Divorce Fears? Face Them Head-On
So, you are contemplating divorce, have already pulled the trigger, or your spouse has pulled the trigger for you? In any case, it is highly likely that fear is playing a prominent role in your life during this period. And it’s only natural.
Your world has been turned upside down, and the path forward can appear murky at best. Some fears are those you didn’t know could ever exist. Some fears have been underlying for quite some time, but are now surfacing more than ever; denial is no longer an option.
Ending a love relationship results in fears of all kinds. Fear of being alone is common, and fears about money, living arrangements, children’s welfare, judgments of family and friends, the legal process, and living life as a single person are all typical as well. It’s easy to allow fears to immobilize you. You feel too afraid to take the next step forward and can become almost paralyzed by your fears. A little fear can be motivating. But too much fear makes it difficult to function and get on with your life.
There are a couple of key things to remember about fears which can be helpful in learning to deal with them.
First, realize that the best way to overcome fears is to allow yourself to feel them.
Fears not yet identified or fully experienced can be the most powerful. When you identify them, face them, and allow them to move through your body, you’ll find they aren’t as scary and powerful as you thought.
Try making a list of your fears. Identify the things you're afraid of, so you can get in touch with what you are feeling.
Keep in mind that feared situations that you don’t face are the very ones that are likely to occur. Facing your fear directly, understanding what exactly you are afraid of, determining if this is a realistic fear, and taking appropriate action if needed, will help you bring back a sense of control and minimize the chances of the feared event coming to pass. Talking to a trusted friend or counselor about your fears can help you gain a reality check about your fears and dispel some of the energy behind them.
You can experience a great deal of personal growth and transformation because of the crisis of ending your marriage. Facing and overcoming your fears can help you make the crisis into a creative experience.
The top three fears people have around divorce include:
The fear of being alone can be represented on many different levels.
You may be afraid of living alone. If you feel rejected, you could be afraid of never being loved again. Other fears of being alone, include loneliness, that your children will be taken away or that there will not be anyone for you in case you become ill or disabled. It's important to negate that being alone does not equal loneliness. In a matter of fact, many people concur that there is nothing as lonely as being alone in a relationship.
The fear of never being happy again evolves majorly from the grief that you feel about your divorce.
You can’t imagine being happy without your spouse in your life. It is important to realize that true happiness comes from within you. You are a whole being with many desires, likes, and dislikes. Start exploring new things to discover what brings you joy and what doesn’t.
The fear of being poor is often felt by the spouse with the least amount of income or stay at home parents.
You may fear that you will not get the alimony or child support you need to survive. It might be very scary to think that you’ll have to live off your income alone, especially if you make considerably less than your spouse.
Listed below are some strategies to help you get into a mindset to overcome your fears of divorce.
The more you practice these techniques, the less fear you will fear. When your thoughts are causing you to fear, step out of your comfort zone and face the situation head-on. It will probably be a lot less scary than you think!
· Repeat to yourself over and over that your decisions are based on love. This includes love for yourself, love for your children, and love for others (such as helping others that are less fortunate than you.)
· Create a gratitude journal and list 5 things that you are grateful for every single day. Making a daily, consistent habit of finding things to be grateful for will increase your happiness level within 30 days. When we look for things to be happy about, we will find them. Choose to make this a daily habit for the rest of your life and you will be amazed at how much happier and peaceful you become.
· Practice living in the present moment. Are you ok right this moment? Utilize your five senses, what do you see, hear, feel, taste and smell? Focus on what you are doing and realize that all is perfect at this moment in time. Our fears are often based on worry, we worry when we look at a future that may or may not happen.
· Analyze your fear. For instance, if you are afraid of being alone, what does that mean to you? Are you truly alone if you have family and friends that love you? For some reason, society has made us believe that if we are single we are alone.
· Your thought process
o Accept the worst case scenario. When you can mentally accept the worst possible scenario you can think of, there is nothing left to be fearful of. For example, if you can accept that you might wind up a bag lady, then it isn’t so scary to think of yourself being there.
o Determine what the very best outcome you could think of, such as landing a dream job that enables you to be financially independent. Now create a plan of action to get there.
o Get to work taking every action that you can to get the best possible scenario.
About the Authors: Excerpts for this article are taken from Coaching for Divorced Women, Cindy Holbrook. Additional content provided by Kelly Beninga, who holds a Master’s Degree in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology from Naropa University.