Getting a divorce should never be an easy decision. It can be an even harder decision if children are involved. You might be in a situation where the conflict is so high your children want you to get a divorce. Conflict can be traumatic and stressful for children and teens. Before a divorce, have you asked your partner to go to counseling with you? Have you gone to counseling? Divorce can be life-changing in both negative and positive ways. If you are confident that divorce is your only option, here are some pointers to help you overcome the fear.
- Be clear that this is what you need to do. If you are confident that divorce needs to happen, being resolute will give you confidence. If it is something you know needs to happen, you will work your way toward that goal.
- Fear of telling your partner. Understanding your partner’s conflict style will help in this situation. You want to tell your partner in a way that is not blaming or shaming. You can start by talking about your feelings. For example, “I have been anxious lately in our marriage.” Then you can say that the solution to your anxiety is getting a divorce because couples counseling did not resolve the issues. If you are in an abusive relationship, you do not need to explain yourself. They will use your explanation to pull you back in. You must speak and get it off your chest to overcome this fear. If you are in an abusive relationship, you must devise an exit strategy. To keep yourself safe, notify the police if you have children contact child protective services and ask them for help.
- Fear of telling the kids. Children are more switched on than we give them credit for. They might not be as surprised as you think. They may have friends with divorced parents as well. It would be best to consider their developmental age to keep your children secure during your divorce. You want to avoid language that might make them feel abandoned, responsible, or aligned with one parent. Children often feel like things are their fault. You want to remind them that they did nothing wrong. We don’t want the children to feel like they must parent or protect you.
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