Have you been seriously considering divorcing your spouse, but are too afraid to actually file? Have you put the work into your marriage and made every possible attempt at making things work, and now know that divorce is right for you? Following through on getting a divorce can be one of the scariest decisions you will ever make. Divorce changes your life drastically, no matter if it is a peaceful one or not. You are making the decision to remove someone from your life who has been with you on your happiest days and stood by you on the sad ones too. Your spouse knows you on a deeper level than most other people, so it is inevitable that you will feel a certain amount of sadness and pain, even if you know that divorce is your best option. Walking away from someone who you have given so much of yourself, your time, and your energy to can feel very overwhelming and scary. We all experience fear of the unknown and what life will be like if we get divorced, so lets discuss some of the common fears you may be feeling so you can make the best choice for yourself.
Fear 1: I Am Making a Mistake
Nothing in life is guaranteed. No matter how confident you feel in your decision to file for divorce, you may still experience doubt and question if you are doing the right thing. When I came to the conclusion that I needed to divorce my second husband, I had never felt more sure about anything regarding him, yet I was still terrified that I could be making a mistake. It took a lot of meditation, deep thought, and pro and con lists for me to realize that if my intuition was at peace with the decision, then it couldn’t be a mistake. In all honesty, that relationship never felt right to me.
The final straw was when he got angry with me and lashed out at me by spitting on me, pushing me, and putting his hands around my throat. That was the moment I knew for certain it was time to go. This was the one and only time he had ever been physically abusive towards me and I did give him good cause to be angry, but one time is more than enough times! No matter how angry someone is or how warranted their anger is, it is NEVER ok to physically harm another person. If it happens once, it can definitely happen again and I was not willing to risk my life finding out. If you experience abuse of any kind LEAVE, you are definitely not making a mistake!
Hopefully your situation isn’t as dire as mine was! It can be confusing to know whether or not divorce is right for you. My greatest piece of advice is to listen to your gut. Your heart is too emotional and may not keep you in the best situation. Your head will use reason to weigh the pros and cons of leaving, which will only confuse you more. Your gut knows what you need deep down. You know that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach that you feel every time you think of spending the rest of your life with this person or the tightness you feel when you think of filing for divorce? That’s your gut/intuition, telling you what you already know to be the right answer.
Fear 2: No One Will Ever Love Me Again / I’ll Be Alone Forever
This was one of my greatest fears when I considered getting a divorce. It was what kept me in my emotionally abusive first marriage for 6 years and it was what led me into a second marriage with someone I was never really in love with. For those of you who hate the thought of being alone, it can be really scary to go through with filing for divorce, but let me ask you one thing: Would you rather be miserable forever with someone or happy and alone? I’m not saying you will be alone forever, because I have no idea what your future holds, but for me, I had to face the reality that I had already found love once in my life and although it was imperfect and unhealthy, I may never be destined to love again. Once I accepted that idea I was able to realize that life could still be amazing without a husband.
Once I conquered my fear of being alone and filed for divorce I felt a huge weight lifted off of me. I was able to push the “Restart” button on my life and learn who I was as a single woman. I discovered how to love myself, found friends who brought fun and laughter into my life, and learned that being alone isn’t the same as being lonely. I loved living on my own and doing what I wanted without answering to anyone else.
Being alone doesn’t have to be a bad thing; it may be just what you need in order to achieve the life you always dreamed of having. Maybe you will stumble upon the love of your life when you aren’t even looking or maybe you will find love for yourself and realize that you can be greatly happy on your own. Whatever may come, you have to conquer the fear of being alone in order to figure it out.
Fear 3: I Will Lose Friends and Family
This is a very valid fear and sadly, it is a real part of the journey towards divorce. You may have found true friendships in your in-laws and your spouse’s friends that will become very difficult to maintain if you dissolve your marriage. As a matter of fact, there is a chance you will lose friends and family who were there before your spouse too. People tend to take sides in a divorce and some people won’t support your choice to leave. I lost friends who I believed would always be in my life through both of my divorces. It was heart-breaking and a lot to handle on top of losing my husband, but looking back on those relationships that ended, I now see that I deserved better.
For every relationship you lose, it is possible to find new, stronger ones to replace them. Although some of my friends chose to leave my life at the lowest moments, I also met new friends who proved to be far greater than any I had lost. It may be scary to think that you will lose people you care about, but just remember that anyone who is meant to be in your life is going to be there. Some friends are meant for a season and others for a lifetime. Divorce will test your friendships and family bonds, but don’t let that stop you from doing what is best for your happiness. Ultimately, you are the one who knows what you need and what feels right in your heart, so anyone who doesn’t support your choices is not a true friend anyway.
Fear 4: It Will Ruin My Children’s Lives
I have already written an entire post on this topic, but for those of you who missed it, your children are going to be just fine. Yes, this situation may be difficult for them to understand and the changes can be hard to handle, but what is best for you will also be what is best for them. It is unhealthy for your children to watch you and your spouse fight. It is unhealthy for your children to see you unhappy, crying, or angry on a regular basis. If you want your children to grow up and obtain healthy, happy relationships, it is important that you demonstrate healthy, happy relationships. If you are unable to do this with your spouse, then you are doing more damage by staying with them, than by leaving. Your most important duty as a parent who is going through a divorce is to assure your children that they are not the cause and make them feel loved and cared for.
If you would like to read more about this topic check out my post, How To Avoid Devastating Your Children While Divorcing
Fear 5: I’ll Hurt My Spouse
Well Sweetheart, the truth of the matter is, you are already hurting your spouse if you are unhappy and living a lie by remaining married to them. Filing for divorce is definitely going to cause your spouse pain, that can not be avoided, but dragging the relationship on and messing with their emotions is far more painful than ripping the band-aid off and filing. I was so scared of hurting my second husband by divorcing him that I caused far more damage by trying to convince myself I loved him, rather than just leaving the relationship. He could feel the distance between us, the lack of emotion behind my words and how I was just going through the motions of being married, which caused him resentment and anger.
It is far more loving to leave someone when you know that you can not be the spouse that they deserve, rather than staying and acting the part, while feeling dead on the inside. Don’t allow the fear of hurting your spouse stop you from divorcing them. By asking for a divorce you are giving your spouse the opportunity to find real happiness too and possibly even meet someone who will truly love them in a way that you can’t.
Whether you are experiencing these fears or others which I haven’t covered, let me tell you that you have the ability to conquer whatever it is that you are afraid of. You are far stronger than you know and more capable of creating the life you truly want than you may realize. Divorce is devastating and the most horrendous thing you may ever have to endure, but once it is over it is possible to be happy again. Life will never be the same, but you just may find that to be an extremely good thing. If you feel that your intuition is trying to tell you that this is the change you need for your life, then do yourself a favor and listen. I wish you the best of luck and truly hope that you find peace and happiness!
Do you have a fear that I haven’t covered in this article? Ask me about it in the comment section and I will do my best to help ease your worries 🙂