Start Over at 50 and Create a Life You Love!

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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 50 are increasing. There is a technical term for it: Gray Divorce.

Yup, the gray-haired folks are getting divorced= gray divorce.

Starting Over After The Age Of 50

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 rising.

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 chooses 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 settlement!

Most divorced women experience a considerable drop in quality of living after leaving their spouses. Get a good lawyer, and don’t be shamed into “playing nice.” Your financial settlement will impact your long-term quality of life, 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 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 master’s 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 or who is to blame, 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 susceptible to making unhealthy reactive choices. The pain of divorce can blind us to patterns and thoughts that keep 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 an absolute monster, you have some work to do on yourself. Please trust me on this! You will save yourself so much time and emotional turmoil if you decide to examine your cycles, patterns, and behaviors.

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. It’s a very simple formula! Much like the “garbage in= garbage out” catchphrase we use for anything built on an unhealthy foundation.

For Me, Starting Over After 50 Included Therapy

I saw a therapist for the first time in my early 50s. 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 life on her own. Thankfully, none of those fears have come true, but I had to decide if I would take those risks as I started my life anew.

Like many women, I had gone from my parent’s 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 the 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 desires and dreams. Starting over after 50 means you have a strong sense of what you don’t want in your life. Give yourself the time to discover what excites you, and 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.

You Can Create A Life You Love After Divorce

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 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 an extensive catalog of general “do-it-yourself skills”. While I would never hire myself as a handywoman, I can sand, spackle, paint, sew, pull up carpet, remove wallpaper, install insulation, chop wood, re-purpose, recycle, and re-use almost anything.

This is a 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 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.

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Melane Ann is a writer, blogger, and life coach. In 2020, she turned her experience in midlife divorce and creating a new life for herself into midlifeismagical. With a master's in Marriage and Family Therapy, Melane focuses on helping women over 50 navigate their relationships and commit to healthy aging. She and her new husband share 7 children between them. Melane jokes that she has a black belt in blended families! In addition to her writing, Melane works virtually with her coaching clients from her home office.

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