Why Breakups Can Actually Be Worse For Men


A very common stereotype is that Men in relationship can get bored with the constraints of relationship and heartlessly break the relationship. But the truth is that men crave relationships and marriage as much as women.

There’s even more to this story. As per a recent survey, women initiate more breakups/divorces than men (Hewitt et al 2006; Kalmijn and Poortman 2006). Further, the following questions arise:

How the breakups affect Men & Women? And how they cope with it?

Typical behavior of the women includes: lots of chocolate covered food, lots of distractions (i.e. Cocktails with the girls at every possible opportunity), a lot of d&m’s with friends and obviously the occasional emotional breakdown.

On the other hand,  because of various stereotypes, it is easy to think that men are mentally stronger. On the surface men come across more emotionally stable than the women, but the truth is that character is only skin deep and it is quite the opposite.

Because more often than not, society views it socially unacceptable for men to openly discuss their feelings. When a man is in a relationship, his girl is his emotional outlet, and with a break up he loses that.

Owing to this, men do not move on and let go as easily.

Neuroscientist Larry Young of Emory University discovered through his field of study that a neurochemical known as vasopressin affects men and women in different ways. The chemical cues women to view their loved ones as more approachable for a shoulder to lean on, yet it does the opposite to men inducing the ultimate curve ball in unpacking their problems to their boys. This manner is known as the tend-and-befriend behaviour, meaning that while us ladies are getting pampered by our girls having cocktails and chocolate thrown at us, your ex man is dealing with the loss on his own.

Another truth as to how men fare worse in a breakup? Women are actually more likely to break it off than men are. Research featured in the Journal of Marriage and Family has revealed that women initiate more divorces than men, and that the gender of a spouse who has an affair preceding the split is only slightly skewed.

Divorce has been associated with poorer mental and physical health issues for men than it has for women. But why? Academics Reczek and Umberson suggests that this negative effect on health from divorce may be due to lifestyle changes. Female partners are often the reinforcement of their man’s healthy lifestyle. Without this motivation, many men tend to spiral into unhealthy habits, with tobacco, drug and alcohol abuse filling the part of their emotional vent.

In saying this, men are also more likely to seek someone to fill this gap. Whereas in more cases than not, women do not have much desire in remarrying, especially divorced women with children. Women often see the opportunity of remarriage as an increase in care obligations and a reduction in their renewed freedom, however, men on the other hand are searching for exactly that. They miss the emotional support they always had from their ex-partner.

Without a doubt, men are more dependent on their spouse mentally, but after all, they are the ones who have lower levels of emotional support from their friends.

Sure, we women still have our crying into a pint of Ben and Jerry’s moments. Break ups are hard on both men and women. Both partners experience poorer mental and physical health. But, the effects are found to just be stronger for men. If you know anyone who has recently gone through a break up, don’t assume they are coping okay because of their outer character. Lend a shoulder to lean on anyway, regardless of their gender.

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Haylee Forbes

Haylee Forbes

Haylee Forbes relocated from rural Queensland to the city to fulfil her sought out career of becoming a lifestyle writer. Her work provides an insight to the experience and understanding of the world through the lens of one who grew up out west. She plans to graduate from University in late 2016 with Bachelor’s degrees in Marketing and Journalism.

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