Afraid of divorce

8 Tips For Managing Your Fear Of Divorce — Reinstein Wealth Management

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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

Afraid of Divorce? 15 Reasons Not To Be

Are you afraid of getting divorced? I understand. Society places so much value on staying married. There ispressure there.

Some of that pressure is good, it keeps people from taking marriage too lightly. (Except for Kim Kardashian.)

However, there are those on the other end of the spectrum whoneed to get divorced but don’t, because they are too scared. I understand that side too.

Divorce is stressful. Facing the unknown and facing fears head-on is tough. However, there are upsides to divorce.

As a relationship therapist with 20+ years experience,I have gone through this with many clients and friends. Here are some benefits and upsides to divorce that I have seen and learned:

1. Divorce pain is temporary. It will pass. Staying married in an unhealthy relationship will last longer than the temporary pain of a divorce. Sometimes it is good to pull the old bandage off so that you can heal and move on with your life.

2. Just because society tells you that something is “bad” doesn’t mean it is. After all, caffeine was considered dangerous at one time. Now they are saying if you drink enough of it, you won’t get cancer.Slaves used to be considered okay. The list of societally endorsed mistakes is long.

3. The same people judging you negatively for getting a divorce are probably part of the Miserable & Married crowd. There are plenty of those. Happy, contented and healthy people don’t go around judging and condemning other people.

4. Forever is a long freaking time. The people who made these marriage rules only lived into their twenties. Then they conveniently died of the Black Plague or something worse. Remember this.

BTW: I love the scene on Curb Your Enthusiasmwhen Larry is supposed to renew his vows. He stands up there and starts coughing and wigging out when he has to say “into eternity.”His argument is “Eternity???!” Isn’t a lifetime enough? LOL.

5. People change and grow, they want different things. That is the reality of life. This is normal, okay and expected.

6. If you squash yourself, squash your needs, and keep down who you really are, you will suffer from depression, stress and anxiety or develop stress related medical problems.Staying miserable due to fear will allow fear to grow in you. This fear will make you feel more dependent and more scared about leaving. If your relationship is severely unhealthy, you will be even more afraid to leave. A total mind f***!

7. What about the kids? Kids will suffer more if you stay miserable in your marriage. This can lead to them feeling fearful of leaving their own marriages if they are unhealthy or dysfunctional. Do you want that for them? Use your love for their care as motivation.

8. No matter how difficult a divorce gets, you always have choices. It is easy to forget this. No matter how miserable your ex tries to make you, you will have choices. In addition, you will have supportive friends, wine, your therapist, girlfriends, various 12-step programs, andyour Higher Power.

9. It takes courage to face the unknown. Get support and rely on your Higher Power to see you through. This is good practice of learning where and how to let go.

10. What about the kids again? It is very difficult to maintain integrity when things get nasty. As long as you are doing that, and holding your kids’ needs first, it will be okay. Read the Good Karma Divorce by M. Lowrance and get them as much support as possible. They will get through it.

11. Some fathers actually show up and provide active interaction with kids after adivorce.I have had a ton of friends with spouses who never interacted with the kids or participated in the kids’ lives until they got divorced. Post divorce, the parent has to actually drive to the house, pick up the kids, and talk to them. This can be a wonderful shift for children who are used to dad just slinking off to his man cave.

12. After they say it out loud and put the divorce into play, most people are relieved to be done with that constant fighting and tension they had felt. They they can finally B-R-E-A-T-H-E. Ahhh….Let your lawyer fight it out instead of you. It is a huge relief for many after the hardest parts are finalized.

13. If you are the unlucky winner of a spouse that has left you, I am so sorry. You will need to grieve. Know that the world has something so much better waiting for you. Please try to trust this and carry hope. I have seen it happen over and over so if you don’t believe me, trust that I may be right.

14. If you guys change your mind, you can always get married again. I have a client whose parents got divorced and then remarried 20 years later. This time, they are happy. Everything happens in the time and manner it is supposed to.

15. Last but not least, now you can be like a kid in a candy store in the sex department. Tinder,, Farmers Only. There is a lot of hot sex going on out there with people who are newly divorced. Wahoo!

I am certainly not endorsing divorce. It is best if a couple gets professional treatment before taking this step. It is important to take the time to consider the impact of such a decision long term.

In addition, as a couples counselor, I am proud to say that there have been many couples who have walked through my door thinking they may have to get divorced but then they didn’t. However, staying together isn’t always the best option for every couple and family. We don’t always have all the information we need to make good decisions when we walk down that aisle.

“The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t,” really isn’t the best philosophy for joy and richness. Don’t ever let fear be your primary motivation. Let joy, hope, faith, and courage carry you along…

Take care, Cherilynn

Image from the new show Girfriend’s Guide To Divorce on Bravo.

Divorce or not? Dealing with a psychologist

The decision to divorce can hang in the air for years, making it difficult to decide on important changes or find a way to survive a crisis in a relationship. A practicing psychologist explains how to help yourself sort out relationships.

Svetlana Makhova, family psychotherapist, specialist in the service for the selection of psychologists Alter

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Should I get a divorce? In my practice, a small part of married couples turn to a psychologist with such a question. Many more couples go to therapy expecting changes that will help save their marriage. However, even in the process of psychotherapy, spouses may come to the decision to divorce. nine0003

Is divorce good or bad?

This is neither bad nor good. And it is hardly possible to evaluate it from such a position - good-bad, right-wrong. Divorce is preceded by a violation of the "homeostasis" of the family system, in which it becomes unbearable to exist for all its members. Divorce is one way to resolve the current situation, in some cases the only one.

Divorce is always associated with severe feelings of loss, changes, and the search for new forms of existence for all family members. That is why partners are often looking for a way to restore relationships rather than break them. Especially if there are children in the family. nine0003

Over the years of marriage, spouses develop their own traditions, rituals, and habits. The thought of divorce is frightening and raises many questions that are not easily answered in a state of emotional stress: where, who and with whom will they live? with what funds? to return to mom? will it be necessary to change the school/kindergarten? Will you have to move to another city/country? how will the second parent, who does not live with them, participate in the upbringing of children? Do you have to go to court for child support? what to do with the apartment? who will pay the mortgage? These and hundreds of other issues cannot be avoided during the divorce process, and for a long time after, so they will have to be addressed. nine0003

Still from the film "The Story of Marriage"


Is it worth it to get a divorce

Before answering this question, let's see what are the main causes of divorce in Russia. The list is based on statistics from open sources in descending order by the number of cases.

Main causes of divorce

  • alcohol or drug addiction of one of the spouses;
  • domestic violence;
  • treason;
  • nine0029 lack of housing for a young couple, living with the parents of the spouses under the same roof, interference of relatives in the life of a married couple;
  • financial difficulties;
  • irreconcilable contradictions in outlook on life;
  • long periods of separation due to business trips, arrests and other circumstances of one of the spouses;
  • inability to have children, unwillingness of one of the spouses to have children;
  • psychological immaturity of spouses. nine0030

Addictive behavior of one of the spouses, as well as domestic violence, are the most common factors. And if you answer the question “is it worth getting a divorce?”, then in the following cases, my answer is “yes”:

  • if one of the partners shows physical, sexual, economic violence against the other spouse, as well as against children;
  • if one of the partners has a mental disorder (diagnosis confirmed by a psychiatrist) and his behavior may be dangerous to other people; nine0030
  • if one of the partners is addicted to alcohol or drugs.

It's not your job to rescue your partner from addiction; you should not wait for the spouse to understand his aggressiveness, especially in cases where the partner’s actions threaten the life, health and well-being of family members. In these cases, you must leave immediately. Today there is a “harmless” bruise on half of the face, and tomorrow assault may result in resuscitation or death. It is important to protect your life and the lives of children. nine0003

Spouses who are inside the situation are not always clearly aware of this.

If the first three points are not about you, it is worth considering whether it is worth considering the option of divorce at all.

A frame from the movie "Kramer vs. Kramer"


Crises as a part of marriage

Crises occur in every couple's life. The impetus for them is usually some new situation that cannot be resolved in the usual ways. Each couple experiences these crises at different stages of their life together. nine0003

Virginia Satir, one of the founders of family therapy, singled out the following stages of family life, which are especially prone to crises:

  • the birth of the first child;
  • the child learns speech;
  • the birth of a second child, the struggle of children for the attention of their parents;
  • the child went to kindergarten/school;
  • child's adolescence plus parent's midlife crisis;
  • empty nest syndrome, when the children started an independent life and they had their own family; nine0030
  • wife's menopause;
  • decreased libido in husband;
  • mastering new roles of grandparents.

I would add to this list the beginning of a life together, when the spouses come together and begin to agree on housekeeping, the distribution of finances and other issues.

Well-known family psychologists Edmond Eidemiller and Viktoras Justickis identified crises associated with adverse events in family life:

  • illness of one of the spouses or a child; nine0030
  • financial crisis;
  • adultery;
  • conflicts with other people;
  • housing problems;
  • change in the social status of one of the spouses;
  • overload;
  • domestic violence;
  • adoption, guardianship.

Every crisis has its difficulties and ways to overcome them. Difficulties in relationships are inevitable. And when the question of divorce arises in conversations, it is important to understand at what stage your family is or in which of the unfavorable situations it finds itself in. nine0003

What exactly were the difficulties? What is stopping you from finding a way out of the situation? The answers to these questions will help you decide whether to keep the marriage or divorce.

For example, a young couple moved in together and started living together. And after some time they faced difficulties in organizing everyday life: who cooks? who cleans up? who goes to the store? Or the question arose of how to deal with finances: who earns, who stores them, who makes decisions about spending, and so on.

A still from the film Before Midnight


How to Negotiate Not to Divorce

Carl Whitaker, a classic of family psychotherapy, wrote that family conflicts are a struggle over “whose rules are right.” Each of the spouses remembers the customs and traditions of his family, which he considers unshakable, and perhaps he never thought that it could be different.

If the spouses are ready to listen to each other, share their preferences, fears, needs, habits, talk about the traditions of their families, and maybe even admit that at home he/she was not allowed to solve financial issues and now he/she is at a loss — this will give them more knowledge about each other and help them find a solution that works for both. nine0003

Parents of their first child are often on the brink of divorce. Beautiful someone else's photos on the Internet form unjustified expectations from parenthood in a couple. And in fact, spouses face a lot of problems, many of which they cannot cope with - but they must. Uncertainty, shame, guilt towards each other and the environment for their own imperfection begin to destroy relationships.

If a couple is ready to face their imperfections, admit their problems and lack of experience, then it becomes possible to overcome the crisis - perhaps by turning to more experienced parents, a psychologist and other specialists for help and support, thereby relieving tension within the family. nine0003

In my practice there was a couple, all conflicts and difficulties of which were due to the peculiarities of their characters. Each of the spouses experienced severe violence, bullying, humiliation and the death of a parent in childhood. Each of them underwent personal psychotherapy. This helped them understand more about themselves, about the motives of their actions, in particular, relative to each other. Sometimes it seemed to me and to them that it was better for them to get a divorce. However, in the process of therapy, they came to the conclusion that if they now leave this relationship, then there is no guarantee that they will not fall into exactly the same ones. nine0003

Still from the film "Revolutionary Road"


When to get a divorce and why you need a psychologist

Spouses may face the fact that their opinions and views, goals and values ​​differ greatly, and no one is ready for each other yield. And then there comes a moment when both spouses admit that their relationship has no development, and decide to divorce.

If you can't figure out the situation on your own, it's best to contact a family psychologist. Being inside the situation, being immersed in a mass of experiences and emotions, it is difficult to be objective. A family psychologist for a couple is an opportunity to get a sober look from the side, see the “point of difficulty”, hear and understand each other, and only then make an informed decision. nine0003

At the stage of divorce and after it, many organizational, “perestroika” issues arise. If it is not possible to reach a common opinion regarding the division of property, the upbringing of children and other points, a mediator may be required. It helps the parties to build a constructive dialogue and reach a compromise.

What to do if there are children in the family and divorce is inevitable

Often couples decide not to divorce because there are children in the family - parents want to save the family for the sake of the child so as not to injure him. nine0003

Let's look to experience to see if this approach is actually less traumatic for a child than divorce.

How does divorce affect a child?

Divorce is a shock that will have consequences anyway. People who grew up in an incomplete family often have low self-esteem, an underestimated or, conversely, an overestimated level of claims, a high level of anxiety, shyness in relationships with peers, insecurity and personal insufficiency, difficulties in creating their own family. nine0003

What causes this situation?

In the event of a divorce, the child is afraid of losing the love of one of the parents, and at the same time losing a sense of security. Anxiety and fears increase if parents keep the divorce secret until the last moment.

In such situations, the child does not understand the motives for leaving, for example, the father from the family, and he takes the blame for the divorce - dad left because I'm bad. If the mother does not allow the child to communicate with the father, he will be afraid of losing his love due to the fact that they stop contacting, but the child will also experience the fear of losing the love of the mother if she finds out that he communicates with the father. nine0003

Children experience divorce differently depending on their age. Babies up to a year are dependent on the emotional state of the mother. The mother's anxiety is transferred to the child, and the mother often either behaves aloof or becomes overprotective.

For preschool children, divorce becomes a violation of a stable family structure, habitual relationships with parents change, attachment to parents develops into conflict. Children become more irritable, aggressive, divorce can provoke a developmental delay. If the child is the only one in the family, he experiences a divorce more difficult than in a situation where he has brothers or sisters with whom he can emotionally discharge. Divorce is hardest for teenagers. The experience of a family split is superimposed on the complexities of adolescent change. nine0003

Studies and experience have shown that exactly the same emotional problems occur in children from complete, but dysfunctional, dysfunctional families, where quarrels and scandals often occur, where emotional detachment and coldness reign. Therefore, both divorce and life in a dysfunctional family leave an imprint on the character of the child, his development and later life.

So the decision to save the family for the sake of the child will not be less traumatic for him, since the relationship between the parents will remain tense. And as experience shows, parents who are not satisfied with family life sometimes break down not only on each other, but also take out their dissatisfaction on the child. nine0003

The position of mother and father, their ability to cooperate after a divorce, to a large extent determine the well-being of the development of a child in an incomplete family.

How to minimize the consequences of divorce for a child:

  • tell your child about the divorce in advance, and not at the moment when you have already gone to the registry office;
  • it is important that both parents talk to the child at once and tell him that they both love him and it is not his fault, but they decided so among themselves and that they will always be connected with him, regardless of who he stays with; nine0030
  • the child should have the opportunity to discuss the divorce with both parents after it has occurred, and to do this for as long as he needs;
  • it is better not to separate brothers and sisters, since children are hard at being separated from their loved ones, for them this is an additional blow;
  • try to change the child's lifestyle as little as possible, for example, make sure that he attends the same kindergarten or school that he had before the divorce, while maintaining established peer ties and interests; nine0030
  • give the child the opportunity to communicate with the second parent who does not live with him, because the child loves both mom and dad. An exception is if the parent poses a potential danger to his health or life due to alcohol or drug addiction, mental illness, aggressive behavior. In this case, you can try to provide the opportunity to communicate in the presence of both parents.

Tags: psychology

“I was most afraid of divorce”


Man and woman DivorceKnow thyself

When I was married, divorce seemed to me the worst thing that could happen. Waking up at night, I was relieved to understand that my husband was still with me. The fears were irrational: everything was fine between us. My husband loved me, I could rely on him, and it seemed that it would always be so.

The feeling that we are together was my support and protection, but after 14 years of marriage, my husband left the family. He explained this by saying that he wants to go his own way and he needs freedom. When my husband announced his decision, it seemed that I was deprived of oxygen. If not for two small children, I would hardly be able to force myself to get up, get dressed and continue to exist. nine0003

Now I understand that the fear of rejection began long before I got married. I am sure that it was he who imposed an unbearable responsibility on my partner, literally strangled me and, as a result, forced me to leave.

After the first shock had passed and I began to take steps in a new life for me, I suddenly felt free

I had nothing to lose, and therefore nothing to be afraid of. Realizing this, I was relieved. Before the divorce, I was dominated by fears and worries about the future. I was afraid to be alone, I was afraid of the mental pain that comes with it, and of life itself. nine0003

My biggest fear - losing a loved one - gave me an important gift. I realized that I was wasting my life in a senseless attempt to maintain imaginary stability. Before, it seemed to me that the collapse of the family was my personal defeat, because everything genuine and real never dies. However, there are simply no constants in life: neither bad nor good last forever.

I began to take it more calmly. As difficult as it was, I accepted that people and circumstances change over time. This, in turn, taught me to appreciate the wonderful moments, realizing that they are not endless. nine0003

I have always put the wants and needs of other people ahead of my own, and I have done this out of a lack of self-confidence. As soon as the feeling of unconditional support from the environment slipped away, I lost myself as a person. I realized myself only through roles familiar to me: a devoted wife, a loving mother, a grateful daughter.

From now on, I am not afraid to express my desires. If they are not agreed with, I will not begin to love myself less. I have learned to be my own friend.

Natalia Artsybasheva, gestalt therapist

The heroine describes her life in marriage as an anxious attachment based on an excessive need for intimacy, fear of loss and control. This happens, as a rule, because in childhood a person received less care and security from his parents and therefore did not go through a healthy process of separation, did not gain enough confidence for an independent life.

The heroine admits that her addiction could be the reason for the breakup. For some time, the partner may agree to be a “mother”, comfort and encourage, submitting to suffocating control. However, this makes him a slave to someone else's immaturity. nine0003

The heroine noticed irrational fears behind her, but relied on her husband. However, the support that is outside of us is bad. Divorce helped her understand this, and she demonstrates undoubted inner strength when, for the first time in her life, she transfers the fulcrum and responsibility to herself.

The transformation that happened to her as a result of the divorce is amazing and natural at the same time

This is what is called post-traumatic growth. Not always a strong shock drives us into depression. In some cases, it is followed by a wave of positive changes: the personality does not just adapt to life anew, but develops and grows. This becomes possible due to the ability to take a critical look at one's past, to process and comprehend one's characteristics and ways of behavior. nine0003

However, this is a very tough way of growing up. If the heroine had turned to professional help in time to help her connect her irrational fears with internal infantilism and the search for a parent outside, she would probably stop making a partner her donor. Perhaps in this case, the relationship could be saved or the breakup would not be so traumatic.

But life is not perfect and often tests us for strength.

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