What is it that we are so afraid of when our relationship ends? Is it the fear of being alone, afraid of loneliness? Are we afraid that no one else will want to be with us, that no one will love us? Are we afraid of growing older? Concerned about how aging affects our energy, how our bodies tend to change, our faces gain more lines, our hair thins and turns gray- altogether for most of us- aging is unacceptable?Relationship ending brings many changes. Many of the changes are unwanted, and can lead to more fears- losing friends, how will my family/neighbors/coworkers/church members etc.- view me now?Some fears you have lived with all your life-some you outgrew. Sometimes we have fears that are dormant when we are in a committed relationship. When the relationship is threatened or has ended it unleashes fears that my never have been reckoned with.
Fear of being a divorced person. Fears of: feeling alone, vulnerable, somehow exposed, that we will be perceived as defective, unstable. Fear about what will happen to the children, fear of being a single parent, fear about moving, fear about making decisions that you have never had to make on your own, fear about money, and fears about all the emotions that seem so overwhelming.
One of the biggest obstacles is fear of fear. Often when we feel fear we go into avoidance mode (food, alcohol, drugs, TV, over working, we all have our “preferred” ways of going in to avoidance. These ways of dealing with fears only paralyzes us!
Every one of our fears need to be faced –if not, they will remain and gain greater energy and influence in our lives and potentially influence future new relationships.
How do we face fear? We often need support- that’s why we often find that the greatest strength in the process of rebuilding- is to be vulnerable. Sharing with a close friend , we find that they too have felt this fear, can easily relate and are willing to “walk with you” ( go to court with you, helping to find a new job, go looking at apartments, share professional referrals –experience mediators, a moving company, therapists etc.). Most importantly they will listen, empathize and validate you in your process.
List your fears- write them out –be specific –what are you afraid will happen? Frequently , when we see it written in black and white, we can see that they are not real, or at least not nearly as significant as we were making them out to be.
See a therapist, or counselor or coach. Some of your fears are very old, many from childhood, and they may have been a factor in your relationship ending. Not only do you have old fears, you now have a lot of new ones. All of these fears can, and need to be dealt with, and a professional can help you through the process.