Two psychologists have joined forces to write a man’s guide of practical advice for dealing with divorce. “The Guys-Only Guide to Getting Over Divorce” was written by Sam J. Buser and Glenn F. Sternes, two highly trained clinicians and licensed psychologists with more than 20 years experience.
In Part 1 of the Q&A with Buser and Sternes (click here to read), we talked about their motivation behind the book and the biggest post-divorce psychological problems facing men. The conclusion focuses on surprising problems of divorce and recommendations on how to deal with them.
DadsDivorce.com: In your research, what type of issues really seemed to surprise you that maybe you didn’t realize were so prevalent?
STERNES: What I’m seeing is we have to continually work at a marriage. Even if two people are married and perfectly matched, we change at different rates, our bodies change, our minds change, and feelings change. That’s what I see and when men see this they can start working on it during the marriage.
BUSER: One of the big surprises is around sexuality. I think one of the things people would be surprised by is how many men have sexual issues that lead them to be less interested in sex then their sexual partner.
The stereotype is women are less interested in sex, but in reality from a clinical standpoint, I see men are less interested in sex than their wives and girlfriends. With guys in new relationships post-divorce, that problem becomes more evident.
Take a guy who was married for 10 years, had kids, didn’t have much sex, wasn’t that interested in it. Now he’s dating and his girlfriend is thinking why isn’t he interested in sex? Dealing with sexual hangups and issues is frequently a big issue for guys on the dating scene.
DD: How do you recommend men deal with these problems and overcome these common issues?
STERNES: You need to learn how to deal in a healthy, productive way. We’re men of action; we like to do things. But being reflective lets that pain in, and we need some of that to help shape ourselves. So don’t run out and start dating. You need to have some time to learn to be yourself.
BUSER: What happens post-divorce is guys start doing stuff to deal with pain like drinking or dating a lot. But the first thing you need to do is to be with that pain and dealing with that loss.
In our research we found it takes about two years to overcome that loss. Guys aren’t dealing with that pain if they’re dating so quick after divorce and dealing with the pain in the arms of another woman. Slow down and just be. Adjust to being a single person again rather than a dating person.
I’m not saying guys should be monks or be celibate but rushing into relationships is a mistake. Learn to be OK with being you.
Note: Click here to read Part 1 of this interview.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Dr. Glenn F. Sternes is an expert in the field of interpersonal relationships, men’s issues and human sexuality. He teaches graduate courses on the subjects and maintains a clinical practice in the Houston Area.
Dr. Sam J. Buser is past-president of the Texas Psychological Association. He is also a member of the American psychological Association’s Division 51 (Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity) and has specialized in treating men for more that 15 years. Dr. Buser is an adjunct faculty member of the Counseling Psychology Program at the University of Houston teaching graduate courses in marital and family therapy.