Trying to decide whether or not you should get a divorce can be scary. You have no way of predicting what will happen to your life once you file, but you know it will never be the same. Moving ahead with divorce is also taking a definitive step away from having a future with your spouse. You may have reached a place where you know things are not getting better, and it’s time to leave the marriage. On the one hand, you can’t go back, and on the other, you are too scared to file. Unfortunately, allowing anxiety to prevent you from taking action will only worsen the situation. Here are some things you can do to get past your fear of divorce so you can move forward with your life.
Understand Your Fears
On a primal level, fear is an instinctive response that our brain sends out to keep us out of danger. In modern society, we can have a fearful reaction to everything from a car coming too close in traffic to a stranger unexpectedly raising their voice in line at the store.
When it comes to relationships, being fearful can translate into a pervasive state of anxiety rather than reacting to a single incident. When you are feeling afraid about a subject, it can be for several reasons. With the constant stress of your marital problems, it can be hard to parse out and understand the exact basis for your fears. Finding a way to stop and consider what you are genuinely fearful of is the first step.
Are you afraid of the unknown?
Will you be able to recover financially?
Will your children be devastated?
By looking at your fears one by one, you can determine where they are coming from and develop ways to address them.
Being in a stressful situation can make it difficult to step back and look at it objectively. This may be a good time to consider finding a therapist to help you work through some of your thoughts and feelings and develop an action plan. Having a therapeutic resource may also provide you with the relief you need to gain clarity in this situation.
Joining a local support group can also be a way to get insight from others. Sometimes, when a marriage is not working, couples tend to be secretive and hide their struggles. This can be isolating. When you meet other people who have been where you are or who are dealing with the same issues, you can get support and empathy and learn from their experiences.
Connecting with your close friends and loved ones and talking about what is happening may also help you work through your fears and feel supported.
Fear of the Unknown
One of the main fears that can arise is not knowing what will happen once you file or tell your partner you want a divorce. It can be an intimidating thought, and being scared can have a paralyzing effect. The good news is that you can address this fear by getting information from a reliable source.
Be careful where you get your facts, however. A well-meaning sister-in-law, a friend from work, or a random search on the internet is not a substitute for a lawyer. By meeting with an experienced Wisconsin family law attorney, you can have a confidential consultation and get the information you need about the case process and what to expect. You won’t be under any obligation to file, and you can get answers to any questions you may have.
Attorney and Mediator Karyn Youso of First Look Family Law has extensive experience helping clients understand their options during Wisconsin separation and divorce and can help you evaluate your circumstances.