Destroyed Nest Syndrome: 4 Ways To Heal A Custody Loss

Heartbreak, Family

Losing custody is painful. Here are 4 ways you can heal and regain control of your life.

Much has been studied and written about Empty Nest Syndrome – the emotional impacts on parents/caregivers after children come of age and leave home. But little has been written, researched, or remedied regarding the emotional impacts and resulting psychological trauma on the non-custodial parent as a result of divorce.

What is Destroyed Nest Syndrome
Roger Revak, co-founder of Divorced Guys LLC, was divorced when his daughter was seven. He went from seeing his daughter every day to seeing her two days every two weeks. Not because he was any less fit as a father, rather, simply because of the words on a piece of paper – the custody language in his divorce decree. 

One day, when Roger’s daughter was twelve he was talking to a woman at work about his daughter. The woman said, “Wait until she turns 18 and moves away, that’ll be really tough.” Roger thought “I already experienced that when she was seven!” And I wasn’t voluntary!

This unwilling reduction to equally parent your child(ren), due to divorce, causes feelings of powerlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, failure, depression, sadness and anger. This emotional condition has been coined by Divorced Guys as Destroyed Nest Syndrome (DNS).

How You Can Heal

The healing process begins with the acceptance, focus, understanding and recognition:

  • Accept that these heart-wrenching, visceral feelings are normal for this situation; and what you cannot control.
  • Focus on what you can control - time when you have your kids.
  • Understand that reduced parenting time is not a reflection of you as person or a parent; the love you give to your children is always precious regardless of the amount of time you spend with them.
  • Recognize within you that it takes a very strong person to face the hard facts and that you are taking action to heal.

To learn more about healing after divorce and being a better parent, we’d be honored that you purchased our book at