8 Tips For Managing Your Fear Of Divorce
Are you struggling with a fear of divorce? Have you ever noticed, even when you know you should do something, you don’t? You want to do it. Intend to do it. All of these prompts in our mind and heart to do this very thing (like get a divorce) terrifies you. Nothing happens because the fear has overtaken you.
From taking no action, your reaction may be to beat yourself up for being a slug who can’t seem to get it together.
If your fear of divorce is paralyzing you, you are not alone. I understand. I have been there.
The Hard Truths About Divorce.
We do not get married to get divorced. Getting a divorce, it sucks. There are no other words out there to put it. Everything in your life will change from your divorce. To add more stress and mystique to this, there is no guarantee when your divorce starts where you will be when it ends.
If you are going in circles trying to decide whether to get a divorce, or your spouse makes that decision for you and initiates the proceedings. Not knowing what the future will bring, makes the present terrifying
You are worried about where you will live, whether you will end up broke and homeless and when the divorce is over. Worried about your children, and if your divorce ruin their lives forever. Afraid that you will spend the rest of your life alone.
You are afraid. I was afraid to.
How to Deal With Your Fear of Divorce.
It is easy enough to hear from the gurus (and your friends and family) tell you that “You have to face your fears and start going forward”. The one that I heard the most is that everything happens for a reason (I hate hearing this phrase to this day, but I do not think there are any other words that ring truer when facing adversity).
The people who are telling us to go forward are not the ones whose lives and families are about to implode.
I wish there was a magic pill you can take that will turn your divorce into a stress free, non-adversarial process. No matter what you do and how you proceed, there will be a specter of uncertainty and ugliness for some period of time.
I am sorry but will feel awful.
But living in a horrible marriage, and your worried about (or thinking about) divorce 24/7 doesn’t exactly feel wonderful either.
Should you be caught between a terrible marriage that you know, and a terrifying divorce that you don’t know these tips will help.
Get the Facts
Once you begin to make the unknown known, it stops being scary. Take time to educate yourself about divorce. Learn the different ways you can go through a divorce. Examine your own finances. Don’t be afraid to learn about what a divorce may entail because you feel it will add to your already present fear. The opposite usually happens. When we have more of an understanding about what we are facing, the more confident and empowered we become.
Connect With Your Power
We have a source of power that we can draw on when times are tough. Some people draw on their faith. Others may draw this power from their connection to friends and family. It could come from becoming empowered by keeping their eye on a better future and remembering why they wanted a divorce in the first place. Whoever your source of this power is, tap into it. Maybe you feel that there is not a source of power in your life, now is the time to find it. Whatever you do that makes you feel mentally strong and confident, keep it up! If you never felt a feeling of confidence, visualize in your mind what would give you that feeling of confidence. Therapy is useful tool (my therapist was phenomenal!). Work on yourself. There is still time to create the life you want! The stronger and more confident you feel, the more you are able to confront your fears head on and manage them so they don’t keep you down!
Get Out of your Head
You are probably saying to yourself how do I get out of my head? When we find ourselves in a mental and emotional twist, getting daily physical activity offers more than just a distraction. Make time, even if it is thirty minutes a day to move! Your feeling down, depressed, stressed, confused and any other negative feeling don’t let it keep you down! Even if we take one step forward a day it is better than taking five steps back!
Exercise. Eat healthy. Get enough sleep.
It is easier for us to face our fears of divorce when we are feeling physically strong and healthy than it is when you are exhausted and overwhelmed.
Get Yourself Into Action
When you spend too much time obsessing over all the things that could go wrong in your life if you get a divorce, you may psyche yourself out that you do absolutely nothing. Ever. Instead of spending hours on end hypothesizing every and any might happen or could happen if you do or do not get divorced, try getting yourself in action. Educate yourself about the divorce process. Take a good hard look at your finances. Get yourself into therapy. Just doing something (remember even if it is going forward one step a day) will help you move through your fears.
Think of the Best Instead of the Worst
Part of the reason why fear controls us when we focus on all the negatives that could happen, we minimize (if even acknowledge) the positive outcomes. You have the power to redirect this fear. When fear of the unknown has us in a chokehold, we are focusing on what we want to focus on. The negative. Instead of adding to the list of the 10,000,000 ways life will suck while you are going through a divorce, spend time thinking of all the different ways your life will be awesome, if you are able to live it on YOUR terms. If you could create the life you wanted, (except getting back you’re your ex) what would it look like? Focus on that.
Minimize Your Downside
What is your biggest fear of divorce? Is it you feel you will end up broke and homeless? You fear you will be alone for the rest of your life? The kids will be messed up for the rest of your life because you couldn’t make your marriage work? Whatever fears you have, admit it. Next, identify what you can do to make sure whatever you are afraid of doesn’t happen. Think you will be broke? Talk to a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. Map out a solid financial plan for your future. Worried about your children? Talk to a child psychologist. Taking the extra steps does not guarantee the worst will not happen. However, taking any action instead of inaction will lower the probability that your worst fears will come to fruition. The smallest of steps to address your fears and will help you get past them.
Join a Support Group
Surrounding yourself with people who have walked the path that you are about to walk on, and have come through to the other side, is inspiring and empowering. Talking to others, you will probably find that before they were divorced, they had the exact same fears that you do. Divorce support groups are all over the country. There are local divorce support groups and online communities. Some groups work with religious organizations. Others are completely secular. Find the right support group that is a good fit for you.
Get a Therapist
Helping people manage and work through their fears is what therapists do. If you are tied up in knots for months (or years!) to gather the strength to untie the knot and file for divorce, working with a good therapist can help you move forward.
Moving Past Your Fear of Divorce
Being afraid to divorce is a very real fear. Denying it, avoiding it, pretending it doesn’t exist, will not help you move past it.
Using these tips please don’t expect them to instantly turn you into a superhero! They can be used in an effective way for you to start managing your fears of divorce. Hopefully they will help you move forward through this tough time, and create the life you want for you and your children in the future.