You have probably been told by someone at some point in the divorce process that you need to seek “professional counseling” to deal with the loss, your own anger or other issues. Perhaps this is true. There is no doubt that most people simply feel better with someone to talk to, and a therapist is trained to discuss these types of issues with you productively rather than simply feeding your grief or negativity.
However, is it always necessary to run to a therapist when you get a divorce? Many men strongly resist therapy because they see it as a sign of weakness. Are there times it is just better to “man up” and move on with your life?
The answer, of course, depends on your particular situation. While there is no reason to rush off to a therapist simply because you are getting a divorce, many men do benefit from counseling during this time. How do you know if counseling is “required” in your case? Here are a few examples of situations in which it would be very advisable for a man to seek counseling. If these situations do not apply to you, you might still benefit from professional counseling although your situation is not as urgent.
- You find you cannot stop calling, texting, emailing or going to see your ex. If you are obsessed with your ex, it is important that you deal with your feelings. Many men who have found themselves in prison after a divorce look back on the situation and say, “I wish someone had stopped me.” If you know that you are out of control, seek help immediately.
- You are exhibiting symptoms of depression. It is normal to be sad after a breakup. It is not normal to stop eating, be unable to get out of bed, cry uncontrollably or be unable to function weeks after the breakup. If you find yourself exhibiting symptoms of depression months after the marriage ends, or especially if you have suicidal thoughts, seek professional counseling immediately.
- You constantly fight with your ex. You got divorced in order to stop fighting, so why do you continue to engage? Finding out the answer to that question may change your whole life, and counseling is one way to do it.
If you are facing a divorce, contact the Men’s Legal Center immediately for help dealing with the financial and legal aspects of your case.