The Place to Go When It's Time to Leave
The Place to Go When It's Time to Leave

Tag: staying healthy and sane

Why divorce is harder for men

Why Divorce is Harder for Men Than Women

Scrolling down into the wormholes of online forums about divorce, it’s not hard to notice a pattern: While there are many tales of woe from both women and men, men especially seem to experience the event as a soul-crushing shock. “If it wasn’t for my son, I honestly don’t know what I’d do,” one anonymous Reddit user, who identified himself on the site as a man, recently lamented. “I just feel worthless.” He explained that he had “barely held it together” after learning his soon-to-be-ex-wife, who had separated from him, was dating someone else. “Not even divorced yet and she’s with someone new,” he said. “It hurts. A lot.” Social research into opposite-sex couples suggests that men are often more traumatized by divorce than women, at least in the short-term. Their sense of well-being often plunges, they may pick up unhealthy habits like binge drinking, and they are likely to suffer from loneliness and isolation, according to a 2018 study. Disturbingly, men may be eight times as likely as women to commit suicide following divorce. Men often react with “self-hatred and confusion” when a marriage ends and their behavior can become “pretty toxic,” said Steve Horsmon, founder of, and a life coach who helps men work through relationship problems. Horsmon, who is also divorced, employs strategies in his coaching practice that he used to overcome his own demons. Why all this happens is still subject to debate, but there are some likely culprits (with rigid masculine stereotypes being one possible ingredient). Here are some of the biggest factors that can make divorce a tougher for men to handle than women, according to experts. Women file for divorce more than men This October, when football star Tom Brady and supermodel Gisele Bündchen called it quits, at least one aspect of

A woman wearing a sweater olds a cup of coffee

New Year’s Resolutions for the Newly Single

If you are newly single, chances are you’ve already taken steps to improve your life. Maybe getting divorced or uncoupling has inspired you to reconnect with old passions like rock climbing, paddle-boarding, or gardening. Or maybe parting ways with your ex has allowed you to take better care of yourself, engaging in habits like healthy eating, regular exercise, and self-care. Either way, focusing on yourself and your happiness is an important part of finding peace after a breakup.  Whether you’ve already started your journey of self-improvement or haven’t yet taken those first steps, the start of a new year is a great time to make new goals. If you’ve recently broken off a relationship, here are 6 expert-approved resolutions (beyond starting a new diet or exercise routine) that will elevate your well-being in 2023. Set healthy boundaries after your break up Setting healthy emotional boundaries is an important way to nurture yourself and that’s especially true post-divorce. The first step? Reflecting on what your needs are – that will look different for everyone in the early stages of divorce, said Stephanie Olarte. Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist specializing in divorce and family conflict at Slow Down Psychology in Silver Spring, Maryland. It might mean not talking about your ex with mutual friends, or keeping communications with your ex limited. Not everyone will understand your new boundaries, so establish your non-negotiables in advance, advised Olarte. “When you know where the line is, you’re better able to show others where it is. Being able to clearly tell people, ‘This topic is not something I’m interested in discussing with you, please respect that,’ provides them with clarity on the boundary,” said Olarte. She recommends planning ahead for quick exits from touchy conversations and being open about what you’re comfortable with. In the short

Five women friends walk arm in arm in a field.

How I’m Learning to Make (and Keep) Friends Post-Divorce

 A year after separating from my “was-bund,” the type of relationship I’m craving the most isn’t romantic – it’s platonic.  Instead of being surrounded by close, intimate friends, I feel like I’m alone on an island. That’s because two years ago, I moved to North Carolina, where my ex attended college. At first, I loved having instant friends in my new town, but when we split, most of my local connections were with people he’s known since the ‘90s, and I wasn’t sure who to trust. Other than a few close friends who live hundreds of miles away, I’m starting my friendship journey from scratch at 43. It’s no secret that loneliness is a health hazard. In fact, research suggests that the price of social isolation – which increases the risk of death from all causes – rivals that of smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity. On the flip side, strong friendships later in life are important not only for our psychological well-being, but for our cognitive functioning and physical health as well. The good news? It’s possible to build up friendship reserves at any stage of life.  Here’s how to nurture existing relationships and open the door to new connections, according to experts. Why mindset matters when looking for new friendships Divorce can make us feed our insecurities and increase our fear of rejection. But friendship has a lot to do with our state of mind, and assuming that people like us often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, said Marisa Franco, Ph.D., a psychologist, friendship expert, and author of “Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make–and Keep–Friends.” According to risk regulation theory, we are either in self-protection mode or pro-relationship mode, Franco explained. In self-protection mode, we don’t initiate, we aren’t vulnerable, and we aren’t generous, she said.

A middle-aged woman sits on a chair on her porch surrounded by plants and reading a book.

Getting Divorced? Your Failed Marriage Doesn’t Make You a Failure

Mark Twain famously said that marriage makes two fractional lives whole. It’s a sentiment that you most likely agreed with on your wedding day, but now your life has taken an unexpected turn. You’re getting a divorce, and that whole is being divided into two halves once again. Your marriage has failed, but that doesn’t mean you have. As someone who will soon be divorced, you might find it beneficial to view the time you spent married as a season of your life. Seasons change, and so did your needs. When you realized your marriage was no longer working, you made the rational decision to end it.  But there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to look back at your marriage and see it for everything it was – not just the bad times. You can also be grateful for the lessons it taught you, particularly when it comes to what you do and don’t want in a future romantic relationship.  Perhaps much of your marriage can be remembered with fondness. Maybe it led to the creation of your children or provided you with great memories that you wouldn’t have otherwise experienced. Maybe it taught you about yourself and helped you grow into the person you are today.  Keeping all this in mind, should those who prioritize their happiness over the longevity of their martial contracts be dubbed “failures?” Not according to Dr. Kelly Campbell, a professor of psychology at California State University, San Bernardino, and an expert in interpersonal relationships.   “A failed marriage doesn’t make you a failure. We can only make decisions based on who we are at the time [of marriage], and the information we have at the time,” Campbell says.  “There are many reasons that a marriage could end, including a partner who changes, a

A couple's feet stick out from under white sheets after sex.

Can a Sex Therapist Help You Get Back Your Mojo?

Could a sex therapist help you to have better relationships and a more satisfying sex life? If you’ve struggled with sex and physical intimacy in past relationships, or if sexual dysfunction has caused the end of one or more of your relationships, sex therapy may provide answers and resolution. How do you know if sex therapy is right for you? Can a sex therapist help you to have a healthier and more satisfying relationship with your next partner? While sex is only one part of a romantic, loving relationship, it’s an important one. A healthy sex life can provide numerous benefits including improved heart health, stress relief, and a lower divorce rate. For many couples, sex and physical intimacy are critical for long-term happiness and satisfaction within the relationship.  Communication and sexual compatibility One common challenge is couples who disagree about how often to have sex. According to the International Society for Sexual Medicine, there’s no “normal” or “abnormal” frequency for sex. Relationship success is not about how often you have sex, it’s about both partners having compatible drives and developing intimacy that works for both (or all) people in the relationship. That said, one study of married couples’ sexual activity and frequency from 2016-2018 revealed that the majority of married couples (about 60%) have sex at least once a week or more, and about one-third of couples have sex 1-3 times per month. Only about 7% of married couples have sex less than once a month. Additionally, married or cohabitating couples typically have sex more frequently than people who are single, divorced, or widowed, according to Medical News Today. Frequency of sexual activity is only one factor contributing to a satisfying sex life. There are many other potential psychological factors, sexual dysfunctions, or social pressures that may cause challenges

breakups and social media

Why Social Media May Not Belong in Your Breakup Plan

When a relationship ends in the digital age, social media can be a useful tool. Digital platforms can provide comfort from friends and family near or far. When you’ve had time to recover, and it’s time to explore the idea of a new relationship, your social media presence can kickstart your romantic life, too. But the instantaneous connection of social media often doesn’t harmonize with the time it takes to heal from a breakup or divorce. Why social media and breakups clash It’s no news that social media platforms have impacted how people communicate with each other and engage with the world. Perhaps the best thing about the digital age we live in is the removal of the distance between us and all the people we have personal relationships with. The trouble is that lightning-fast communication and image-heavy social media sites can make breakups more difficult. How can you deal with the private emotional wallop of a breakup or divorce when it’s so easy to see what your ex is up to – and with whom? If you have a robust social media profile, how do you keep it up post-breakup while respecting the feelings of your ex? Depending on the circumstances of your relationship and breakup and what steps are ahead of you in your exit, one plan might be to keep social media out of your plan altogether. Here’s why. Keep yourself from snooping If you’re active on social media after a breakup, odds are you will be tempted to look at your ex’s profile. According to a study by Pew Research, 53 percent of social media users say they use social media platforms to check up on an ex. What can start as a curiosity, or the craving of a broken heart can turn into emotional distress

journaling helps with self-care after breakup

Self-Care Tips to Help with Your Breakup Recovery

You know how the story goes in a typical romantic comedy: a big break-up occurs and the ladies reach for a pint of ice cream while the guys drown their sorrows in a whiskey bottle. In reality, we know that turning to junk food and alcohol are not long-term solutions for a path to real healing. So, what does good self-care after a breakup look like? Here are five tips for taking positive steps to moving past a major breakup or divorce. 1. Feel all the breakup emotions Even if the breakup or divorce was your choice, it still changes many aspects of everyday life as you’ve known it. Uncoupling can be a significant lifestyle transition, affecting emotional, physical and social well-being. It’s normal to feel a variety of emotions around these changes, including sad, happy, anxious, excited, disappointed and even mad.  “You need to feel the feels,” said Gina Schmidt David, a certified health coach. Trying to ignore the feelings by distracting yourself with TV, isolation or junk food just prolongs healing. “We’re not trying to fast-track through a grieving process. When we feel the feels, we also don’t want to elevate them; we just need to know what those feelings are and acknowledge them.” It’s also important to know and remind yourself that these emotions will pass. It’s normal to not feel like yourself for a bit. Understand that feeling these emotions is a rite of passage and a step in the right direction. 2. Lean on other people Family and friends are important to have around when you need them during this time. As you get lost in a mix of emotions, you can also lose your sense of self. Schmid David, who went through a divorce herself after 12 years of marriage, said she ultimately created

Life lessons I learned from my divorce

Life Lessons I Learned From My Divorce

Like a fine wine, life is made richer through its complexity. The bitter notes can add depth, making the sweet moments more blissful. And time has a way of marrying them all together into a tapestry of joys and sorrows that are unique to you, lending fullness to your character. When it comes to divorce, people tend to think of it as one of the bitter notes. No matter what the circumstances, sadness, and regret well up when a relationship ends. But often there is light at the end of the tunnel, helping people reclaim a sense of self – for people who want to look for it. Four people who went through divorce were generous enough to share their stories with THE EXIT, and to describe the emotional journeys they went on, and the lessons they learned. Here is what they had to say: Richard*, communications strategist in his 50s (Richard asked us not to use his real name out of sensitivity for his ex-wife.) What happened: Richard took the plunge and got married, but his heart wasn’t in it. After dating a few years, the couple said their “I do’s” in a romantic ceremony on a tropical island. But almost immediately afterward, he started to feel anxious and depressed. “I pulled the parachute after 90 days,” he said, adding that he packed up all his stuff, put it into a car, and booked passage on a boat to a foreign country. The struggle: Having been raised in the Catholic tradition, which places high value on marriage and family, Richard battled mightily with pangs of guilt. “It was extremely embarrassing because my parents had been at my wedding just weeks earlier, and so had her (parents), and there’s a huge social bond,” he said. “You’re making a promise not

    Healing Wisdom

    A painting of a woman surrounded by a garden of flowers

    I used to hope that you'd bring me flowers. Now I plant my own.

    — Painting: The Iris Bed (1891), Charles Courtney Curran