We all have fears – that is perfectly normal. Fear can be a great motivator. When I was in graduate school, the fear of an impending deadline certainly helped me craft a good paper. And the fear of going up yet another pant size encourages me to say no to a second piece of chocolate.
Yet mostly our fears paralyze us. When it comes to relationships, fear often causes us to make poor choices. Many of my clients heading toward divorce tell me they knew from the beginning of their courtships that they shouldn’t have married their partner. When I inquire as to why they didn’t listen to their gut, fear is generally the answer I receive. “I was afraid of being alone,” “I was scared I’d never get married at all if I didn’t marry him”. These fears cause smart people to ignore signs that are often quite apparent.
I regularly work with couples that really are better off divorcing or breaking up than staying together. They fight better than they get along and they spend a great deal of time feeling miserable about their relationship and in turn, their lives. Yet when I inquire about why they aren’t moving forward with a necessary breakup, more times than not the answer I receive is fear. “I’m afraid I’ll look at this breakup as a failure”, “What if I never meet anyone again?” And a statement I regularly hear, “What if she meets someone before I do!”
Are you in a relationship simply because you are afraid to leave?
If so, maybe it’s time to face your fears and prepare to move forward in your life. Facing your fears builds self-esteem and courage. Ending a relationship that is not in your best interest frees you up to find a new romance that will truly be a better match and cause you great joy. How we handle our fears indicates how we will go forward and live our lives. So stop obsessing about your fears and do start conquering them today.