If you are starting over at 50, you are headed for the biggest adventure of your life! Even if you are struggling with fear and doubt, never forget you have what it takes to create a life you love!
Starting Over At 50 After A Divorce? You Can Do It!
Starting over at 50 can seem impossible. Especially if you are starting over at 50 after a divorce.
Friend, you are not alone. For the first time in record-keeping history, divorces after the age of 50 are increasing. There is a technical term for it: Gray Divorce.
Yup, the gray-haired folks are getting divorced= gray divorce.
Women Over 50 Are Deciding To Divorce More Than Men
It’s very telling that more women are initiating divorce after the age of 50. Reflecting cultural changes around commitment (see ya’ until death do us part!) and women’s empowerment, divorce after 50 is on the rise.
Divorce After 50 Has Unique Challenges
When you find yourself starting over after the age of 50, spend some time focusing on the ideas below to help you navigate the choppy waters. As painful as divorce is, it doesn’t matter who choose to end the marriage. No matter how it happened, you are going through a sizable life change and will need to make careful decisions.
Financial Security Is Key When You Are Starting Over After 50
Finances are first in line! Because if you can’t take care of yourself financially, it is more likely you will live in a constant state of anxiety and distress. If you are beginning the divorce process, now is not the time to be ladylike with your divorce settlement!
Most divorced women experience a considerable drop in quality of living after leaving their spouse. Get a good lawyer and don’t be shamed into “playing nice”. Your long-term quality of life will be impacted by your financial settlement, take it seriously.
You Need A Strategy To Create Income
Divorcing over the age of 50 often results in homemakers entering a workforce that left them behind long ago. Invest in yourself and go back to school. Find some type of credentials or degree that will allow you to work as you age. You might be making up for lost time, so choose something that will bring you satisfaction and a suitable income.
I Went Back To School To Help Me Start Over After A Divorce
After my divorce, I went to grad school to earn my masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. Long before I was divorced, I had wanted to go back to grad school, but my former spouse did not support my dream.
Once I was on my own, I knew that I wanted this for myself. And so I choose to invest in myself and my future. Every penny of tuition was worth it, I have no regrets about my choice to get more education. Having the opportunity to build my own business has been thrilling and challenging!
Commit To Self-Growth When You Are Starting Over After Divorce
No matter how the divorce went down, you are going to need some time to grieve the ending of your marriage. Being divorced after the age of 50 means that you have some personal exploring to do. We all have behaviors, thought cycles and emotional patterns that do not instantly disappear after a major life change.
Frankly, right after a divorce, we are all susceptible to making unhealthy reactive choices. The pain of divorce can blind us to patterns and thoughts that are keeping us stuck. It is very common to repeat cycles of behavior because things feel familiar and safe.
Don’t Find A New Partner With The Same Problems
Unfortunately many women will replace a former spouse with a new face, but the same kind of man. Our brain is biased and we look for partners to keep us in the same familiar cycles and patterns.
Take Some Time and Start Over The Right Way
You didn’t divorce because you were looking to burn down your life! You divorced because you couldn’t stay in the life you were living. Even if your former spouse was a real monster, you have some work to do on yourself.
Take the time to understand why you made choices that contributed to your marriage ending. This is not victim blaming or victim shaming, it is personal empowerment.
If we know how our past behavior helped create a bad relationship, then we can avoid another bad relationship.
For Me, Starting Over After 50 Included Therapy
I saw a therapist for the first time in my early 50’s. Knowing I was headed for a big change, I spent time talking with someone about my fears after divorce. These are the top three fears that I wrestled with during my divorce process:
1. I would never be loved again.
2. I would die alone.
3. I would have to eat out of a dumpster.
Yup, those were my very real fears.
Starting Over After Divorce Means We Have to Tell The Truth
Looking back now, I see the scared woman that was trying to navigate a life on her own. Thankfully, none of those fears have come true, but I had to decide if I was willing to take those risks as I started my life anew.
Like many women, I had gone from my parents’ house to my marriage, bypassing those critical years to develop a sense of self-reliance. Working with a therapist helped me discover hidden fears that would have kept me stuck in cycles of dysfunction.
When You Are Starting Over, Allow Yourself To Dream Again
Going through a divorce after the age of 50 can make you feel like a failure. Our culture highly values long term marriages. Strangely, our focus is on the number of married years, not the quality of relationship in the marriage. If you were unhappy in your former marriage, now is the time to create a life you love.
There is something so powerful about focusing on your own desires and dreams. Starting over after 50 means that you have a strong sense of what you don’t want in your life. Give yourself the time to discover what excites you, look for the ideas that create energy inside your body.
Hiking, cryptocurrency, French cooking, yoga….who cares? All that matters is that you are choosing something that excites your mind and brings joy to your soul.
I Followed My Dreams When I Started Over
I have always wanted to use my writing abilities to help people find answers and make better decisions. Combing my master’s in therapy and my blog has given me the ideal career. I love sharing my research and education to help support others as they search for help with relationships.
Working with my coaching clients has been a dream of mine for many years. As I tell my clients: I hold up the mirror for you to see the parts you want to change. Supporting them as they navigate the choppy waters of self-growth is so rewarding! There is nothing more fun to me than helping someone build internal strength and self-confidence.
It took a divorce and starting over after the age of 50 for me to have the confidence and freedom to create a life I love. You are never too old and it is never too late to start over!
Even If You Are Starting Over, You Can Remember The Good Things From The Past
When going through a divorce after 50, there is a tendency to focus on the bad things that happened. And yes, the bad things really did happen and they were painful! But to move forward, we need to remember that some good things came out of that marriage.
Maybe you share children with your ex-spouse, that is a gift from the marriage! Possibly you helped each other make it through college and into solid careers, that was a good thing. Hell, I learned a ton of DIY skills from my former spouse! I consider that a bonus from my former life.
The Good Things That Have Helped Me Create A Life I Love
After nearly three decades of home ownership with my former spouse, I have a large catalog of general “do it yourself skills”. While I would never hire myself out as a handywoman, I can sand, spackle, paint, saw, pull up carpet, remove wallpaper, install insulation, chop wood, re-purpose, recycle and re-use almost anything.
This is huge benefit as I can talk with a fair amount of understanding and knowledge with home contractors. I consider some of the helpful things that I learned in that my first marriage.
Starting Over At 50 Means You Have So Much Wisdom
Every relationship has lessons for us. Some of the lessons are wonderful and life-affirming. Other lessons are difficult and teach us the hard things we don’t want to know. But when we choose to frame our previous marriage as a series of lessons, we empower ourselves.
We are not the same woman that entered that former marriage. And thank God for that! We have grown and stumbled and wept. And ultimately, we found the courage we needed to start over again.
Don’t be afraid to start over. This time you are not starting from scratch, you are starting from experience.
When we frame our past lives as a failure or a waste of time, we sabotage our own story.
Starting Over After A Divorce Has Given Me Wisdom And Empathy For Others
As a result of starting my life over after a divorce, I have wisdom to offer other women. When we share our stories, we create a system of support for others as they look for hope in dark places. My wish is that my life lessons will be a light for those that are searching for guidance as they create a life they love.
There is no exhaustive guide to starting over after a divorce at 50. The most important things to manage in the beginning are your finances and your emotions. Finding a community of support is critical to help you navigate the big changes that come with starting over after the age of 50.
Remember to spend time dreaming and setting goals for yourself. You are not starting over from scratch; you are starting over from experience! Every “failure” we experience in life is an asset. We can always learn from our past difficulties, using that knowledge to create a life we love.