When it comes to guys looking for divorce help I am often reminded that we can be our own worst enemy in this regard. While I will probably digress into broad generalisations and stereotype here, I do believe that stereotypes are not created in a vacuum and they do have some truth to them even if they are exaggerations.
Men are often too proud. We are stubborn, we believe we are right, and we do not like to beg or to ask for help. Men are considered by society as the ones who should be strong and independent, that must be the rock that bears out the storm, that they are emotionally stable at all times … and we also know this is not the truth at all for the vast majority of regular guys.
Men have the same depth of feelings as any woman. Men have problems, feel pain, feel confused, and can frequently not know what to do when they are out of their depth. As much as society beams out this image of a perfect stoic man, it is just not the case and possibly never really was – it is an idealisation just as bad for men’s self esteem as women’s obsession over models on magazines.
This brings me to why we are our own worst enemies – Because we all too often believe the unrealistic view that society has imposed upon us rather than the truth!
We are conditioned to hide our feelings and ignore them. We are conditioned to believe that if we show signs of weakness, than we are weak and therefore of less worth to society and ourselves. You might not think in those terms but subconsciously many guys believe this so strongly it impedes our ability to ask for help, or help ourselves properly. Here is a quick test to see if this might be happening to you:
- You feel ashamed that you are feeling miserable or crying
- You blame yourself for the breakdown of the marriage and believe it was your duty to hold it together
- You feel a huge loss of self worth and feel that people are judging you for being divorced
- You turn down offers of help as you do not want to seem like you cannot cope
- You find yourself comparing your life and actions to other men poorly
These are a few symptoms of this way that we cling to the idea of the idealised man. You can see how it might be interfering with being able to get help, or be able to help yourself too.
How Can Men Get Divorce Help?
The first step to any sort of self improvement is self awareness. There is no one shot fixes to anything, it is a process and you need to be able to understand yourself – and what is blocking your abilities to overcome the pain of divorce. This comes down to a central point I make about all men – and women too for that matter – which is that we are all controlled by our ego; our sense of self.
Our sense of self is an important thing but it hates to change and a divorce irrevocably changes us. Part of our ego is how we believe we should act and feel due to what we have been taught and societies expectations on us too. We need to acknowledge these things and inspect them even if it might seem taboo. The only way to move forward is to leave all these things behind and not be controlled by your ego otherwise you begin to try and bolster your ego doing self destructive things such as:
- Trying to prove how manly you are by drinking, fighting, or pushing the limits of drug usage
- Turning down offers of help to make you feel you are powerful and strong enough to go it alone
- Forcing your emotions down deeper and deeper because dealing with them might make you feel less of a man – but those emotions will bubble to the surface later and come out of dangerous or violent ways.
There are many more examples but the core message is that men need to be able to lay down their ego and stop the foolish adherence to the idealised idea of what a man should be. For more divorce help on the psychology of all of this, check out my complete guide to divorce recovery for men which details this in full – and how you can quickly and easily use this to leave your divorce behind and gain a happier and better future.