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The Greatest Obstacle Men Face In Getting Support

By Trent Hand

I have a confession to make.  I’m not always proud of this and it’s something my wife has been dealing with for a few years now, helping me work through it.  Really, I’ve struggled with this since childhood and to a large degree I feel I learned this from my father, though it’s ultimately my responsibility if I want to change this about myself now.

Here it is: I’m a huge Jean Claude Van Damme fan.

I know, I know, they really are cheesy movies, and somehow they seem to get a little worse as time goes on.  Maybe it’s the idea of a man in his 50s still entering competitive martial arts tournaments to avenge someone he apparently was very close to but I’ve only witnessed for five minutes just doesn’t have the appeal it used to.  But I digress.

I want to talk for a few minutes about my favorite JCVD movie: Bloodsport.  The real-life (supposedly) story of Frank Dux, the first Westerner to compete in the fierce Kumite and win. It’s an amazing story with probably a heavy dose of drama added for effect.  Still, one of my all-time favorites.

The final fight of the tournament is of course JCVD and a very large Chinese fighter named Chong Li.  After a difficult bout, JCVD ends up fighting blind and winning against the reigning champion.  He does this all with his supreme concentration and unmatched martial arts ability.

What a guy!

This is kind of the ultimate guy mentality in action: I’m tough and hardened, I’ve been through a lot, and there’s nothing I can’t push through and overcome.  It’s also complete BS for most of us.

Divorce support for men

As men, we tend to judge ourselves on how much we can shoulder, deal with, and ultimately overcome.  We hit our hand with a hammer and scream in pain.  That is, unless someone else is around.  In that case, we pretend it didn’t hurt that bad, bite back any tears forming, and keep swinging like nothing happen.  After all, we have our pride to consider, right?

And that’s really what all this is about: pride.  Being too proud to show weakness, need, or the inability to handle something without help.  We feel much more comfortable pretending everything is fine when we’re really dying inside and desperately hoping that somehow this will all come through.  This mentality has crippled more men than any other disease known to man (see what I did there?).

True strength comes from being able to swallow our pride and ego, understand that God never intended us to be perfect or to always have the answers, and getting help in an area we struggle with is the first step to becoming the man we would truly like to be.

Divorce is definitely an area where most men need help. It’s an emotional arena we have little experience with.  There are expectations of us to be a good father, to provide for a family we feel we are losing, and somehow work with a person whom we feel hurt by and are probably trying to emotionally distance ourselves from.  It’s a lot to handle and it’s not something any man should be handling on his own.  Let’s face it, we all need a little help now and then.

Some of the benefits of asking for help include:

  • We realize it’s okay to not have all the answers
  • We gain another perspective on our situation which could lead to a breakthrough
  • We develop new ways of thinking which greatly improve our ability to handle the situation
  • We learn we are not the only person struggling with these feelings/issues
  • Our decisions can pass through a better filter, thus creating much better results.

None of this happens until we swallow our pride and reach out for help.  Until we do, we will simply struggle silently until the situation goes away, never really understanding or accessing all our power and strength.

Getting help is never a sign of weakness.  It takes a strong person to rise above their own ego and misplaced pride to accomplish something great with others.

Do you have that strength?


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