After a 25 year marriage, to the woman who I thought was the love of my life, I am now divorced and single. I know lots of men who say that divorce is the best thing that’s ever happened to them. For me that’s not the case.
While the idea of a 50% divorce rate has embedded itself in our imagination — it’s a difficult number to pin down, but it’s actually been declining since its height in 1980 — divorce remains a life-altering change that brings tremendous stress and anxiety. You’d think there’d be more support for those of us facing such a common experience. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Statistically, divorced men face a number of scary statistics:
- Higher incidence of depression
- 250% higher mortality rate
- 39% higher suicide rate
- 10X more likely to undergo psychiatric care
Divorce is still in many ways stigmatized in our society. As newlyweds we don’t imagine a marriage’s end, but even those of us whose marriage is in the process of breaking up don’t necessarily think of how to protect our mental health. There seem to be more resources for women, groups focused on providing emotional support and community. For us men, suffering in silence is the norm. We tough it out and power through. Or so we think.
Divorce is actually even harder on men than we realize. Some of this unfairness may obviously be of our own making. We’re less likely to ask for help, reach out to our support network, or just to talk about our struggles. But this doesn’t mean we don’t face similar challenges to those faced by women. While two-thirds of divorces are initiated by women, we’re often blamed. We also face significant financial burdens after divorce and are less likely to receive custody of children. All of this without the emotional support systems available to women.
However, there’s a new tool that’s helping men like us work through these emotional challenges, reclaim our mental health, and live more fulfilled post-divorce lives.
The #1 Tool for Divorced Men is Online Therapy
One of the reasons that we’re less likely to seek help after divorce involves the stigma surrounding mental illness. It’s time for that to change. When you go through the heartbreaking loss of family, stability, even friends from something as traumatic and acrimonious as divorce, there will be mental health repercussions. You will grieve. You will feel depressed. You might feel anxious, alone, or panicked.
Online therapy is the for the way we live today — that is, for every kind of life. Even, and especially, when our lives change radically and suddenly from what we’ve known before.
Online Therapy is Affordable
For many of us, a divorce represents a significant financial loss. The average cost of a divorce is $15,500, with those going to trial spending nearly $20,000. And that’s solely accounting for the cost of lawyers, not financial settlement. The average divorce also takes 10.7 months — a long time to be dealing with unsettled emotional turmoil. For those of us going through a divorce, a therapist’s bill would likely be the last thing that we’d look to add to our budget.
Luckily online therapy is a fraction of the cost of brick-and-mortar therapy. When you go from being the breadwinner to eating bread over the sink for dinner, that’s something to be excited about.
Online Therapy is Convenient
During and after divorce your schedule may be unpredictable. You might have alternating custody days or you may be commuting to pick up or see your children. There may be meetings with lawyers and court dates. You probably don’t need another weekly appointment to add to your schedule.
With online therapy you’ll never miss an appointment because there aren’t appointments. You can message your therapist on your schedule, 24/7. Anxious over a meeting with lawyers or depressed over an unfavorable judgment? Just Message your therapist. Worried about the impact on your children? Message your therapist. Your therapist will get back to you twice a day with helpful tactics and strategies on navigating these uncharted emotional waters. There’s also the option for video chat, if you prefer a more personal interaction with your therapist.
Online Therapy Is Anonymous
For many of us the stigma of mental health issues already feels overwhelming. Add the increased scrutiny of our personal life during divorce proceedings to the mix and you can understand the hesitancy to announce mental health struggles to the world. Many of us worry about our mental health status being used against us in court.
Online therapy allows clients anonymous access to therapy. You’ll never get caught unexpectedly in a parking lot or seen in a waiting room. You can even use a pseudonym with your therapist.
Online Therapy Is Going to Help
Psychotherapy has been shown to be effective by countless studies and in certain cases more effective, than traditional therapy.
Divorce is hard. It impacts us more significantly than is acknowledged by our culture. Divorce might not have been your choice or your plan. But it doesn’t mean your life comes to a stop. It’s important to utilize the tools at our disposal to ease our suffering, help us live a happier, more productive lives, open to new possibilities for connection. Do it for a better relationship with your children and more fulfilling future romantic partnerships. Your online therapist will help get you back to on track and living the life you want. Online therapy is the #1 Tool for us to emerge from divorce better than before.