You may be sick and tired of dealing with your marriage, but you are scared to do anything about it because you fear divorce. Fear is a common reaction to a divorce. So are grief, anger, guilt, worry, and even relief. But fear is the one that rules in a divorce.
It is normal to fear divorce. After all, we cannot predict what will happen after the divorce. You may have a lot of questions and no answers. Where will I live? How will I be able to afford to live on my own? How will the kids cope? Where will they go to school?
Leaving a marriage is never easy. It is not a decision that someone can make overnight. There are a lot of things to be concerned about. It is scary to think about divorce. Even if you are in a toxic marriage, you may be too scared to leave. You have security. You have a house. You have money in the bank. Everyone lives together as a family. It is hard to give all that up, even when your marriage is in a bad place.
You are not alone. It is normal to be scared. But staying in an unhealthy relationship because you are too scared to leave is not a good excuse. You need to be brave. You need to move forward in confidence. Read on to learn about the most common fears related to divorce and how you can cope.
A good parent worries about how divorce will affect their children. There are so many articles and studies about how children of divorce suffer. They do poorly in school. They have behavioral problems. They are more likely to use alcohol and drugs. They are more likely to get pregnant or be involved in criminal activity. The list goes on.
On top of all this, you may be concerned about your relationship with the children. Will they choose sides? Also, you will spend less time with your child, so there may be a fear of missing out. Or maybe a little jealousy as the kids get to do things with the other parent.
Money and Finances
The divorce process brings about a lot of expenses as you pay for a lawyer to dissolve your marriage. This can cost $15,000 or more. But beyond that, a divorce splits a household into two. This means that you will have to support yourself financially, unless your ex will be paying you alimony and/or child support. Still, you will need to get a job if you do not already have one.
It can be tough to get back into the job market. If you have not worked in a while, you may need to brush up on your skills and education. Making matters worse is that women typically have it worse than men after a divorce. They tend to struggle more and are more likely to be poor after a divorce.
You may fear losing your assets. If you are older, you may be worried about retirement. Even if you do have a job and some savings, there will still be fears. You may have to create a budget and change your lifestyle for a while.
Fear of Loneliness
Many people avoid divorce because they are scared to be alone. You may not have been alone for decades. Some people have never even lived on their own. If this applies to you, then yes, being single would be scary.
The sunk cost fallacy often applies in marriages. A person who has been married for decades is highly unlikely to abandon their marriage because they have invested so much into it. They have spent so many years being married to the same person, so they just might as well stay married.
Believing this causes people to make irrational decisions in many areas of life, particularly in relationships.
Instead of having fear, increase your self-confidence. Being alone is not anything to be ashamed about. In fact, being on your own can be fun. You can do what you want, whenever you want. You don’t have to worry about a spouse’s needs or someone telling you what to do.
Use a divorce as an excuse to live your life. Spend more time with friends. Go out and meet new people. Strike up new friendships. Join some clubs or activities. Engage in new hobbies. In time, you will meet new people and maybe even start a new romantic relationship.
How to Cope
For now, the best thing you can do is take things slow. Try to get through one day at a time. You do not have to worry too much about five to 10 years down the line right now.
When it comes to the divorce process, one of the best things you can do is choose mediation. When you have control of the process, things are less stressful. Try to avoid litigation if you can. Going to court instills fear in most people.
Focus on healthy habits. Eat well and exercise. Even just a 20-minute walk each day can help clear your head and improve your mood. Try to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
Get support from others who have been through divorces. You’ll see that many people have gone through divorces and survived. Some people have gone through multiple divorces. If you have serious fears about divorce, see a therapist. They will help you get through the process.
Seek Legal Help
Making the decision to divorce is scary. There are a lot of unknowns, and there are definitely no guarantees in life.
Broward County divorce attorney Scott J. Stadler understands the stress and anxiety associated with divorce. He can help you feel more at ease. Schedule a consultation by filling out the online form or calling (954) 346-6464.