Most couples seeking counseling are usually coming 7 years after the problem has started. There are many reasons for people delaying counseling, yet one of the factors is men’s reluctance accessing counseling services.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked with a couples where the woman practically dragged the man in or had just given him an ultimatum to do therapy or she’s leaving.
Now to be fair, I’m a man and I don’t enjoy having to do things I don’t want to do. So if I was dragged into counseling I would be a little bit frustrated too? But are wives, girlfriends, and partners totally off-base?
Here are some reasons why:
1. Don’t like feeling vulnerable
2. Counseling feels like a failure
3. Men feel forced by their partners
4. Going to counseling is an admission of a problem, which requires change
5. Men are perceived as weak or effeminate when they access counseling
Men are naturally problem solvers and relational problems can sometimes be messy and take time. There is no easy and quick fix. We like to feel in control, doing therapy means releasing some control to the therapist. We dudes don’t want to feel vulnerable and are avoidant of the socially constructed stigma that engaging in counseling equates with weakness.
Here’s my thoughts in regards to this issue considering the fact that I’m a man and happen to be a therapist.
At the end of the day you’ve got to ask yourself, what’s more important, avoiding uncomfortable situations or saving your relationship? As a man, I’d do any and everything to save my relationship with my wife or future child, and if counseling gives me a way of repairing that relationship, then all of hell could not hold me back. I wish more men thought the same way.