Online Magazine For Black Men
How Male Emotions Are Effected During A Break Up


It's no secret that women are innately more emotional creatures than men. We expect women to be compassionate, affectionate, sensitive, and expressive -- all while maintaining a life of beauty and society standards. Men, on the other hand, are expected to be unemotional and courageous -- displaying signs of strength and stability, and never showing signs of social weakness. But when it comes to relationship breakups and heartache, men can be just as emotional as women -- and even more so in many cases.

Men who put their hearts and souls into building a relationship find it difficult to move on when ties are severed. Whether the relationship ends because of infidelity, a lack of sustained love and communication, or through pure incompatibility - the pain experienced can be devastating. The usual issues that hurt women also hurt men. Thoughts of insecurity, betrayal, trustworthiness, and loyalty are common, and will eventually test every fiber of a man's heart.

However, as a result of the inherent structure of our egos, men often struggle with other unique relationship heartaches women may not be aware of.

Since males aren't traditionally seen as emotional beings, we are often labeled as being excessively consumed with pain after a significant relationship ends. Psychologists attribute this overreaction to the lack of emotions and communications men experience throughout their lives. After being hit with the destruction of a relationship, many men are unprepared for the emotional rollercoaster they find themselves on. Often, the male psyche doesn't know how to cope with this type of anguish.

The usual group of standard questions arise when this happens: "Does she find someone else more attractive than me?", "Does someone else make her feel happier and more safe?", "Does he make her feel better sexually and emotionally?", "What could I have done better to make things right?"

These self-induced queries will sometimes cause a man to doubt his own abilities, banishing his manhood into an sea of despair, embarrassment, and distress. This behavior often leads to anger with oneself for allowing the vulnerability to exist.

But there are steps men can take to deal with the stresses of an emotional breakup.

Both men and women are often criticized for taking too long to "get over" someone when experiencing a bad breakup. While sitting idle in life, wallowing in pain and heartache isn't exactly healthy -- it is extremely common. For men who experience heartache, here are a few things you should do -- and not do after a breakup:

DO:
  • You've heard it a thousand times and it is true: Time heals. Unfortunately, you can't walk into a relationship kiosk and determine how much heartache time you have left on the clock. You heal when you heal. Give yourself time to assess what happened, grieve in your own way, and discover something else worth spending your time on.
  • Be constructive in your thought processes. Men painfully ridicule themselves for being inadequate or insufficient when a woman initiates a breakup. Instead of concentrating on anything that may have been lacking or misplaced, try focusing on your strengths and abilities, and realize that someone else will be ecstatic with what you have to offer.
  • Talk about your issue. Men who experience emotional distress during a breakup often find it therapeutic to talk with both men and women during the healing process. The experiences of other men may act as a common bond, signifying to you that you're not alone in your struggles. Female friends can be a blessing as well. Their insight into the mind of a woman may help you better understand how or why things went awry.
DON'T
  • Seek revenge. Even though bitterness will sometimes cause resentment, nothing positive ever comes of it. The idea is that seeking revenge will feel good for a moment, somehow repaying your former mate for the pain she's caused. However, this does nothing but create a negative image of you. Steer clear of your ex. That means no phone calls, emails, or sudden appearances at her place of employment.
  • Never use another woman to suppress your heartache. While suffering with the emotional distress of your breakup, developing true feelings for another isn't impossible -- but it is unlikely since your thoughts are still bound by anguish. Even when those thoughts momentarily disappear while hanging out with your new companion, you will eventually return to a harsh reality.
  • Neglect yourself. Try your best to maintain as much normality as possible. Eat good food, exercise, watch your favorite tv shows, and keep on top of job-related activities. It is completely normal for your mind to waver every now and then, but any significant disruption in your routine may cause more emotional instability.
If you experience severe bouts with depression as a result of a dissolved relationship, consider seeking help from a professional relationship therapist.

Qualified therapists carry one or more of the following designations: Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC), and National Certified Counselor (NCC).

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