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Are you scared to ask for a divorce?

If you want a divorce but are scared to ask for one, know that you are far from alone. Many men and women wake up every day with the mixed emotions of fear and wanting to be free. Fear is a protective instinct, a survival mechanism, so of course it tends to win out.

There are plenty of reasons that the prospect of divorce is scary. Perhaps you are afraid your family and friends will judge you, especially if you made serious mistakes or if your marriage always seemed perfect. Maybe asking for divorce means a difficult, painful conversation with your spouse, and putting it off is easier. It could be that children are in the picture, and you are afraid of upsetting their lives or of getting to see them less. Finances or domestic violence might be an issue too. It is no fun keeping quiet about wanting a divorce because you are afraid your partner might take it out on you physically. So, what can you do when you are scared to ask for a divorce?

Identify the reasons

First, it may help to identify the reasons you are scared. You can think the reasons through on your own, but it is good to get out of your mind, if possible. If you feel safe enough doing so, write down the reasons or talk with a counselor or trusted friend.

Take a tiny step

Second, doing something proactive, no matter how small, can go a long way toward conquering your fear. For example, if money is your concern, your step could be something such as opening your own bank account and putting $100 in it a month. Or you could get your financial papers together.

If others judging you is your dilemma, you can read books on how to set boundaries and break difficult news. The same idea applies if starting a hard conversation with your spouse is your main concern. Another step you could take is to consult with a lawyer (many offer free consultations), who can give you advice on what a divorce would entail and how to proceed.

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