Surviving Divorce -- and Making Your Life Better Than Ever

Step 2: Acceptance: Facing Your Fear

A List of Truths: The List that Could Change Your Life

When my husband Dan and I separated, I was filled with fear and became overly dramatic. I was sure that my life was over and that my son would suffer from the same emotional problems I had experienced as a child of divorced parents. After weeks of torturing myself, I decided to write down exactly what was going on in my life without all the dramatic side effects. My list looked like this:

  1. I don't have any money of my own to put away.
  2. My husband doesn't want to continue going to therapy.
  3. He doesn't see any reason to get a divorce, even though we aren't living together.
  4. I will have to live inside his budget until I find a job.
  5. I will have to get a job.
  6. Dan will take my son for 16 hours a week.
  7. We will sell our house.
  8. I will rent a home for my son and myself.
  9. I will no longer cook dinner every night for Dan.
  10. We will no longer be a couple.
  11. I will have to pay my own bills.

After looking at the list, all of the internal noise that amounted to a lot of drama about Dan not loving me, or how I failed at yet another relationship, disappeared. In light of the facts of the situation, my exaggerated fear that I'd be living on the street seemed silly. Every upsetting thought I had about Dan taking my son away from me vanished. Inside my mind I had been having hundreds of crazy thoughts that contributed to a belief that my life was ending. Distinguishing between fact and fiction became liberating. The facts demonstrated that my marriage was ending, not my life. And the facts showed that I was going to have to make some changes. Even though I didn't welcome these changes initially, by writing them down I realized I could handle them all.

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