Will I Be Alone Forever? Overcoming Common Divorce Fears
- Common divorce fears and how to deal with them
- Being alone
- Losing family connections
- Financial hardship
- Missing your ex
Let’s be real. The divorce process is scary, and life after divorce may sound scarier still. No matter how unhappy your marriage was, it was what you knew. Divorce can feel like an abyss – a great unknown.
Perhaps it has been so long since you were single that you've forgotten how to do life by yourself. You may worry about being alone “forever,” yet the dating scene may terrify you. On top of that, you may be dealing with other divorce-related problems regarding your kids or finances.
Will anything feel normal again?
Fear and anxiety in divorce
The fear living in your head is usually way worse than anything that ever shows up in reality. Fear is akin to a monster that visits you each night when you’re alone in bed. The monster whispers, “You can’t do this alone.” You may start to believe it.
But you still get up each morning, have coffee, go to work, and make dinner.
At some point, a reality check is in order. It may go something like this:
- You had a bad marriage and really weren’t happy.
- Neither was your spouse.
- Your kids felt it, too.
- You know a lot of people who have survived the very thing you’re going through.
- Many of them are far better for it.
Of course, your story may look slightly different. Everyone’s break-up is unique. But everyone who gets divorced has at least one thing in common: They are grieving the death of a marriage.
But just like the grief you feel when someone close to you dies, grief over the loss of your marriage is a necessary process for you to heal. Grieving allows you to move on.
Common divorce fears and how to deal with them
It’s normal to feel afraid after a divorce. You’re facing the unknown. You’re worried about yourself, your kids, your finances. Feelings of anger, hurt, and betrayal may still be seeping through when you least expect them.
If you unpack your fears one by one, they may not seem so insurmountable. Let’s look at some common divorce fears. Do any of them resonate with you?
I’m afraid I’ll have to do the rest of my life alone
You were never just “one half of a whole.” You are a complete person by yourself. When you really think about it, you did life just fine before marriage. You had friends, relationships, and fun.
Is it possible that out of the millions of people in this world, there may be another person (or even a few people) who would appreciate and have fun with you? Dating? Despite the apps and the hype, people are still people. You will find good ones, and you might find duds. In the meantime, don’t take it – or yourself – too seriously.
For now, do a deep dive into yourself. Learn who you are so you can understand what you want out of any relationships that come after divorce.
I’m afraid I’ll lose connection with my kids
Just like you, your kids may be feeling powerless and sad. They may be navigating two homes and parents who suddenly don’t feel or act like themselves. They may be dealing with an onslaught of their own fears and stressors on top of what’s going on with the family.
Take the time you have with your kids to be fully present for them. Let them talk honestly, and address what comes up with compassion.
You will all figure this out, but it will take time. If the kids are still struggling after a while despite your best efforts, get them some help. Support is essential for everyone, and your kids may need someone outside the family to talk to.
Read: Understanding and Protecting Kids’ Mental Health in Divorce
I’m afraid I’ll be poor or even homeless
Divorce is expensive, and your new life will take some financial juggling at first. You might have to look closely at how you spend money … but that might not be a bad thing. Spending money may have even been how you coped with your unhappiness during and after your divorce. What other things can you do to fill the dopamine hole that's left when you aren’t pulling out your credit card?
We suggest reading our article, How to Create a Post-Divorce Budget. Bear in mind that any child support payments or spousal support payments that were set up in your divorce settlement agreement may be modified in the future. Consider working with a certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA) who can help you evaluate your dollars and cents realistically and formulate an actionable plan.
Hello Divorce offers flat-rate sessions with a CDFA, which you can read about here.
I’m afraid I’ll miss my spouse
Whether you initiated the divorce or your spouse did, you may look back on what you had and suddenly miss that person. Regardless of what happened to your marriage, in hindsight, you may wonder if it was all so bad. There were good times, and you’ll always cherish them.
But in the end, it wasn't so great. Things changed. You probably don’t miss the anger, hurt, or feelings of unworthiness you struggled with then.
If you’re missing your spouse, consider this: Maybe you’re not missing the person you divorced but the person you first married. Back then, you both believed that you could be happy together for the rest of your lives. The reality became something different over time. Do you miss that reality?
Some of our most important life lessons are also the most painful ones. But after working with thousands of divorced couples, we have noticed something interesting: Most people come away from their divorce far happier than before, empowered and at peace with their lives. It’s possible that you will be one of those people
Navigating a divorce can be confusing and overwhelming. At Hello Divorce, it’s our mission to provide a complete support system so people can get through divorce and enjoy a better future. Want to know more? Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest, or check out our library of resources about life during and beyond divorce.
Have questions about divorce? Schedule a free 15-minute call to get them answered.
Suggested: What Is a Divorce Coach, and Do I Need One?