Emotional Fears In The Divorce Process

You may have many fears about whether you should divorce, if you made the correct decision to divorce, and if you and your children will be okay after the divorce.  In fact, emotional fears are one of the many by-products of the time you spent in an unhealthy marriage.  Here is a list of the most common fears and concerns that I hear from the women I treat as they are at various stages of divorce:

** I don't know how to live on my own anymore.

** Have my kids been damaged by what they experienced in my marriage?

** Will I mess up my kids permanently if I go through with the divorce?

** I'm so worried about money.

** I think about going back to my ex.  Does that mean I'm crazy?

** Sometimes I think, "It wasn't that bad."  What's wrong with me?

** I don't think I can handle the kids on my own.

** I'm so depressed that I don't know how I'm going to function day-to-day.

** Getting a divorce means I'm a total loser.

** I feel defective and useless.

** I don't trust anyone...including myself.

** I second-guess everything I do.

** I can't imagine ever being happy again.

** I'm worried that I'm going to be alone the rest of my life.

** I'm afraid my kids are going to blame me for the divorce and hate me.

Sound familiar?  Sometimes fear is a rational response to a scary stimulus.  If your husband raged when he drank, you wisely learned to be afraid of his anger.  Oftentimes, however, fear is a learned response from childhood and is a self-protective mechanism that was a survival technique and therefore irrational in your adult life.  It is merely a conditional response.  You may be used to feeling afraid in a certain situation, and so you feel afraid in many situations.  Perhaps in situations that exist only in your head.

Emotional fears often lead to irrational beliefs.  In other words, your perceptions create your own reality and then you accept them as correct.  But, let me inject an important perspective: just because you believe a thought is true doesn't necessarily make it true. 

In the Empowered Woman's Guide to Divorce, I coach you through ways to bust your irrational beliefs:

*All-or-nothing thinking


*Discounting the positives

*Jumping to conclusions

*Magnification or minimization

*Should statements


*Blame and personification

*Emotional reasoning

*Fortune telling

These are all well described and real allies in your war against the emotional fears that keep you paralyzed or at the very least, not the best person you want to be.  I encourage you to peruse the ideas and use them.  You will instantly see the difference in your life.

Take good care

You Only Have Control Over Three Things In Your Life

Wait a minute.  That doesn't sound right.  You thought you had control over everyone and everything.  Nope, just three things, my friend:

  • Your own thoughts
  • Your own behaviors
  • Your own reactions

That may send you into a tailspin but what a tremendous amount of control that really gives you when you use it and refuse to give it away to others.

Your own thoughts: In your pre and current divorce process, you may feel like you're going crazy...a LOT.  You feel like your mind is racing in a dozen different directions and none of your thoughts make sense or are things you'd like to think about, especially at 2 a.m.  Your minds seems to have a mind of it's own!  However, you can absolutely take control of your thoughts and the power you give them, or how true they are.

Your own behaviors:  One thing I know for certain is that all behavior is intentional.  Maybe not at the tippy-top of one's mind, but it goes through the hamster wheel a couple of turns before it comes out.  Your wusband's former or current actions were thought-out and something he had control over.  Because you have control over your own actions, you can decide to choose a different path any old time you want to.  As Adam explains in our book, Your actions are evidence.  This is good advice, not only in a legal setting--such as your divorce--but with your children, your family and friends, and with yourself.

Your own reactions: You have complete control over the way in which you respond to the guy you are currently or formerly married to.  Your reactions aren't automatic; you choose them.  You may have reacted to him in the same way during your marriage but, apparently, that was an unsuccessful strategy.  If he continues to act in the same ways, and you choose to respond in the same ways, you might as well have stayed married, for Heaven's sake!  Now is your opportunity to create a different chain of actions in your relationship, however that looks.  When you change your reaction to something he says or does to you, you have instantly changed the dynamic of the relationship and he will be forced to react to your reaction differently if he wants something from you.  Interesting idea.

The idea is that by taking control of these three things, you are instantly the most powerful person in your universe and that's a pretty sweet place to be.

Take good care

Love Is A Behavior

Were you raised to believe that love is a feeling?  Most of us have been told, "Listen to your heart.  Your heart will never lead you astray."  Well, I'm here to tell you that that is total garbage.  Your heart will always lead you astray.  Why?  Because your heart is a pump!  It's your heart's job to pump blood throughout your body.  It's your brain's job to make decisions for you.  Listen to your brain.  Your brain will never lead you astray.

I would also add that you should listen to your body's signals because the mind-body connection is so strong that you can know that something's up when your stomach is in knots, you have a three-day headache, or you have a chronically sore throat or backache.  Listen to your body because it, too, is trying to tell you that love is a behavior.

When we begin to look at a person's behavior rather than their words. Our lives instantly become clearer.  When we look at their actual behavior rather than what we decide their intent must be, our lives become easier.  I'm a big fan of the idea that when a person shows you who he is, believe him.  Stop making excuses for the behavior; just take it as true information and make decisions accordingly.

This is especially true for you right now as you contemplate divorce, go through the process of divorce, or are in the aftermath of divorce.  You may want to believe that your husband (or wusband) didn't mean what he said or did to you but did so because X, Y, or Z (had a bad childhood, stress at his job, was drunk at the time, had a hangnail; you fill in the blank).  Perhaps the truth of who he is right now is too difficult or painful to process.  Understandably so, but it doesn't change the fact that his behavior is showing you exactly who he is currently.  Instead of denying that fact, you can choose to empower yourself with the truth and make wise decisions.

Love--be it romantic love or the love shared between friends, parents, children, siblings--is all about how you are treated and how you treat others. 

If you spend the next few days looking only at the behavior of every person in your life, I promise that you will be amazed, shocked and perhaps a little dismayed.  However, you will have empowered yourself with the truth to help you go forward in your current and future relationships...and that's always a good thing.

Take good care