fear of being alone after divorce

How I Overcame My Fear Of Being Alone After Divorce

fear of being alone after divorce


When I was married I lived a comfortable life. For the most part, I was surrounded by people – my husband, my daughter, my son and my dog. We did most things together, whether it be trips to the shops, gatherings with friends and family, or any of the other myriad things that consume family life. We were a ‘regular’, ‘normal’ and ‘happy’ family.

I was married at 22, had my first child at 24, and my second at 26. By the time my kids were teenagers I could regularly be found counting my lucky stars, grateful that I’d ‘made it’. That (unlike my mother and grandmother) I’d managed to hold my marriage together and would never have to fear being alone. The dreaded ALONE.

When, in my fortieth year, the unthinkable happened and my husband blindsided me with the news that he no longer wanted to be married and was leaving me, I was left shocked and shattered. I was certain that there had been a massive mistake – that this was simply not how my life was supposed to turn out.

In an instant, my childhood fear of being abandoned, alone and unlovable was recognized.

How I Overcame My Fear of Being Alone After Divorce

In the early days of my separation, I found myself consumed with the negative thoughts swirling around my head (funny how grief does that to you). The most prominent of those thoughts were:

What if I’m alone for the rest of my life? What if I never find anybody to love me?

I became almost obsessed with the idea – the fear – of being ‘alone’ forever as if this would be a fate worse than death.

One day I was speaking with a married girlfriend who told me that she often felt alone, and lonely, in her marriage due to her husband’s moods. Another day I accompanied a single girlfriend to watch the film Fifty Shades of Grey which, weirdly enough, helped change my perception of relationships and of what ‘happily ever after’ really meant.

Over time I began to adjust my rigid and outdated views on love, marriage, and loneliness. I slowly came to accept that I would be OK no matter what – that being in a relationship or marriage that stifles individual growth and leaves one or both parties feeling empty and alone (or worse) was surely a fate worse than being forever ‘alone’.

I allowed myself time to GRIEVE

Of course, when we are deep in the throes of grief everything is heightened. Our emotions, our fears, our loneliness. When we have spent a good portion of our life with a significant other, and that significant other is suddenly removed from of our life, we are going to feel the loss. BRUTALLY, at first.

In the early days of my separation, I made it a mission to learn all that I could about the grieving process. I wanted to understand what it was that I was going through, and how long it was going to last. I read inspirational stories of women who had made it through the divorce process, and I asked friends for their break-up stories and strategies.

What I learned was this: I was not always going to feel so terribly alone. But to help me along, I needed to allow myself to grieve – as horrible and painful and excruciating as it was. It simply could not be skipped or bypassed. I very consciously told myself that I would get through it, and eventually, I did.

I MADE myself spend time alone with my pain

This continues on from the point above. In order to move through our pain, we need to feel it. We need to sit with all of the sucky emotions as they arise. Emotions that are processed by us will move through us and eventually leave of their own accord. Emotions that we do not take the time to process become suppressed emotions, and will very likely resurface at a later (often inconvenient) date – and often much worse than the original emotion.

This is NOT to say that you should isolate yourself and do nothing but feel horrible all of the time. It IS to say that you should not look for continual distractions from your grief and pain. I used to sit in the bath, sometimes for hours, with just music and tea for company. This practice alone taught me that pain and loneliness would not kill me!

I made the decision to REDISCOVER who I was

Too many of us lose a piece (or many pieces) of ourselves when in a long-term relationship. We forget who we were before we married – I think I actually forgot that I was somebody at all. I identified as a wife and mother, and that was pretty much it.

When the first excruciating phase of grief had passed, I tentatively decided it was time to find out who I was. Who I was – without the labels of wife and mother. I rediscovered my love of writing. I re-taught myself how to cook (my husband was the chief cook in our household). I spent hours devouring books and movies that I somehow never found the time for whilst married.

And I did most of this alone!

Remember, you were somebody before your marriage and subsequent divorce. And guess what? The girl you were is still in there somewhere! Make it your mission to find her.

I forced myself OUT of my comfort zone

When I was married, I rarely spoke to anyone new or different or outside of my circle of regular people. I felt stupidly secure in the knowledge that each night I would be going home to hubby, and I, therefore, didn’t really see much need to meet new or interesting folk.

As a single woman once again, I oddly found myself going out of my way to say hello to people I wouldn’t normally feel comfortable enough to speak with. For some reason, my new ‘alone’ status gave me the confidence to do this.

I now know that as we evolve and change, so do our tastes and perceptions. Our souls naturally want to seek out different people and experiences in the name of growth, and it is important not to stifle this. So, be brave enough to hang out with the people you feel drawn to, even if they aren’t your ‘regular’ types. Your ‘regular’ is very likely changing from what it once was, just as it changed for me.

I now love my alone time.

Now, four years on from my divorce, I can confidently say that I love my alone time. My first year of divorce taught me how to not only tolerate being alone but to find true joy in it. I have seen that for every loss in life, there is usually a gain and that nothing in life is ever really permanent. And I am no longer scared by this.

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How To Deal With Fear and Uncertainty During Divorce

How To Deal With Fear and Uncertainty During Divorce

It is possible to navigate your divorce well despite the fear and uncertainty and the use of your support anchors is a key strategy in your success.

The post How To Deal With Fear and Uncertainty During Divorce appeared first on Divorce Magazine.


fear of the unknown after divorce

How To Overcome The Fear Of The Unknown After Divorce

fear of the unknown after divorce


All most everybody worries about what will happen in the future after they get divorced. The prospect of not knowing if something good or bad will happen in the near future can produce a lot of fear and anxiety.

As a result, here is a list of techniques and suggestions on how to manage the fear of the unknown after divorce.

1. No one can predict the future with one hundred percent certainty. It is impossible to predict what may or may not happen in the future because there are kinds of circumstances and factors that you can’t predict which can be used to your advantage. For instance, let’s say at your place of work that you miss the deadline for a project you have been working on for the last few months. Everything you feared is coming true.

Suddenly, your boss comes to your office and tells you that the deadline is extended and that he forgot to tell you the day before. This unknown factor changes everything. Remember that we may be ninety-nine percent correct in predicting the future, but all it takes is for that one percent to make a world of difference.

2. A lot of times, our worrying can make the problem even worse. All the worrying in the world will not change anything. All you can do is to do your best each day, hope for the best, and when something does happen, take it in stride.  If you have trouble moving forward after a divorce, then talking to a someone can be of great help. There are ways to help manage your fear of the future and all it takes is some effort to find those answers.

3. Focus on one day at a time. Instead of worrying about how you will get through the rest of the week or coming month, try to focus on today. Each day can provide us with different opportunities to learn new things and that includes learning how to deal with your problems. When the time comes, hopefully, you will have learned the skills to deal with your situation.

4. Create goals in your life. Set achievable goals on a regular basis and then take small steps to accomplish them. Make sure your goals are measurable and monitor your progress. Don’t get upset if you don’t accomplish all of your goals. You can always change your goals so that you can be more successful as you move forward after your divorce.

5. Talk to others on a regular basis. It is important that you talk to others in order to get a better perspective of your life. Listening to other people’s challenges and accomplishments can go a long way in feeling better about yourself. You can also learn how to overcome the obstacles in your life after your divorce.

6. Remember your successes. Some people downplay their successes and focus on those things they struggle with. Always remind yourself of your past accomplishments no matter how small they may be.  Stop focusing on what may happen down the road and remember your past achievements. This will give you the confidence to move forward.

7. Don’t dwell on your negative thoughts and feelings. A person must not dwell or focus on their fearful thoughts and emotions when getting their life back on track after a divorce. The more a person tries to reason out their thoughts the worse you will feel. Instead of thinking negatively, read some positive statements from your favorite self-help book or focus on doing something you like to do. If you still have trouble then talking to a counselor could help.

8. Finally, always be persistent as you move forward. Do not give up in achieving what you want out of your life. Learn from your mistakes and try to improve your situation. Do not make excuses on why you should quit or give up. Sometimes it takes a lot of effort to be successful. The key is to keep at it until you get what you want. Eventually, you will find the happiness you are looking for if you remain persistent and dedicated in overcoming anything that is in your way.

The post How To Overcome The Fear Of The Unknown After Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.