From the time a couple is married, there is always the fear of divorce. Maybe things don’t work out or maybe one of you falls out of love with the other. On the other hand, many couples stay together for the wrong reasons. When the decision to get divorced is made, there are three common fears that generally arise: fear of being alone, fear of never being happy, and fear of being poor.
Sadly, research shows that 40 to 50 percent of first marriages will end in divorce. Of second marriages, 60 percent will end in divorce. In the last 50 years in the United States, divorce was at its highest in the 70s and the beginning of the 1980s.
Divorce can be an emotional roller coaster and fear of the unknown is a big part of it.
Let’s explore some of the most common divorce fears.
1. Fear of Being Alone
A major fear and the first on the list is the fear of being alone. Sometimes people think staying together is easier than being alone. Being in denial is sometimes the escape people use to not deal with the emotions of the fear of being alone. Here’s a question to ask yourself:
Is this marriage the way I want to live my life?
The truth is, once you make the decision to get a divorce, you’ll be able to put into action the steps you need to take to begin creating your life after divorce.
If you felt alone in your marriage, is that worse than feeling alone after you’re divorced? The first step to taking charge of the situation is to feel better about yourself.
Here are some suggestions:
- Try to focus on staying positive. If you think and feel that your life is over and that you might be alone forever, you need to try to control your thoughts. By putting more constructive thoughts into your head and using more positive words, you can alleviate that feeling of helplessness.
- Exercise, like Yoga or Tai Chi, can help your focus become more centered. Feeling good about yourself will give off better energy around you – and others will pick up on that.
- Be open to new friends. Inviting new people into your life can help open your heart back up to possibilities and this will help you not feel so alone.
One Woman’s Story of Divorce Fear
“I remember when I got divorced, the first time I went to a bar with my friends I felt like hiding under the table. One man came up to me and said, “You should smile or people will think you don’t want to be here or talk to anyone.” That statement gnawed at me for a while, so the next time I went out to the club with my friends I tried a different angle, remembering what that man had said to me before. I just got out on the dance floor and started dancing by myself.
Before I knew it, my friends joined me, and more and more people began dancing, whether they had a partner or not. After that, men started asking me to dance and it turned out to be a fun night. That was when I knew I had to be more positive about myself. Feeling good about yourself can change your lonely feelings and bring out who you are.”
2. Fear of Never Being Happy
It’s common to think that you may never be happy again when you’re going through a divorce. That fear of never being happy again causes many people to regret their decision of getting divorced or even find themselves angry.
The process of uncoupling is an emotional roller coaster, and these feelings are perfectly natural. When you are in this space of regret and anger, it’s hard to see where your life might be headed and if happiness will ever be yours again. Letting go isn’t easy, but until you do, moving on is virtually impossible. When you have regrets, your energy gets stuck in your mind and body. Being preoccupied with just wishing things had been done differently will leave you going round and round when you want to go forward.
It can be hard to move on, but once you start to let go of regret and anger, it becomes a good time for a positive transition for yourself and your kids. Live for today and start to set some short-term goals for yourself. When they are accomplished, you will begin to feel like things are moving forward.
3. Fear of Being Poor and Homeless.
One of the most common fears of divorce is the fear of being poor and even becoming homeless. It may not be rational, but there it is nonetheless.
When one partner has been the breadwinner, it can be difficult to think of how the other will support themselves.
Let’s face it, divorce can be expensive, especially when you have been planning for retirement and have property to divide.
Here are two ideas for taking charge of your financial future and divorce fear as a single mom:
- Make an appointment with a financial planner for one or two appointments. He or she can help to project your earnings and help you set up a budget for yourself.
- Consider investing in a business. Women make great entrepreneurs. Franchising offers an excellent option for divorcees hoping to reinvent themselves. Franchise systems provide training, support, and mentoring without reinventing the wheel. Owning a business is ideal for a woman who has some business and/or sales and marketing background along with a naturally outgoing personality. Some knowledge of finance doesn’t hurt, but it isn’t necessary. Owning your own business moves you from fear to empowerment. Explore your options with the help of a franchise consultant.
Divorce can be scary, but it doesn’t have to overwhelm you. Take a few deep breaths and take the steps you need to take in order to move forward. You’ll eventually find yourself not feeling lonely, enjoying happy moments, and moving forward as a financially independent mom.