Fear of failure… fear of judgment… fear of change… fear of hurting our spouse… fear of hurting the kids… The reasons divorce or separation is scary is long and daunting. However, all those fears are NORMAL. And guess what— they’re a sign that you are self-aware. This is good!! How can you improve a situation if you can’t articulate the problem? If you are feeling all of the normal fears associated with the decision to divorce or separate, you are aware that your needs aren’t being met in your relationship, and that to be your best self you need to make a change at the most fundamental level. This sort of change isn’t taken lightly, and most people take a long time weighing the pros and cons. Self-awareness is crucial to deciding what your next steps need to be. Can your relationship be improved, or have you tried to reach your spouse and know that there’s no hope of feeling whole and connected in your current situation? To make these decisions you need to be self-aware.
If you are feeling fear, know that the anticipation of the change is always worse than the change itself. Know that the mindset you bring to the change is crucial. The ending of your relationship is not a failure. It is an awareness that you can’t be your true “self” in your present circumstances. The years you spent in the relationship are part of your journey though, and be grateful for the experiences gained and the lessons learned. You will use them to be stronger and wiser as you continue on life’s path. SO REFRAME YOUR FEAR! Take it as a sign that you are about to step onto the path leading you back to the “you” that’s been lost. Don’t let it freeze you in place and prevent you from leaving a situation that is unhealthy, toxic, or in the worst cases, abusive. Once you decide to take your fears head on, and not let them define your circumstances, you are taking the first step towards a healthy new reality where your children, family, and friends are blessed with your true YOU!
And, importantly, reframing your fears in this way will help you transition to a new family unit with less animosity and blame. If your fear is just a sign that you need to seek your true self, than there is no guilt of failure or judgment for perceived wrongs. Hopefully, self-awareness about the nature of your fear will bring you and your spouse to a place of understanding where there is no blame, just mutual respect and support as co-parents. This takes effort and work, but it serves the purpose of supporting your kids and lays the foundation for a healthier family transition.