Preventing Male Suicide After Divorce

Preventing Male Suicide After Divorce

“For every woman who commits suicide after their divorce, nine men commit suicide after their divorce (Kposowa A. J. 2000).”

We’re going to get into the reasons for this statistic, but before we do that, know that if you’re living that hell right now and you’re looking for help, I’m a clinician in Orlando, Florida, and I will talk with you if you’re on the edge.  Call me at (407) 777-2524 or come see me in my office.

If you are in crisis, call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to anyone and all calls are confidential. 

What People Say about Men who Commit Suicide After Divorce

When I ask why men commit suicide after divorce, the #1 reason I’m given is that they don’t want to pay child support or alimony, but this doesn’t make sense.  A man who spent his time pre-divorce providing for his family will now kill himself because he still has to provide for his kids?  I don’t think so.

Some people say men commit suicide because they can’t handle the rejection of their soon-to-be ex-wives.  While this may be the case, it’s not even a significant portion of the minority of situations.  The ending of a relationship–good or bad–can be difficult, but is seldom a motivator for ending your own life.

Far too often we see that men commit suicide because they have been separated from their children.  I get that there is this rampant misconception that all men are deadbeat dads and that women are better caretakers.  This is a cultural fantasy that has a real and devastating effect on the man–an effect that is causing men to commit suicide because their children are being stripped away from them by the courts and/or the wives they are separating from.

Please, keep on perpetuating this idea if you’re fine with contributing to more men committing suicide.

2 Reasons Men Commit Suicide after Divorce

First the court system takes the man apart, dehumanizing and demonizing him as a deadbeat dad.  Then, he pays up to 50% of his income on alimony/child support and another 30% in taxes without a sliding scale (in case his business fails).  Finally, after all of this, he comes into his feelings–if he’s even made it to this point.  He feels as if he has no future and as if his children no longer see him as “Dad”, but rather as “him”.

After the divorce, the man no longer sees what is future can be because he has just lost the future he had previously been creating.  Now his wife, children, friends, and social communities have been split up like all of his other assets, many of which are now unavailable to him entirely.  He is struggling to pay everything mandated by the courts so he can stay out of jail and he’s doing all of this without the social support he could previously rely on.

Is it becoming more clear why hopelessness sets in and the man starts to consider or commit suicide?  He has been humiliated and he has lost his children, income, home, stability, future, and emotional bonds.

The same people who claimed that men commit suicide because they don’t want to pay child support will now say that divorce is almost always the fault of the man because he cheated on his wife.  They have a skewed understanding of the relationships between men and women and are operating under the pathological defense where women and men are split along the lines of good and bad, respectively.  These beliefs are irrelevant to fact and anyone who holds them needs to learn more about the subject.

If you feel like you’ve been completely fucked over by your divorce and things are happening in your life that you’re struggling to handle, Make a Contact and/or call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

There is a future after divorce and there are men out there who will sit with you in your hell so you can get there together.


  • Kposowa A.J. Marital status and suicide in the National Longitudinal Mortality Study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 2000; 54: 254-261.
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