There is a common misconception that women are more heartbroken after divorce than men are -- picture the cliché divorcee trying to put her life back together after being left.
The truth is, divorce is just as hard on men; they too made vows, lost their best friend and saw their futures disappear before their eyes. Thanks to a recent Reddit thread that asked men how divorce compares to a breakup, we got to hear from the guys. Here's what they had to say:
1. "Regular breakups suck. Separation or divorce is weeks of crying yourself to sleep into a pillow in a rented room."
2. "It's just awful. The betrayal of someone rolling you over and taking all your stuff and realizing that all those promises you made at a fancy ceremony surrounded by your family and friends mean nothing if she falls out of love with you."
3. "All your dreams die. Think about how that feels. You stand in an empty home that was supposed to be filled with laughter, good times, children, a future -- and now it's just an empty home ... Everyone puts on the brave face. But you know deep down that you are broken on a very fundamental level. Its pretty scary. Its very lonely, it changes you."
4. "Emotionally it was devastating. I was with her for 24 years, 18 of those married. In my heart and my head I was committed forever. We have kids who were hurt very badly and are still struggling nearly seven years later. It is a brutal thing -- I didn't give a shit about the financial aspects, that lasts a few years and then you move forward. It is the destruction of the family that is the real disaster."
5. "The biggest thing I noticed during the divorce was how I was seen. I was a resource, not a person. I paid bills: lawyers, child [support] and spousal support, anyone that wanted money started threatening me, because I had the paycheck. It's lonely, and you really start to question why you try so hard when no one gives a shit about you. You start to think a lot more about what's important to you versus what's just an obligation you've carried out of familiarity."
6. "It hurt more deeply than other breakups. All of the legal stuff was a pain in the ass of course, but giving up altogether was extremely difficult for me. When you're just dating someone, it's sort of understood that it's possible to decide things aren't solid enough to put a ring on and go your separate ways. Once you sign that contract and swear those vows, it just feels like a more binding commitment."
7. "No matter how much you want to be friends and be amicable, it always turns messy. You have to divorce half of your stuff, half your money, and in some cases a good chunk of your future money. But by the time you are done you might not even care, because you just want the nightmare to end so badly. If you have kids... it never ends."
8. "It was far and away the most depressing few months. I lost my moral compass and started doing all sorts of terrible things to good people. I was taking it out on everyone while pushing everyone away. I hope to never go through something like this again. I was broken by the divorce for a long time."
9. "It's a living hell."
10. "Emotionally it was horrible. I lost not only my wife, I lost my lover, my best friend, my teammate, and my 'family.' To me, divorce just was never an option, until it happened. I felt lost. I had lost the one person who I felt I was allowed to confide in."
11. "It's a lot like a breakup except the emotional repercussions are worse because the person that you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with is suddenly not in your life anymore."
12. "For the most part it's the difference between falling off a bicycle and getting run over by a truck."
13. "I think the difference is in a marriage, you've relaxed into it completely because it's supposed to be for life. You've let the commitment completely envelop you. And then the rug, and the earth beneath it, get yanked from under you."
14. "It sucks. We are brought up in society to believe that marriage is good and divorce is bad. We're taught that we should try and try and try and try again to make our marriages work. When we can't make it work, all this societal pressure to remain married makes you feel like a total failure, even if you absolutely know you're doing the right thing. Divorce is a GOOD thing. It allows unhappy people the chance to become happy again."