Fear is probably the most common emotion that separated wives experience, at least wives who are still invested in their marriages. It's not hard to understand why. Most of us believe that we are at risk of losing what we care most about - the man we love, potentially the father of our children, and our family unit as we know it. Sure, life can change dramatically when separated, but what happens if we divorce? Many of us worry that we will end up very unhappy and very alone.

Someone might say, "I am trying very hard to keep my cool during my marital separation. I was desperate to avoid it. So I'm on edge right now because I'm living in a reality that I fought so hard against. Still, my husband would not accept anything other than separating. And even worse, the separation isn't going great. I'm afraid that it's completely failing. Instead of it bringing us closer together, I fear that we are drifting even more apart. My husband is not very forthcoming about how he is feeling or what he is doing. I'm very worried that we will divorce. My mother never remarried after a nasty divorce, and she has been angry and bitter for her entire life because of it. She basically hates and distrusts all men, including my husband. And, in her mind, my separation just reinforces her belief that all men are scum. And my mother isn't the only one. I know plenty of co-workers and acquaintances who become bitter and resentful after losing their marriage. I fear this even worse than I fear the end of my marriage. How can I avoid both losing my marriage and that awful fate?"

Never Underestimate The Power Of Awareness: I understand this concern because I most definitely had it myself during my own separation. Thankfully, I did not end up divorced. But I like to think that I would have avoided the bitterness. I eventually became very aware that every time I became angry and frightened during this process, I made things so much worse for myself. In fact, the worst mistakes that I made during my separation (some of which almost cost me my marriage) were all inspired by my fears of loss.

Awareness of fear is so important because knowing when you are most afraid is your tip-off that you need to question your assumptions and watch your behaviors. I would have been better off asking myself why I was always allowing my mind to drift to the worst-case scenario instead of allowing my fear to inspire me to pick fights with my separated husband and make things worse.

Awareness is your secret weapon to guard against this. Use your fear as motivation to carefully plan and question your strategies and behaviors rather than allowing them to drive the ship.

Focus On Improvement and Reconciliation Rather Than On Doomsday Scenarios: When my dad was teaching me to drive, he told me that if I ever got in trouble behind the wheel and had to quickly correct course, I should always begin correcting and then set my sights on where I wanted my car to land. So often, we focus solely on the thing we are trying to avoid, increasing the chances that this is where we will end up. If you want to end up safely on the side of the road, place your focus there, not completely on what you are trying to avoid.

The same is true of your marriage. Don't place your focus on bitterness and resentment. Instead, focus on what you can do right now to increase the chances of improving your situation so that what you dread doesn't come to pass. Focus on what you want, rather than on what you are trying to avoid. In this case, your focus would be on your recovering marriage, not on the bitterness.

Fear Is Natural, But Gradual Is Great: It would be abnormal to be unafraid right now. But be very aware that fear will often bring you closer to what you want to avoid and further away from your goal.

What will bring you closer to your marital goals? Thinking in positive, but gradual terms. Part of the fear comes when you aren't getting relief in a timely manner. In other words, improvement in your marriage and hope for your future is not coming quickly enough. I learned from experience that a delay in progress DOES NOT mean that you will fail or that progress will never come. I DID save my marriage. That story is here.)

Instead, it can mean that you need to embrace a gradual process. What does this look like during a separation? It could mean that yes, things aren't going exactly as you want right now. But that doesn't mean that gradual improvement isn't ahead, especially if you keep a positive attitude and keep your focus on the immediate goal rather than on the dreaded future.

Some days I just had to accept that a text from my husband was the best that I was going to get. On very unfortunate days, I had to just accept not making things worse. On good days, we might have a nice conversation or a positive exchange. My goal became to seize those good opportunities and try to capitalize on them. My husband wasn't always willing. And when I faced setbacks, I just had to re-group and try again later.

But what I could not do was to allow my discouragement to nudge me into negative behaviors that turned the trajectory of the separation downward. (Unfortunately, I sometimes succumbed to my most negative impulses.) I got better at reading my own fear and anger for what it was and pausing before I allowed myself to act. At my best, I could both recognize these negative behaviors and force myself to flip them so I practiced positive behaviors. This allowed me to eventually reconcile with my husband. (You can read the whole story at http://isavedmymarriage.com

The Bottom Line: There is no reason to concede that you will be divorced, bitter, or alone. Your marriage isn't over. You still have time. And even in the worst of cases, you have free will. You can make choices that very much lessen the chances of any of these things happening.

Author's Bio: 

There are links to more articles about saving my marriage at http://isavedmymarriage.com