There are so many feelings that come with being newly separated and going through a divorce: shock, guilt, devastation, sadness, anxiety, anger, jealousy, bitterness and…one of the worst—FEAR.
Fear is a very powerful emotion that can cause a lot of pain, along with a lot of other issues, both physically and emotionally. As a newly separated woman at 41, who hadn’t had a job in five years, I can remember having incredible fear for a long time. Of what?
1. My financial future
2. My kids and issues they were having
3. Loneliness and isolation
4. Growing old alone
5. The divorce process (judge’s rulings on custody and financial issues)
6. Attorney’s fees
7. Living alone with two young kids.
I think it is very normal and understandable to have fear, but how you choose to handle fear is very important in how your life will be and how it will end up.
Divorce advice for fear:
Beware: Fear can lead to some bad things if you let it. Such as:
1. Anxiety and stress that can lead to physical symptoms:
Such as ulcers and other digestive issues, depression, weight gain, insomnia, irritability (mood swings), poor immune system/illness.
I believe anger is driven by fear. Good rule of thumb: if your ex is angry, he or she has fear about something. If you understand that, you will have empathy and not be angry back.
3. Bad decision making.
Maybe you are afraid of your ex, so you make decisions to try not to anger him or her. Or, fear can hold you back. Maybe you don’t take a new job because you are afraid of failure, or even worse, you don’t look for a job because you are fearful you won’t be able to handle it or you are incapable of going back to work.
4. Lack of self-love.
People who let fear rule the decisions they make don’t like themselves that much because they feel disappointed in themselves for letting fear cause these other things.
More divorce advice for fear–with a positive spin:
1. Fear causes motivation.
According to an interview I saw with Mark Cuban, he said that fear has caused him to work harder and become more successful. If you are afraid of not being successful, it could motivate you to work harder and smarter. Fear of financial problems often motivates people who work on commission and in countless people I know, it made them extremely successful and wealthy.
Fear of losing a job can make someone work harder. Fear of things going on in a divorce can cause someone to throw themselves into work and achieve better results. And fear can motivate a person to get over the fear.
2. There’s nothing like the feeling of overcoming fear.
There is no better self confidence booster than thinking to yourself, “I’m not going to be afraid anymore.” Not being afraid of something you used to be afraid of is THE BEST feeling. It’s so empowering, so freeing, and it makes you proud of yourself, and gives you self respect and self-love.
In closing, I’m not saying that you are wrong for having fear. Fear in divorce is very normal and to be expected. What I’m saying is, find a way to manage your fear in a productive way. In other words, find a way overcome your fear, whether that means going to therapy, meditating, praying, working out, talking to people who can help you overcome your fear (including other divorced people) or just doing things to take your mind off the fear. Because once you aren’t afraid, you will make better decisions, you’ll like and respect yourself a lot more, and you’ll be a happier, more calm, and grounded person.