Although the great majority of those who marry intend to stay together until death, we all know that almost half of all marriages end in divorce. Sadly, many more couples remain in marriages that are unhappy — dull, restrictive, lacking in passion, or even abusive. Why does this happen when contacting an experienced, empathic divorce attorney could begin the process of setting them free?
For some, religious beliefs keep them absolutely bound to the partner they wedded, no matter what, but for most, it is some form of fear that keeps them in a sham marriage. Here, we will explore how this happens and how to break free of the fear that keeps you miserable, or at least keeps you from being your best and happiest self. If you live in Pennsylvania, connecting with The Law Office of Gary R. Swavely, Jr. will clarify your options and dispel your fears.
Please understand that we are by no means recommending that you call us before you have tried hard to save your marriage by negotiating differing perspectives, resolving conflicts, altering behavior patterns that hurt your spouse, or undergoing marital or solo counseling to get to the root of your problems as a couple. Rather, we are talking about what it is that keeps you trapped in a loveless marriage once you have worked diligently to reconcile, but found it impossible to do so.
Fears That Keep You Stuck in an Unhappy Marriage
We all experience a certain amount of anxiety in our daily lives. We worry about our children and other loved ones, our jobs or careers, and all the ills of the world we live in, but when worry becomes insurmountable fear and keeps us from doing what we need to do, it is a destructive, paralyzing force. The following fears frequently keep individuals — even those who are otherwise intelligent, energetic problem solvers — from considering the possible necessity of divorce:
Fear of Isolation
Leaving a relationship and/or home can be terrifying. You may be plagued by questions, such as: Where will I live? How will I manage on my own? How will I take care of my children, my household chores, my shopping while maintaining my job? How will I function independently? This last question is especially troubling if you haven’t lived alone for a long time (or ever). You may even feel physically vulnerable if you always considered your spouse a protective force.
Fear of Not Being Able to Manage Financially on Your Own
Because most recent marriages have two working spouses, it may be alarming to imagine how you will pay the bills without your spouse’s income. Don’t forget, however, that, depending on your comparative salaries, a strong divorce attorney may be able to help you win, in addition to an equitable distribution of your marital assets, appropriate child support and possibly alimony to keep you and your children comfortable and secure. Also, if you are the spouse who was a housewife or house husband for a significant period of time, or if you are elderly or disabled, your lawyer will likely be able to make sure the divorce agreement gives you the financial support you will need going forward.
Fear that Your Children Will Be Destabilized and Emotionally Harmed by Divorce
While many people worry about harming their children by divorcing the other parent, in more situations than you might think, children, though initially distressed, are relieved to find that the loud arguments have abated and that they are now spending time with more relaxed parents, more able to focus on them. In the long run, raising your children as your own person, free to develop and explore your own needs, will not only make you a better parent, but a much better role model for your offspring.
Fear of the Process of Divorce Itself
Legal matters and procedures may be frightening, particularly if you haven’t been involved in them previously, but a caring divorce attorney, like Gary R. Swavely, Jr., will provide you with the guidance and support you need to decipher all pertinent legal documents and to feel in control during any court appearances.
Fear of Losing Your Children
For those who are parents, this fear is worse of all. You may be worried that you won’t be able to obtain sole, or even joint, custody, or that you won’t get to spend enough parenting time with your kids. A talented attorney will put this fear to rest, by explaining legal strategies developed to make sure you and your children are not taxed with any more separation than is absolutely necessary.
Fear of Retaliation if You’ve Been in an Abusive Relationship
Tragically, for some people, regardless of gender or gender identification, fear of being physically harmed (or fear loved ones harmed) if they try to leave the marital home is very real. The abusing spouse may also threaten to reveal a marital affair, or to take the children away so the parent initiating the divorce will never see them again. Once again, an experienced divorce attorney will discuss the myriad programs and services available to protect you and your loved ones as you leave your abuser to create a safe environment for your newly structured family.
How Your Spouse May Be Stoking Your Fears to Keep You Trapped
In many situations, even non-abusive spouses may play on your fears to keep you captive in a marriage. It is quite common for the contesting spouse to tell you that:
- You will end up without financial resources to provide for yourself and/or your children
- You will not get to have custody or extensive parenting time with your kids
- Your reputation in the community or at your workplace will be smeared
- The divorce process will use up all of your collective assets and leave you both destitute
- Your children will be permanently damaged by the divorce experience
- You are not attractive enough to lure another mate and you will die alone
Consulting with a capable and compassionate divorce attorney may be the one thing that finally gives you the courage and sense of empowerment to move past your fears and start a new, more rewarding, productive, joyful life.