Why do Men Suicide After Divorce?
Men commit suicide after divorce at a rate of 3 – 4 times higher than women, a shocking divorce and suicide statistic.¹
According to the Canadian Mental Health Association and American Psychological Association, the loss of a marriage explains the higher risk of suicide for men after.
“The tipping point for many men is divorce,” says Prof. John Oliffe, a University of B.C. psychology researcher.
Professor Oliffe is part of a team fighting male depression and suicide.
“Divorce is a significant factor in suicide because divorced men are at high risk of becoming isolated.
There are so many examples of good men ending their own lives.”
North American divorced men are eight times more likely to commit suicide than women.
Professor AJ Kposowa used data to analyze the effects of marital status on suicide risk.
At the Department of Sociology, the University of California Professor Kposowa found that divorced men were more than twice as likely to commit suicide as married men.
And he found that divorced men are almost ten times more likely to kill themselves than divorced women.²
The yearly rates of suicide for divorced men highlight the urgency of this disaster.
The research of AJ Kposowa reveals that each year, more than 3,600 divorced men — about ten every day — commit suicide.³
Divorce should mean the end of a marriage, not the end of life, for a man, or a woman.
Flawed divorce process
Something is wrong with a divorce process that results in the death of so many men, fathers, husbands, sons, and brothers.
Why should any man marry knowing that there are precise data that divorce means certain death for so many men?
And for every divorced man that commits suicide, his children are left behind, haunted, and traumatized by their father’s death.
First, the children have the trauma of their parent’s divorce.
Second, they experience the unimaginable permanent loss of their father.
Not to mention the families of the divorcing men who prefer to kill themselves rather than live.
The higher suicide rates among divorced men are an indictment of the flawed legal divorce process.
No divorce should end in death, only an amicable separation of the marriage.
We must condemn the legal divorce process, which results in the death of 3,600 men every year.
Read the research paper of AJ Kposowa research paper on divorce and suicide risk here: https://jech.bmj.com/content/57/12/993
Why Did He Do It?
Do you wonder “why did my husband kill himself after we split”?
Or why your son, brother, or father committed suicide after divorce?
The answers are as complicated as a relationship breakdown, but keep reading, because this article will:
- explain why men suicide after divorce
- and help prevent men from committing suicide after divorce
- plus, serve as a survival guide for divorced and separated men
and is based on my book ZEHHU: Crossing the Bridge from Depression to Life which chronicles how new lifestyle habits such as deadlifts, saved my life after divorce:
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Isaac, Ben (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
17 horrific reasons why men suicide after divorce
The wrong reasons assumed for why men suicide after divorce
Some say that men commit suicide after divorce because they do not want to pay child support or alimony.
Let’s examine that assumption; is that a plausible reason for a man to suicide?
A man who has spent most of his waking hours supporting his family.
Will such a man decide to take his own life now because he cannot bear the thought of providing for his kids?
The answer, of course, is no.
It is akin to saying that people will commit suicide when their taxes go up.
Or because they have to pay higher health care premiums.
This accusation smacks of a snarky gender condescension.
It is an insult to the men who do commit suicide.
To trivialize the act of suicide down to escaping a financial burden, no matter how heavy that weight is.
Some claim men cannot handle the rejection of their wives.
However, divorce from a spouse is a different issue than divorce from your children.
The parents are the ones who divorce.
No man or woman should suffer separation from their children.
Men do not commit suicide after divorce because they cannot see their ex again.
Men commit suicide after divorce when they no longer have a relationship with their children.
Others say men suicide after divorce because men need a woman to take care of them — what a ridiculous reason for a man to give up on life.
What follows is a fuller picture of why divorce and suicide are more of an issue for men than women.
We need to talk about male suicide | Steph Slack | TEDxFolkestone
After Divorce Life for a Man
1. The Deadbeat Dad Libel
Who is a deadbeat?
The father, of course.
Even if he pays the child support and alimony imposed by the court.
Why is the father always a deadbeat?
Because the child support and alimony payment will always result in less money for his ex and kids.
The divided family now has to support two rents or two mortgages for two households.
His ex and kids will feel the pain of less money as a result of the divorce.
Access to less money than in the past leads to open hostility to the father.
Even if he pays the exact amount ordered by the court, there is a new false narrative that he does not pay his fair share.
Do you think you can escape being accused of deadbeat dad if you are a famous millionaire?
If even Brad Pitt cannot avoid the label of a deadbeat dad, what chance does the common man have?
Now Pitt pals are fuming to Page Six of the New York Post that the “Seven” star has been forking over hundreds of thousands a month — and that Jolie is just trying to smear her ex by claiming he’s a “deadbeat dad.”
- Edgecombe, James (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 94 Pages - 08/06/2012 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent...
2. Alienation and Estrangement from Children
What happens when the mother considers the division of money by the court to be unfair?
Or fair but still unsatisfactory?
The father almost has no chance of ever having a good relationship with his children again.
His status changes from dad to’ deadbeat dad.’
The mother will impute that the father can afford more money than the court decided.
He is in a losing battle for the heart and minds of his kids.
As a result of this dissatisfaction, the mother influences the children to hate their father for lack of financial support.
Whether this influence is intentional or not, the result is alienation or estrangement.
Misery is unmet expectations.
In this case, the problem occurs when the mother expects a larger share in the monthly income.
Who is the target of this misery?
It is unbearable for a man to feel loathing from his children.
Especially when he does his best to support them, he also has nowhere else to turn for more financial or social support network.
In this case, a man no longer feels that he has a reason to live.
The mental pain of loathing from his children is enough to send him over the edge.
The only option left at this point is to commit suicide, to get relief from this great pain of isolation and ridicule.
The constant demonization of a father can lead to permanent alienation or estrangement.
Can you imagine how a permanent estrangement from your children feels?
The separation between a father and his children is enough to cause clinical or situational depression after divorce.
Estrangement from children is the reason why divorce and suicide rates are so high for men.
The same reason that women are less likely to commit suicide is the same reason that divorced men are more likely to commit suicide.
The temporary or permanent estrangement from their children.
Do you fear alienation or separation from your children?
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Warshak, Dr. Richard A. (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
3. Financial Ruin
A man can end up paying 50 % of his income for child support and alimony, with another 20 or 30% on taxes and debt from legal fees.
If he is not well off, he will not feel much difference in his lifestyle.
The court does not have much to take from him.
Or, if he is wealthy, he can hire lawyers who will protect him from the court.
He, too, will not feel much of a difference after divorce.
Divorce will most affect the middle-class man.
He is in a financial crisis.
There is, for example, the refusal of the court to allow for any economic downturns.
If his business has a challenging year, the child support and alimony payments have no immediate sliding scale.
As a result, he is subject to monthly threats of arrest and jail by the child support agencies.
Forget about retirement in style.
In the old days, he dreamed of himself relaxing on the beach or in a second home.
Now, while sitting in his one-room apartment, he knows that one room might be as good as it gets.
After ten, twenty, or more years of working and saving, he now has to start all over again.
Suicide becomes a more attractive option than sitting and stewing for the rest of his life.
Especially when he knows that he might end up homeless on the streets.
There is also the threat of losing his professional license if he is not able to pay child support.
In contrast to the enforcement of child support, the court will not enforce visitation.
4. Criminalization of a Law-Abiding Citizen
Men report feeling as if the judge or opposing attorney in the divorce court treats them like criminals.
But his job, which the divorce court holds with high regard, treats him like a human being.
This conflicting reality creates cognitive dissonance and severe mental stress.
At his job, from where the court assumes he will provide child support, he might feel a success, with a title and responsibility.
The divorce court, on the other hand, treats a man, a provider, a father, like a criminal.
This ravaging of a mans’ self-esteem is another reason why there is a higher risk of suicide for men after divorce.
5. Losing the Entire Structure of Family Life and Home
Yesterday, he had his wife and children around him.
Today he lives alone, without his family, especially without his children.
Before his divorce, he lived in a decent home and a good neighborhood.
But now, he finds himself in a:
- or an apartment,
- his friends or mother’s basement, or
- living out of his car.
And he will soon have to return the car because he cannot afford to pay for the lease.
He realizes that he no longer has a home.
On top of that, he no longer has the funds to pay for his new small living quarters.
Wherever they may be.
This sense of no longer having contributes to a steep loss of self-esteem.
6. Character Assassination
Men are vulnerable to character assassination by the court and their ex.
A common tactic of the opposing divorce lawyer is to persuade the judge that a father who loves his children is dangerous.
Fear is a great persuader.
If the judge believes there is a credible fear that the father is unstable, he will lose his relationship with his kids.
All it takes is for the opposing side to accuse him of being dangerous.
Even if the accusation is false, he will have a difficult time to prove it wrong.
And the judge will decide in favor of protecting the children from a’ dangerous father.’
7. Inquisition by Supervision
Needing a supervisor to see your children is a huge humiliation.
Imagine if you can no longer be alone with your children.
This imposition of a supervisor further cements the idea in your children’s minds that you are dangerous.
As a result, their fear grows, and they no longer relish the idea of being in your company.
Not only do you now need to see your kids with a supervisor, but you also must pay for the time of the supervisor.
Imagine that humiliation.
8. Cut Out of Your Life Portrait
Men after divorce are usually the ones who lose more than their marriage.
He also loses his children, friends, and family, who may now have become distant.
As a result, he no longer recognizes his life.
How do men after divorce feel about their life?
They feel cut out of their family portrait.
As if they no longer exist or never existed, because the family they helped to create, is gone.
Men often do not see the signs that their relationship is in trouble.
By the time their wife decides to start divorce proceedings, it is too late.
Unfortunately for men, they are not great mind readers.
Unless their wife communicates that there are problems in their marriage.
It is not enough to say that he should have known there is a problem with the signs.
As a result, his wife knows that she is over and done with the marriage sometimes years before her husband ever had a clue.
When she pulls the trigger and serves him with divorce papers, he goes into shock.
And she does not, because she has been planning the divorce for months or even years.
The best way to deliver a message is to say it, especially when it comes to dissolving your entire family.
Not by giving hints or signs and expecting the other party to be aware.
Some say that 75 – 80 percent of the time, the husband is not aware that the divorce is already in process.
The shock of unexpectedly receiving divorce papers can put a man into a tailspin of severe depression, reduced self-esteem, bitterness, and anxiety.
His ex might have thought that ambushing him with divorce papers in his driveway to humiliate him in front of his kids, or at the office to embarrass him at work, was a fantastic idea.
But in the end, if he suicides due to the shock, she only hurts her children and his family.
10. The Loss of Reality
This brings us to the point of nonexistence.
A man after divorce is more likely to feel as if he has lost all touch with reality.
For his ex, she remains in the marital home, and she stays with the children.
The child support agency, court, or court-appointed guardians treat his ex like a human being.
But they treat him like a pariah.
Her reality is not too different from her life before the divorce.
Other than the fact that her ex is no longer in the home.
But, for him, his life is upside down.
Suicide becomes a much more attractive option than constant degradation.
11. Disgrace Kills, Not Divorce
The court does not decide divorce cases overnight.
The divorce process can take years.
First comes the delivery of the divorce action to appear at the opposing lawyer’s office or to appear in court.
Imagine you receive a subpoena on your front lawn in front of your kids or neighbors.
Or in your office in front of your coworkers and boss.
You will experience a mountain of disgrace.
Once your office and coworkers are aware of the divorce proceedings, a cloud will hang over your head.
Instead of working, you will prepare net worth statements.
You will try to keep up with lawyer fees and juggle court dates and your job.
Your work will suffer.
You will write, answer, and edit divorce papers written by yourself, or if you can afford, your lawyer.
Every day in the divorce process is another day of disgrace.
12. A catastrophic year or more
The divorce process can take one to two years, sometimes longer.
If he is not able to keep the focus on his job, he runs the risk of losing his employment.
Losing your children, marriage, home, friends, neighbors, and career in the same year explains the connection between divorce and male suicide.
These are the factors that lead to depression for a father:
- separation or estrangement from his children
- demonization by his ex, the court, and child support agency
- loss of money, home, car, career, neighbors, friends, and community.
These catastrophic changes all lead to depression.
Severe and chronic depression always results in a greater risk of suicide.
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Emmerth, Joseph (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
13. Loss of love
Your ex-wife still has the love and affection of her children and how they need her.
The children have their trauma and have already lost their father.
He is gone from their physical space and is a deadbeat in their heads.
Despite complying with the court.
All the father feels is that everyone is angry at him for not providing enough money.
Even when he gives as ordered by the court, the expectation is that he should be giving more.
He only feels that his family wants money and nothing more from him.
He is nothing more than an ATM.
There is no love or affection.
This loss of love is another prime reason for the divorce and suicide risk for men.
14. No Support
A man is less likely to have a friend’s emotional support than a woman has.
Especially if he has been working in a career during his marriage.
A woman is more likely to have developed emotional bonds outside of her job with friends.
A man is more likely to focus on his work.
When the divorce hits, he has little or no more emotional support from his family.
Now, after work, instead of going to a home, he is more likely to go to his new post-divorce living quarter and stew over what went wrong.
As a result, the sense of isolation for a man is intense after divorce.
This severe sense of isolation is another trigger for men to commit suicide after the divorce.
15. Negative Side Effects of Antidepressants
When women prepare for divorce, one strategy they are advised to use by friends or lawyers is to get their husbands on antidepressants.
They suggest and sometimes insist that their husband take medications to ‘ take off the edge.’
Taking antidepressants is a big mistake.
Once you are on antidepressants, you are now assumed to be’ flawed’ and someone to fear.
The most potent persuader is the fear of danger.
And a man on antidepressants becomes a frightful character in the eyes of the law.
Now that you are on meds, the judge assesses that you might be dangerous.
As a result, the judge will rule to order visitation with a supervisor.
The imposition of supervision starts the ball rolling to estrangement from your children.
Women push antidepressants to help them get an advantage in court and do not think about the catastrophic consequences for their husband’s or children’s physical and mental health issues.
The sad reality is that the judge will see a devoted father as dangerous to his children.
The judge considers a man using antidepressants as a danger to his children and himself.
Once you are on antidepressants, you face a new hurdle to your mental and physical health.
Antidepressants do have side effects that double the risk of suicide, which is why most antidepressants come with warning labels that they could cause suicide or suicidal thoughts.
No matter what, you face the onslaught of potential side effects like:
- slowed movement
- night sweats
- loss of feeling in extremities,
- feeling tranquilized
- general malaise
16. No Future
Some men, after divorce, see no future.
His wife still has a life and family, children, and friends.
His life is struggling to pay support bills and support himself, avoiding jail, keeping his license and passport, and with no emotional feedback.
And the worst of all, little to no relationship with his kids.
What is the point of living?
He sees no path to living a good life.
The mental pain of knowing that he has no way to a life worth living leads a man to think that the best course of action is to end his life now.
Because he feels that the main aspects of his life, which gave his life meaning, are over.
So, since it is already over, he might as well end it.
- Dawson, Nick (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 98 Pages - 05/19/2019 (Publication Date) - Independently published...
17. From Dad to’ Visitor’, ‘Him’, or No Title at All
How do you recreate your life after ten, twenty, or thirty years of marriage dissolve?
A wife’s life is much the same, and the father’s experience is upheaval.
The losses of marriage, children, income, home, security, stability, and pride.
They all happen in a short amount of time.
This earthquake paradigm shift causes enough shock and humiliation for the father to contemplate suicide.
She is still the mother, and the father becomes a ‘visitor’.
No one wants to lose their status.
The demotion from father to visitor or ‘him’ or no reference at all, is a catastrophic humiliation.
Why Men Do Not Want to Marry
Here is where the go solo movement for men picked up steam.
Single men see the catastrophe that divorced men experience.
Why would they want to marry and risk the same?
You cannot blame a young man today if he swears off marriage and children.
Especially adult children of divorce.
They are aware of the state of divorce courts in the country and the real bias of the court system against men.
And even more, especially the children of a father who did commit suicide after divorce.
They see a clear picture of what happens to a man after marriage, children, and divorce.
And it is not a pretty picture.
The long-term consequences of divorce go beyond family disunity and estrangement.
If a father after divorce ended up in clinical depression, job loss, or suicide, do you think his kids would want to marry?
The chances are slim to none that his children would take such a risk, especially his sons.
How Divorce and Suicide Courts Kill Off Men
Do you think characterizing the’ legal’ divorce court process as a’ slaughterhouse’ of men is an exaggeration?
Do you think it is too over the top?
Have you read the story of Jeramey A. from Canada who committed suicide after the divorce court legally destroyed him?
The divorce court and his exes caused the suicide of Jeramey A.
They committed against Jeramey many of the egregious 17 reasons divorce and suicide are a fatal brew for men noted above.
The’ legal’ actions they took against Jeramey are a disgrace.
This divorce court, judge, plaintiff’s attorney, and his exes all have blood on their hands.
Just because the legal system weaponized divorce courts against men is not a reason to use them.
Every wife must be aware that if she unleashes the manhating divorce court against her husband, it can result in his suicide.
Next time you hear an ex-wife wonder why her husband committed suicide after divorce, have her read this excerpt of what Lawrence Killium of Meninist reported in March of 2017:
Divorce courts notoriously stick it to men in today’s court system.
One only has to look at the historical data to see that women are unfairly granted child custody about 85% of the time, and receive over 94% of all child support dollars paid.
These battles can be vicious, full of conflict, and can rage for years.
Corrupt Court and Ex-Wives Push a Man to Suicide
In Canada, such a struggle has unfortunately ended in tragedy.
Jeramey A. (the media isn’t using his full name since some of his children share it) was involved in a legal battle between:
- an ex-wife with two daughters,
- a former fiancée who has a young son,
- and his present wife
According to a Canadian news outlet, The National Post:
[Jeramey] unsuccessfully had applied for an order varying the amount of child and spousal support he had to pay his former wife, a total of $6,500 a month.
She, in turn, was seeking he be found in contempt of another order and fined an additional $10,000; the judge adjourned those issues.
Another woman, with whom he fathered a son after his divorce, was seeking retroactive and ongoing child support for their son.
Both those applications were successful, bringing his total child and spousal debt to about $8,000 a month.
Early on the morning of March 9, Jeramey rigged his truck so that when he drove down an embankment at the end of Page Road in Abbotsford, B.C., his neck would break.
Why we need to talk about suicide
Jeramey’s Suicide Note
In a scrawled and bloody suicide note found in the truck, he wrote:
“FAMILY LAW NEEDS REFORM.
I recommend mandating lower costs and less reward for false claims of abuse.
Parental alienation is devastating.
I loved my children as much as a husband and father could.
I see no light.
Recommend; an authority consistent during high conflict separations: these situations are exploited in family law.
Sorry, Dad and Angie.
I’m very sorry.”
He Had Nowhere Else To Go
His suicide is devastating.
Here is a man that, because of how the law is structured, felt like he had nowhere else to go.
He ended up declaring bankruptcy and paid more than $330,000 in legal fees, according to his wife.
Family management agencies threatened to take away his driver’s license and passport.
All three of the women who once told him they loved him chased him for the maximum money they could squeeze from the corrupt court system.
His ex-wife was even supposed to get his pension.
Also, he could not see his daughters for a year; another man not treated like a human being by the courts.
Angela knew he was in despair, but weeps that she didn’t realize the depths of it.
“I just didn’t know,” she sobbed on the phone.
“If he could have seen those girls, he could have handled all this,” the National Post reported.
“His bank accounts were locked, he lost his homes, his vehicle, his business. You emasculate a man and take away his ability to provide — he’s a human being. He has limits,” Angie said.
See the full story as reported by Christie Blatchford in the National Post.
Suicide after Divorce – Final Thoughts
If you are going through a divorce, do not give up.
Will you stay bitter, or get better?
Your life will change, does not mean that your life has to end.
If you work on yourself, you can avoid psychotropic medications.
Pre and post-divorce is the time in your life to get stronger — not weaker.
If you need to lose weight, use this free guide to lose 20 pounds in 3 months.
Rinse and repeat it if necessary until you reach your ideal weight.
Stop the processed foods and eat real food, and start strength training to build your body and mind.
Providing the best fuel and building muscle mass will help you navigate the storm.
You will look and feel better than ever and create a new life.
As simple as this sounds, improved lifestyle habits will do a lot more to accelerate your mental healing than any pill, and can help stem the epidemic of suicide after divorce.
If you, a family member, or someone you know have suicide ideation, which means planning or thinking of a suicide attempt, please immediately call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Whether you are in the middle of a divorce or post-divorce, you must take even better care of yourself.
To that end,
- Use this free guide to lose twenty pounds in 3 months,
- Work up to 100 pushups a day, and
- Start a deadlift program.
These three changes alone,
- a) improving the quality of food you eat,
- b) doing pushups, and
- c) deadlifts, can dramatically change your body.
Last but not least, never give up.
The deadlift saved my life, they or some other physical activity can save yours too.
Also, please read this free guide on How You Can Manage Depression With Good Diet + Exercise (No Meds)
Your life will be different, but not over because you will create a new life.
If you appreciate this article, please subscribe to my blog here.
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- The Dewey Bozella Story: How Boxing Saved His Life
- Antidepressants DOUBLE your Risk of Suicidal Ideation
- How the Holstee Manifesto Can Change Your Life
- Starting Over After Divorce
- How to Save Your Life after Divorce for Men