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Fear of Being Alone Stalls Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

If you feel as if you are in a bad marriage and cannot seem to escape, you are not the only one. According to a new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and as reported by the Huffington Post, "the fear of being single may drive adults to stay in bad relationships or settle for less-than-desirable partners, all because they’d rather have someone than no one." The fear of being alone trumps the need for divorce for these people, and is more a factor in their reluctance to pull the trigger on divorce than morality or societal pressure.

Researchers that contributed to the study first had to determine that fear of loneliness was a commonly shared attribute. "Of the 153 participants in one study, 40 percent said they feared not having a long term companion," reports the Huffington Post. Significantly fewer respondents broke down this fear of being alone into more specific fears—just less than 20 percent reported a fear of spinsterhood, for example. Those who fear being alone, the researchers concluded, very often "prioritize relationship status above relationship quality, settling for less responsive and less attractive partners and remaining in relationships that are less satisfying," according to the Huffington Post.

While it may seem a wise decision to avoid divorce if you are afraid of being alone, according to Psychology Today, staying in a bad marriage can be just as psychologically damaging. "Divorce, although tumultuous and potentially scarring, at least provides the possibility of better days," reports Psychology Today. Addressing your fears of being alone is the first step toward reconciling the marriage. Once you’ve addressed these fears, you can decide whether it’s worth it to you to work on the marriage or begin divorce proceedings. "If we can work through the fears around separation," reports Psychology Today, "then we are electing to stay in the marriage not from fear but from choice."

If you or someone you know is considering divorce, don’t go through it alone. Contact an experienced Chicago-area divorce attorney today.

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