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Coping with Common Divorce Fears

Divorce can be scary. In fact, divorce fears can prevent even the most miserable couples from considering the idea. Most divorced individuals claim the experience was one of the most traumatic ordeals of their lives. Negative anecdotes from friends and family don’t make it any easier. If you or someone you know is facing the breakdown of a marriage, it can be hard to know where to turn. Understanding the common top divorce fears and mental health challenges can help you prepare for the worst and come out on top after it’s all over. Here are the top worries people have when considering a divorce, along with the best ways to face them.

1. The Children Will Be Permanently Damaged

An estimated 40% of couples in the United States stay in unhealthy marriages because of the kids. Fears of hurting the children or splitting up the family are the top worries of those considering a divorce. Pervasive fears also include whether the kids will suffer at school, who the kids will stay with, and whether they will have long-term mental health issues. You may also be concerned that the kids will have to take sides or pick who they want to be with the most. Furthermore, the thought of not having the kids on certain holidays can be unbearable to many parents.

This is a legitimate fear, and there’s no guarantee that your kids won’t experience any of the above. What you must consider is whether the child’s mental wellbeing will be better off in the long run if you stay or if you leave. A destructive marriage can almost be just as damaging for a child’s wellbeing as a divorce can. These are all things you need to think about before pulling the trigger. No matter what, always let your child know how much you love and care for them. Ensuring both parents are on the same team when it comes to raising the child can also overcome any negative side effects of divorce.

2. Finances

Maybe you are a stay-at-home mom who hasn’t worked in 20 years. Or perhaps you didn’t sign a prenup and are worried that your spouse will try and take all your money. Maybe you are worried that your children won’t have enough to live the type of life you want for them. Financial concerns are a big worry when it comes to divorce.

Resolving these fears requires being creative and smart. Figure out how much money you will have after the divorce and understand how your lifestyle can change. Putting these fears down on paper can make them feel less scary. Children tend to care more about being in a stable, loving environment than having an upscale lifestyle. Think about what you will need to do to feel comfortable financially after the divorce. Go back to school? Pick a new career? Hire some help? Either way, planning everything out will help make the fears dissipate.

3. Identity and Being Alone

For some, being alone is a bigger worry than the above 2 fears combined. Maybe you’ve been with your spouse since high school and can’t even consider what it’s like to live life without him or her. Maybe you struggle with codependency and have stayed in an unhealthy marriage for years because of it. Or perhaps you are older and believe that it will be too hard to find someone else. Either way, the fear of being alone and changing one’s identity can be terrifying.

Staying in a bad marriage simply because you are afraid to be alone is not enough of a reason to stay. Rather than looking at it from a fear-based perspective, consider it an adventure. This is a time for you to truly find yourself and be entirely you without someone else. What are some of the things that you want to accomplish after your divorce? Consider journaling or speaking to a therapist who can help you navigate many of these anxieties.

Have you gone through a painful divorce? Do you struggle with anxiety or depression? If so, please contact Straight Talk Counseling at 714-828-2000 or visit our website at One of our professional counselors would be happy to speak with you.

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