I am not overly social but I know many people and can talk to anyone from any type of background or employment experience. An ability to relate to people and draw them out in conversation is a skill learned over time. For some it may come naturally. For others, it may take real effort and actions outside your comfort zone. My job has forced me to become good at talking to people over the past 25 years. As a younger man, I didn't really care to know people or take interest in them even if I was fully capable of talking and becoming socially active. I just wasn't drawn to idiots and men under 25 rarely offer much in terms of intellectual conversation and humility.
Life and work experience have changed my approach and sense of awareness. I now like to ask people questions and engage in conversation often with total strangers. I want to know what has happened in their life. This may flow from generic conversations that are random or from the need to get information so I can help clients get the best possible result.
I say all this not to point out how good I am with people, but to let you know that there are many men who are probably going through what you are regarding divorce and child custody yet don't talk to anyone about it for various reasons. These men mostly suffer in silence because they don't know anyone they can talk to who can relate or understand. Men also by nature keep their pain inside. We live in a society where women are praised for sharing their pain and too often exaggerated claims of victimhood. Men are shamed and insulted if they dare speak out on the injustice that is family court or how their ex wife uses the kids as pawns to destroy him emotionally. Can you imagine a world where post split men claim the kids as theirs and deprive women of equal access to their children forcing them to prove to a Judge why they should get equal custody? Watching how women would respond to this scenario would be scary. Men handle it and still more often then not work and pay the support ordered by a court. Deprive women of her kids and tell her to work and give some of her earnings to a man and you can only imagine how society would become. Women would be screaming about injustice. Men have been trained to accept things and continue working in silence.
Men also face a difficult time building relationships that don't center around sports, money, female conquests, and overall self inflation. For all the shallowness of females relationships, men aren't much better. Unlike women who maintain fake and shallow relationships their whole lives, quality men will outgrow these relationships and find that men they have known for a long time suddenly get cut out of their lives especially when they reflect during the divorce process. Men simply don't want to talk about women, sports, and the degradation of other men once they get a certain age. You simply stop talking to most of the men you know. Men still need friends though and we need to encourage each other to seek out relationships where we can get real advice and support and not just hide things will we talk sports or brag about women we have dated.
Meeting fellow men is not that hard. As little as I interact with others in my personal life, when I am out and run into people I ask them about themselves. I am genuinely curious. Why does a man have the job he has? Why is he divorced? Why is he still married? How is his relationship with his kids? These are generic topics but when you ask a man about them and you have life experience to share, you will be surprised what a man will tell you. Unlike women who feel they are being cross examined if you want to learn anything about them beyond their financially related desires, men are almost shocked and genuinely happy another man asks them questions about life. You don't need to be a lawyer or have experience as a life coach to create a strong conversation with another man. I cant tell you how many men I talk to because we happen to be at the same place or function and how quick it can turn to divorce and family. There are a lot of men going through divorce or have done so while their ex tried to ruin them financially or alienate them from their kids. The pain comes out and it is obvious yet they are glad to talk about it because I can match their story.
Talking about things with quality men who have been through what you are facing or have faced is worth its weight in gold. Do not think you are the only one dealing with these issues. While having a life coach on speed dial or regular appointments with one is great, I tell all the men I know to also focus on meeting quality men who have been through the family court system. There are many men that despite professional success, a big personality, and the appearance that life is fine, are really hurting on the inside because they feel like they are alone and no one they know can relate to them or brushes them off when they try to talk about it. These men are out there just like you are.
While you are facing a divorce or going through an ongoing child custody battle, use this as an opportunity to evaluate all your relationships. You don't want to be married to the mother of your kids because you think that little of her yet you continue to hang out with dudes who could care less what you are dealing with and constantly want to brag to you about their lives? Are these your friends or just self centered people who only want to share and discuss good times? You would be surprised how exhilarating it is to divorce all the men you know who are losers from your life. Find some better men who have the ability to communicate and relate. One new relationship with a man who you can talk to without feeling like you have to out do him in everything is worth way more than all the grown up frat boys and Don Juans you still talk to and tolerate because you like to get out on occasion.
Now is the time to reshape your entire life. You are not alone.
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