben. Unique and not afraid to tell it like it is, Ben feels like this idea that men can’t talk about their feelings and set aside their ego is what’s holding more people back from having the happy divorce that he and Nikki have. In this open letter, Ben talks about what he did in his situation to find a healthier approach, which ultimately led to the Our Happy Divorce family that we have today. 

From Ben: 

I’m not a therapist. I don’t know why men don’t talk about their feelings. Even before my divorce, I had a hard time talking about my feelings, and that is because I’ve been socialized to be a “man,” which to me meant that I am independent and strong. Whenever I feel vulnerable or get a feeling like my initial reaction was incorrect, I either get mad or withdraw in my “cave.” In the beginning of my divorce with Nikki, I did just that. I was so twisted up in the emotion of anger, resentment, and fear that I reacted in a negative way that had many implications. We could have probably gotten to a happy divorce sooner if I would have just realized that we both did things that resulted in our divorce and that we needed some time to heal. 

I also told myself that I could handle it and that it isn’t even that big of a deal. What a mistake that was. This was a HUGE deal, and one that would be the hardest time of my life, but also the best thing that could have happened for me, Nikki, and Asher. Because, after all is said and done, Nikki and I both have found the people that we’re supposed to be with and we have one big amazing family. This is something I never could have imagined at the beginning of our divorce. 

I believe that if men allow their ego to hold them back from finding their happy divorce, they’re ultimately hurting themselves and their children. Nothing gets in the way of a healthy relationship — both your relationship to yourself and your relationships with other people — like an ego. Until you let that go and let the notion that you have to be strong, unemotional, and independent, you will never be able to find a happy divorce. 

There’s also a cultural vein that says we have to paint our ex out to be the villain, especially with men that I’ve encountered in the divorce community. This is simply still your ego putting your ex down so that it can falsely build you up and make you feel better. However, the person that suffers as a result of that is your child. Painting the mother of your child in a bad light will not go unnoticed, and that can be extremely hard and confusing on your kids. 

At the end of our marriage, and the beginning of the divorce process, I told myself that it was all Nikki’s fault. She was the “villain” and if she had only done this or if she had only done that, our marriage would not have fallen apart. This finger-pointing and laying the blame at Nikki’s feet enabled me to justify my own behaviors and actions. It wasn’t until I was willing to accept that it takes two to make a marriage work and two to ruin it that we could actually move forward in a positive way. I had to be honest with myself and find my shortcomings and defects of character to really realize all factors that contributed to the ending of our marriage. 


Through my experience on this planet, I have had the worst outcomes, not only in relationships but in every aspect of my life, when I let my ego get in the way. I would love men to be okay with letting go of their ego, getting honest with themselves and being okay with being more vulnerable. That uncomfortable feeling is where growth happens, not just individually, but as a society as a whole. 

To listen to all of our full livestream recordings, visit our Youtube page.

If you have any questions for us or Ben directly, we are always open to hear your story and help in any way we can on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We also have a private community at the Our Happy Divorce Facebook Group where you can talk with people going through the same situation you are right now.

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