Divorce and Transitions: Mardi Winder-Adams
When is being alone scarier than being in bad company?
For many women, the dread of solitude or the stigma associated with being single can push them into, or keep them stuck in, unhealthy and unsatisfying relationships. Let’s take a closer look at the fear of being single. And, why it traps us in relationships that are no longer healthy and positive.
1. The Societal Expectation Pressure Cooker:
From a very young age, women are bombarded with messages about the significance of romantic relationships. Be it fairytales where the princess awaits her prince or modern romcoms where the story ends when the girl gets the guy. Societal narratives have long suggested that a woman’s happiness is interwoven with her relationship status.
“It is prioritizing your need for safety, security, and positivity in life.”
Moving from married to single is a step forward – not a stumble backward. It is prioritizing your need for safety, security, and positivity in life. Finding people who support your decision and overcoming limiting beliefs about needing a partner to be “whole” is a freeing experience.
2. The Fear Of Single Parenting:
There’s no denying biology plays a role in parenting through divorce. While joint co-parenting is more common today than in the past, the majority of childcare responsibilities, particularly for younger kids, still falls on the mother. The prospect of being a single mother can also be daunting for many, pushing them to settle for less than ideal partnerships.
Planning how to be a single mom is the first step in the process. Having the resources, support, and financial means considered in the divorce helps to limit this fear.
3. The Fear Of Loneliness:
Humans are social creatures, and we all fear loneliness. Being single doesn’t mean you are lonely, but the two are often seen as the same. Women, in particular, can be stigmatized for being single and thus can feel especially pressured to avoid it, even at the cost of living with toxic behavior from a partner.
Living your life as a single is different than being married, but it is not impossible or challenging if you have a plan. It can be very freeing to be able to do what you want to do rather than having to constantly give in to another person.
4. Financial Management Concerns:
Today, women are not as financially dependent on their spouses as they were a few decades ago. However, many women are unfamiliar with aspects of financial management, particularly if the partner handled these matters in the past. In the case of gray divorces, women may feel overwhelmed with managing their finances and feel additional pressure if they have a more complicated divorce settlement.
“Turning to these professionals removes this fear and provides a clear picture of your financial future.”
There are professionals to assist people with financial management through divorce and beyond. Turning to these professionals removes this fear and provides a clear picture of your financial future.
5. The Devil You Know:
Uncertainty can be scarier than a known negative situation. Leaving a complicated or toxic relationship opens the door to unknowns: Will I find someone better? Will I end up alone forever? For some, the fear of these uncertainties can be paralyzing, and worries about the future make it hard to see how divorce could be a positive choice.
The key to overcoming this fear is to be present in the moment and become comfortable as a single before looking for a new relationship. This is critical if you are leaving a toxic relationship. Working to learn what you desire in a healthy, positive partner will help you avoid getting into a relationship that is identical to the one you just left.
Working with professionals to help you overcome the fears of being single is essential. Once these fears no longer trap you, you can evaluate if staying or leaving the relationship is the best choice for your well-being.
About the Author:
Mardi Winder-Adams is an Executive and Leadership Coach, Certified Divorce Transition Coach, and a Credentialed Distinguished Mediator in Texas. She has experienced her own divorce, moved to a new country and started her own business, and worked through the challenges of being a caregiver and managing the loss of a spouse.
Handling life transitions and pivots is her specialty! In her professional role as a divorce coach, Mardi has helped hundreds of women before, during, and after divorce to reduce the emotional and financial costs of the process. She is the founder of Positive Communication Systems, LLC.