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Fear of Being Alone Keeping You in a Bad Relationship?

I stayed in my first marriage too long. I was afraid to leave because I had a fear of being alone.

So I stayed, even though I knew it was better for both of us to make that clean break. It took more time than it should have to leave…

“Being alone is scary, but not as scary as feeling alone in a relationship.”― Amelia Earhart

When You Stay in a Relationship That Doesn’t Work

If you are staying in a relationship that doesn’t work…and you’ve tried it all to repair it…you don’t have core values in common…there has been an issue that couldn’t be resolved…then what are you saying to yourself about your own value?

When you are in that kind of relationship, you can actually feel more alone…more disconnected…than you might feel when you are actually alone. When the Fear wins, you lose. Fear of being alone and staying in a broken relationship make it difficult to:

  • Create the future that you want
  • Have a healthy self-esteem
  • Feel what real love is
  • Be happy
  • Be fulfilled
  • Respect yourself

Being in a relationship can be part of our identity…how we identify ourselves, even though it is a role in our life…not who we really are. When the day finally came when I made that decision to end my first marriage, I wasn’t sure who I would be when I was no longer a wife.

That night, after the moving out was done…I remember being in my room in the dark…being afraid of what the next step was…a part of me glad that I was moving forward and another part of me being terrified…and wondering if I could undo that decision.

And yet…if I hadn’t made that decision, the life that I have now wouldn’t have happened. I wouldn’t have met my husband, Shane…or had my son, Will…and so…even though it was a hard decision, it was a right decision…that led to a life so much better than one I could even have imagined.

Afraid of Being Alone Forever?

It might seem like that…and if you choose to be alone forever…then, that is a choice…I know that there were points that night when I thought that I needed to take him back…when I thought “How am I going to raise the kids” and “Oh my God…I am alone”…and I really, really felt the depths of that loneliness.

So ask yourself…what is the worst thing that could possibly happen? Would it be so terrible being alone…even if it is only for a while? I learned a lot about myself while I was alone…for that period of time when I was just by myself…so take advantage of that time…and find out who you are…and repair the relationship that you have with yourself.

Being Alone is an Opportunity to Heal Yourself

If you have a relationship with yourself, you never really are alone…you might not be in an intimate relationship with another person but if you take the time to heal the relationship with yourself, you will never FEEL alone.

And isn’t that what we all want? To feel connected with ourselves…to feel that we are enough…all on our own.

Take the lessons from that relationship that you let go of…now or in the past…and see what you needed to learn…what was it? Was there more than one lesson in that relationship? Take those learnings and use them to create that new future.

Being alone is a beautiful opportunity to take care of yourself. Take the time to heal. Do the internal work. Let go of the negative beliefs. And see yourself happy…in that new life…even if you are alone…and let go of any fear of being alone…because you never really are…are you?

“Drive your own life…you deserve to, don’t you?” Sherie Venner

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I am a Relationship Coach who helps others create happy, healthy, loving relationships…including the relationship they have with themselves…by breaking through those blocks and barriers to success. I use various techniques gathered through training as a Master Practitioner of NLP, timeline, hypnosis and common sense gathered through life experience.

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  • nola September 1, 2013, 1:07 pm

    Hi.im very confused and i cry a lot because of relationship. I used to have a boyfriend during schooarship in different country very very far from my home place. He was trully not good to me and I spent days and months crying because of him but I couldn’t leave. He made me change my behaviour and didn’ want to join what i liked or meet my friends. We broke up many times but came back to each other.now we are already separated for more than one year.but we are still in touch via internet. Im 27 but im afraid to choose life with him because I have to change my religion for him and my family would never accept this and would be very sad. I would have to change country and follow he’s career and live in a village as he planned. I am very afraid I will be always alone if I don’t choose to be with him cause I never had such serious bf before. I moved to study toanother country again but im not happy. And i dont know what to do in life without him or if we loose contact. He has life plan and that would be easy fo me to follow but i dont want to depends only on his wishes. I spend last year almost not seeing my friends and family because I was harfworking and Ididnt feel well alone. I feel so frustrated and dont feel I could be wit somebody else.and i found this website

    • Sherie September 3, 2013, 7:38 pm

      Nola, say yes to taking care of your own life and what you want. Never be with someone who treats you badly or makes you change who you are. Be true to yourself.
      Sherie recently posted..Pop Quiz: Are You Having Enough Fun?My Profile

  • Stephanie Dunn August 17, 2013, 3:32 pm

    I jus left my relationship last night I am terrified that i am making the wrong choice but I am also in a way happier I read an article on addictive relationships and it totally made sense I just wish I had someone to talk to I do feel so alone.

  • Julia July 14, 2013, 9:40 pm

    I am just turning that cornor to find I am finding peace by myself.

  • Marco April 6, 2013, 6:28 pm

    I’m a guy, but I’ve felt rudness of other people and girlfriends. Mostly cause I’ve let them hurt me. I love my parrents but they never thought me how to love and respect myself, to understand that I need to be healthy physicaly and psychically so I can make healthy relationships, not only with women but people in general. I’ve felt more then once that I shouldn’t be and that actually I will never be part of something, of someones life or in general that I don’t ‘belong’. And for that reason, didn’t know how to say NO, or STOP etc. I guess eventually people learn how to take care of themselves, but for those who are still in pain. Shieries article is great and it doesn’t apply only for those being in bad relationships and mariages, it can be helpful for all those who are insecure about growing and learning what makes them the person they are. Explore people, explore, take risks, only that way you can learn, make mistakes and learn from them, that’s how you gain expirience. Don’t get stuck in fear of leaving something that you wish will make you secure, be afraid that you won’t live the life you have the healthiest way you can.

    • Sherie April 7, 2013, 7:44 pm

      Marco, such a lovely, insightful comment…and I especially liked that you pointed out to not get stuck in fear…right on!! Well said!
      Sherie recently posted..Control of Your Life? Is it Really Possible?My Profile

    • Camelia August 7, 2013, 5:30 pm

      Lovely article Sherie, thanks a lot, I really needed it. Nice to read Marco’s comments as well. It is a big difference between being alone and being lonely. They say that ‘you are never lonely if you like the person you are alone with’….It’s all about self love and self esteem…easier said than done though 🙂

  • Lynn January 30, 2013, 3:08 am

    I feel that no person should suffer and live in misery. I have been in a very abusive life threatening relationship and I’m still here. I sleep alone in the bedroom which I’m very happy about because I don’t want to be around my husband. I fear he may lose his temper one day and kill me. He yells over me threatens me daily. I am miserable. I can’t leave my home because it’s my house. I feel he should leave but he won’t. He threatens me if I call or involve the police he will cut me up and so forth. I am in fear of my life. With that being said to all women put there, If you see a red flag in the beginning of your dating, Move on. Do not go forward. I pray everyday for all women who suffer. I really do. May god bless all of you.

    • Sherie January 30, 2013, 9:31 pm

      Lynn, this is a big concern. I would advise you to find your nearest woman’s shelter ASAP for help and advice. You can’t do this alone. If there isn’t one near to you, please get help from your city social services or a local church that you trust. You deserve a better life than the one you have now.
      Sherie recently posted..These 5 Favorite Trust QuotesMy Profile

  • Stacy Stevens October 15, 2012, 8:34 am

    Isn’t it interesting how many would rather be “Happily Miserable” than to be single long enough to find the right one? I am so thankful I stopped staying in bad relationships long enough for me to find the man of my dreams. Sure he’s not perfect, but neither am I. Together though, we are perfect for each other!

    • Sherie October 15, 2012, 9:15 am

      Beautifully said, Stacy!!

  • Sara Nickleberry October 3, 2012, 9:04 am

    It’s so important to respect yourself. I see so many people who don’t and I think that’s why they stay.
    Sara Nickleberry recently posted..LinkedIn’s New Endorsement FeatureMy Profile

    • Sherie October 3, 2012, 9:19 am

      That’s a very true point, Sara!

  • Barbara J Peter October 2, 2012, 8:27 am

    I will have to agree.. Nothing feels so alone as being in a bad relationship. Very inspiring post Sherie ! Thank You!
    Barbara J Peter recently posted..Advice for a Good Marriage: Take Time and Make Time for Each OtherMy Profile

    • Sherie October 2, 2012, 8:48 am

      Barbara, thank you so much, I really appreciate you!

  • Jennifer September 29, 2012, 4:29 pm

    I stayed in a marriage too long too, Sherie, so I can totally relate. I think for awhile it’s almost easier to stay because it’s a habit. Personally, I love being single ~ it doesn’t feel like “alone” to me because my life is rich in so many other ways.
    Jennifer recently posted..Goal Setting: The #1 Reason it’s NOT Working For YouMy Profile

    • Sherie September 29, 2012, 8:55 pm

      There are so many people who stay because it’s a habit, too, as well as being afraid of being alone. Jennifer, you have definitely found balance and having such a rich life…then it wouldn’t feel like you were alone…love it!

  • Suzanne Jones September 27, 2012, 10:42 pm

    Having gone through divorce myself, being alone after being with someone for so long is equivalent to cutting off your arm. We are so used to it being there we have to find a new way to manouvre without it. The payoff however is freedom! Great post again Sherie!
    Suzanne Jones recently posted..Hello world?My Profile

    • Sherie September 28, 2012, 9:02 am

      Thank you for your insights, Suzanne, I really appreciate you!

  • Susan Preston September 27, 2012, 4:35 pm

    Love, love, love this Sherie. This is very powerful when you wrote, “If you have a relationship with yourself, you never really are alone…you might not be in an intimate relationship with another person but if you take the time to heal the relationship with yourself, you will never FEEL alone.” A lot of times people feel that if they are with someone even if their natures are not aligned that they won’t be alone, but you can still be with someone and still feel that way. Thanks for sharing your great wisdom and knowledge.
    Susan Preston recently posted..I Needed A Mindset CoachMy Profile

    • Sherie September 27, 2012, 7:16 pm

      Susan, thank you so much for your lovely, kind words! <3 <3

  • Lisa Frederiksen - BreakingTheCycles.com September 27, 2012, 4:25 pm

    So true about being alone in a relationship when the relationship doesn’t work, anymore. Thanks so much for sharing your story and suggestions to help others with this very important issue.
    Lisa Frederiksen – BreakingTheCycles.com recently posted..Prescription Drugs – What’s the Big Deal?My Profile

    • Sherie September 27, 2012, 7:15 pm

      Lisa, really appreciate the comment, thank you!

  • Edmund Lee September 27, 2012, 3:25 am

    Being alone is a critical time to get to know the core essence of who we are. It can be so difficult at times to do so, but often it is the most important period in our lives because it allows us the time to mature, grow, and learn who we truly are. Thanks so much for sharing these lessons with us all.
    Edmund Lee recently posted..Boost Your Productivity and Enhance Your Results: Getting Organized on Social MediaMy Profile

    • Sherie September 27, 2012, 10:01 am

      Absolutely, Edmund! And thank you for your comment! : D

  • denny hagel September 26, 2012, 7:27 pm

    Reading your excellent article and the comments motivates me all the more to stress to parents how vital it is that we raise our children to find peace, love and joy within…and then when you are the best you can be you will be in a position to be the best partner. Loving and valuing ourselves raises the bar on who we allow into our lives! Great topic!
    denny hagel recently posted..How Well Do Your Children Really Know You?My Profile

    • Sherie September 26, 2012, 7:50 pm

      Denny, you are so right…if our children knew that…right from the start…how many issues would that solve? Thanks so much for your insights!

  • Olga Hermans September 26, 2012, 12:44 pm

    Somebody said the other day that the feeling of being alone is the worst feeling one can have; I believe that.
    Olga Hermans recently posted..How You Can Learn to Love YourselfMy Profile

    • Sherie September 26, 2012, 1:51 pm

      Olga, I agree. It certainly is…we need to feel connected. : D

  • Elise Adams September 26, 2012, 11:20 am

    SO very TRUE! Love this article. It’s terrifying at the moment to make such a big change…yet ‘alone’ is the only place where I could truly hear my heart. And, I believe, that the ability to be alone is essential for a truly happy relationship. Today I have a growing/strengthening marriage HOWEVER I have just as much ‘aloneness’ (in a positive sense) that I learned by being on my own…in other words, my own strength, my own centeredness, my own spiritual connections…that I learned during my ‘without-a-relationship’ season. Truly invaluable! (And great article!)
    Elise Adams recently posted..Twitter for BusinessMy Profile

    • Sherie September 26, 2012, 1:50 pm

      “Without a relationship” season…what a beautiful way to put that, Elise! There is so much to learn at that point in our lives and maintaining space and alone time when we are in relationships, is so important to continue! Thanks so much for your comment. : D

  • Norma Doiron September 26, 2012, 10:06 am

    I can kinda relate as I’ve felt this way in some people’s presence. So together in the same room and so far removed from each other… Great post. x0x
    Norma Doiron recently posted..Top Keys to Fire Up Your Blogging Audience Response, Part 2My Profile

    • Sherie September 26, 2012, 1:51 pm

      Yes, that sense of not being connected…even though others are there. Thanks so much for your insights, Norma!

  • Jamie September 25, 2012, 11:57 pm

    It is a SCARY thing to make that break. I understand why so many decide to stay where they are unhappy because it’s scary on the other side. Can I do it alone? Can I make it?

    I always tell myself that my first marriage wasn’t a mistake, it was meant to happen so I would have a better understanding of myself, and who I was meant to be.

    Although the marriage didn’t last, I’m happy I made that clean break so I could self reflect and really dig deep into who I was.
    Jamie recently posted..The Minnesota State Fair VS The LA County FairMy Profile

    • Sherie September 26, 2012, 9:07 am

      Jamie, LOVE your insights! Yes, what a wonderful way to look at your first marriage…I am glad that you made that clean break, too!

  • Cathy September 25, 2012, 10:03 pm

    I love your post, Sherie. I have been in that situation as well. I believe I had fear that pushed me into relationships too quickly. But I do enjoy my alone time, even though I have a great marriage. It is healthy to be our best company!
    Cathy recently posted..What are the Dangers of Medicine Abuse?My Profile

    • Sherie September 25, 2012, 10:09 pm

      It really is healthy to be our own best company,Cathy! : D

  • Ronae September 25, 2012, 9:11 pm

    You’re so right – it really is much worse to feel alone even when you’re with someone. I have found such liberating healing in becoming completely comfortable “in my own skin”, but it sure did take a process to get here!
    Ronae recently posted..Twitter for BusinessMy Profile

    • Sherie September 25, 2012, 10:09 pm

      I hear you on that, Ronae!

  • Martha Giffen September 25, 2012, 2:16 pm

    Fear can be such a powerful driving force. You have brought up such easy-to-apply insights into not letting fear keep you in an unhealthy space. Nice article!
    Martha Giffen recently posted..Online Marketing Spells CreativityMy Profile

    • Sherie September 25, 2012, 4:43 pm

      Fear is very powerful if you let it be…thanks, Martha, for your comment!

  • Carolyn Hughes September 25, 2012, 10:12 am

    That is so honest of you to admit that you stayed in a marriage for fear of being alone. I’ve also stayed in relationships that I knew weren’t good for me and were going nowhere with the idea that they were better than nothing. Totally agree with you that you need to learn to be alone to heal yourself and accept yourself.
    Great post Sherie!
    Carolyn Hughes recently posted..Believing is Receiving.My Profile

    • Sherie September 25, 2012, 4:44 pm

      Carolyn, I only hope that it will help someone else…: D Being alone and healing are critical! Thanks so much for your kind words, Carolyn!

  • Helena Bowers September 25, 2012, 9:03 am

    The second time I got married it was because I was afraid of being alone, and I stayed way too long because of it. Now I’d gladly choose alone forever, instead of settling for the wrong relationship for the wrong reasons.
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    • Sherie September 25, 2012, 4:45 pm

      I absolutely agree with you, Helena…there is nothing worse than being in the wrong relationship for the wrong reasons!

  • Kimberly September 24, 2012, 7:03 pm

    AGAIN….another well written and truthful article.

    • Sherie September 24, 2012, 7:25 pm

      Kimberly, thank you, my dear! <3

  • Dawn Lanier September 24, 2012, 4:30 pm

    This is a great post Sherie, and one I think many people (especially women) can relate to. I’ve ‘been there, done that’ myself, so I completely understand how scary it can be. But like you said, ‘Being alone is a beautiful opportunity to take care of yourself.’ and ‘if I hadn’t made that decision, the life that I have now wouldn’t have happened’. I found both to be true. You nailed it! Thanks.
    Dawn Lanier recently posted..Eating Your Social Media Frog: Finding ContentMy Profile

    • Sherie September 24, 2012, 5:05 pm

      Dawn, thank you so much for your insights and kind words about the post! You’re right…when you’ve been there and done that, it is so much easier to understand…<3