People get scared when they hear the D word.
The answer is simple. Divorce creates uncertainty. It shatters the past state of familiarity and throws the family into a state of chaos and unpredictability.
Where will you live? When will the kids be with you? Will you be able to afford the same standard of living you always had? How will the bills get paid? How will the family’s assets be divided? Will you have to go back to work or quit your job?
For many people, familiarity is safe. Doing something that isn’t familiar often prompts fear. After living with someone for many years, the very idea of that situation being terminated provokes a feeling of fear. For most people, the fear of the unknown is what causes the greatest anxiety.
So what I tell my clients is that they should begin journalling these questions and then writing down what they hope the answers can be. I give this advice to cause my clients to distinguish between what is within their control and what is not. This exercise has been very helpful to many of my clients because it helps them face their fear and develop a plan that provide them with the empowerment to be able to navigate their divorce.
I also tell my clients that, at the beginning of any divorce, there is a very long list of questions with very few answers, BUT by the end of the divorce, there are very few questions because most of them have been answered. Divorce is a journey. It begins with the day the decision has been made. Each spouse and child going through divorce experiences it differently. All along, the uncertainty will be replaced with new routines, a familiar environment and supportive family and friends. One day, the fear will no longer be there.