I’m afraid to get a divorce and be alone.
I have been married for 6 years and the marriage is not good. We really aren’t compatible and our morals and principles are quite different. We have one child age 5 and I am afraid of being a single parent. What should I do? singed, Fearful, age 31
Dear Fearful, I can understand your fear of divorcing and being alone. Many people stay in bad relationships because they are afraid of the unknown and afraid of being alone. Here are some things for you to consider:
1. If you feel there is no real chance of being happy in your current relationship and you feel you have given it your best effort then there are some things to do that can help you prepare for your future as a single parent. First and foremost work on your self-esteem. Any breakup whether you want it or not can take a toll on the self-esteem. Please read our many articles on self-esteem and take the action suggested.
2. Have a heart to heart talk with your mate. Say all that needs to be said. Own your part of why the relationship is not working. Make a commitment to your partner to work together as parents of your child and to put aside any issues you have with each other. You can still be good parents to your child without being married to each other. Read the article we have on Hidden issues and expectations as well as the Change and Grow article.
3. Never bad mouth or put down your partner to your child in anyway. That will hurt the child in the long run and it will also hurt your relationship with that child in the future. Don’t try to make your child choose sides. Don’t force them into a loyalty battle where they feel sorry for one over the other.
4. Read the book Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends, 3rd Edition (Rebuilding Books; For Divorce and Beyond) by Dr. Bruce Fisher and our article on Rebuilding after divorce and the Aftermath of Divorce and Loneliness.
Divorce is never easy no matter what the situation is. Be prepared for upheaval and emotions coming to the surface that may not have shown themselves earlier in the relationship. When things do happen that may cause a lot of hurt and anguish study our article on Forgiveness and practice that early on. A Divorce is like a death in the family and the range of motions that usually appear are anger, hurt, frustration, regret, depression, and denial to name a few. They are all normal and part of the grieving process which includes loss of a marriage. Don’t hesitate to get professional counseling when needed. You could get a referral from your minister, doctor, or social services in your area.
Don’t pursue another relationship until you are truly divorced and happier as an individual. The happier and more content you are with yourself the easier it will be to draw a like minded person your way. Try not to dwell on the past. Move forward without beating yourself up for a failed marriage. You are not alone in this matter and there is life after divorce. Keep a positive attitude and work on being the best person you can be. We have many articles on our website that can help you along the way. Please take some time to read as many as you feel are pertinent to your situation. See our front page at www.positive-way.net for a list of thought provoking articles and action oriented advice. We wish you well.
Please understand you have free will. This advice is given only in the realm of personal growth and self-help. This is not to be considered a substitute for therapy or professional counseling. We wish you well.