Separated fathers: the effects of separation on men
When referring to separations, attention often focuses on children and mothers, but a separate and crucially important chapter concerns separated fathers. The family, a fundamental pillar of society, has gone through profound transformations over the years. These changes, if on the one hand represent the socio-cultural evolution of our time, on the other hand bring with them challenges and consequences that deeply affect individual members. What, then, is the reality that separated fathers experience? And how do they deal with the complexities that arise from a separation? Let’s analyze this figure, often underestimated, in the panorama of the contemporary family.
Separation represents a turbulent and difficult transition moment for the whole family to face.
The effects of the couple’s breakup are often reflected on their children , whose problems related to this transition period continue (rightly) to be widely analyzed and carefully taken into consideration by relatives, teachers, psychologists and lawyers. As a rule, separated mothers also receive adequate attention aimed at protecting their rights and psychological support during this difficult transition process.
But what happens to separated fathers?
To date, the negative and traumatic effects that separation can have on men with children have often been underestimated . However, over the last few years, growing attention has been paid to the multiple problems that the breakup of a couple with children can have on the physical, psychological and social well-being of separated fathers.
Separated fathers: Health and psychological well-being
The tendency of men not to be aware of the emotional, psychological and social problems relating to divorce (as well as that of specialized professionals not to delve into them), makes separated fathers more exposed to cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and stroke as well as to an increased predisposition to depression (10 times greater than married men), substance abuse and suicide (with a 10 times greater risk than women). Without the supporting role of father of the family , separated fathers often find themselves having to face a situation that is experienced as a defeat, a failure that is frequently reflected in a state of frustration and depression from which it is difficult to escape without adequate support. .
Separated fathers: social relationships
Separated men are also more at risk of social isolation, loss of emotional support from family and friends. The need to find accommodation, the complicated dynamics linked to the custody of children, their maintenance and the possibility of seeing them, conflicting relationships with the ex-spouse as well as the frequent loss of relationships with the extended family are all factors that significantly affect the psychological well-being of separated fathers.
Separated fathers: relationships with their children
In most cases, the separation is reflected in the change of domicile of the fathers who therefore no longer have the possibility of living with their children in everyday life. Although it is difficult to estimate the actual time that separated fathers spend with their children, as a rule this situation (often aggravated by conflictual relationships with the mother) represents a decisive obstacle to maintaining a healthy and natural father-child relationship. The dissatisfaction generated by the frequency of visits, the places of meetings and the impossibility of participating in important moments of the children’s lives constitutes an open wound for many men.
Separated fathers: the new poor
One of the most impactful aspects on the well-being of separated fathers is the financial one: in United states, in fact, according to the 2014 Caritas Report, 80 thousand divorced men with children are on the poverty line. This fact is mainly due to the need to find new accommodation (which therefore often involves further financial expense).
Yet, although the landscape may seem bleak, there is a bright and hopeful side. More and more separated fathers are finding their voice again, and with it, their place in society and in the lives of their children. The growing awareness of the problems they face has led to greater solidarity and understanding between them, giving rise to support groups and initiatives aimed at highlighting and solving their problems.
Many organizations and institutions now recognize the crucial importance of the role of fathers, and laws in many jurisdictions are starting to reflect a more balanced view of parenting rights. Separated fathers are discovering that, despite the challenges, they can still build deep and meaningful relationships with their children, and that these relationships can be even stronger and more resilient because of the trials they have overcome together.
Society is gradually understanding that the presence of separated fathers is crucial not only for the well-being of their children, but also for the balance and health of the community as a whole. These fathers are proving that despite adversity, strength, determination and love can triumph, creating a bright and promising future for them and their families.
So, even if the road may seem uphill, it is never too late to seek help and take control of your life. Optimism is more than a choice; it is an investment in your own future and that of your children. And as always, the first step to solving a problem is recognizing it. With the right support and resources, separated fathers can overcome challenges and thrive in a new phase of their lives.
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