How to Adjust to Life After Divorce – Over 50s

By on February 11, 2022
life after divorce

After divorcing in your fifties, there’s a tidal wave of thoughts and feelings that fill your mind, from real-world questions like, who pays the bills on the outstanding mortgage statement for the house you once shared? Or, how will I survive the next six months living on my own and, what happened to the person I thought I married?  It’s often a hugely stressful period, emotionally and practically but there are some positive steps you can take for life after divorce.

Embrace the grieving process

If you have lost someone already, you will know that grieving is a process, and one that is necessary to get you through the other side. No matter what the circumstances, time is needed to take stock and reflect on the past to help us learn from it and create a better future. The grieving process will typically see you go through denial, anger, bargaining, depression and eventually acceptance. Feelings will usually peak after around six months and slowly, as you move towards acceptance, the intensity of your emotions will quieten. Some people put down how they are feeling in writing to help lighten the burden of the issues on their minds, and talking with a counselor or good friends can also help. 

Tap into your support network 

Following a divorce in your fifties, you can begin to wonder where you fit in. Children have often already left home or are getting to the stage when they don’t need you as much, your job may have changed and you may now feel different to your married friends. Spending time with people who know you well can be really beneficial, those who are able to listen and understand without judgment and provide a new perspective. The end of a marriage can lead to a lack of self-confidence and difficulty making decisions, surrounding yourself with positive friendships will help you navigate through these unfamiliar waters. It’s also a time to consider new friendships. Connecting with other people who are in a similar situation to you can provide a sense of belonging and understanding that will improve your mental well-being. 

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Look after your health 

Don’t forget to keep an eye on your physical health. It can be easy to neglect your body when you are feeling out of sorts after a divorce, but taking care of your health is paramount in your fifties. If you can, try to exercise regularly to help improve your mood and avoid too much sugary comfort food as too much can have a negative effect on both your physical and emotional health.

Assess your new goals and ambitions 

When you are feeling ready and able, setting new life goals and ambitions will prepare you for the next stage of your life. During a marriage, it’s common to put your own personal ambitions and aspirations to one side, to think about other people before yourself, and to ‘wait’ until you reach a period in your life when you have more time for the activities and hobbies you love. That time is now! Starting a new pursuit can feel a little daunting but it can be a gateway to new friendship groups and new levels of satisfaction and enjoyment.

And finally…

When you are over 50, divorcing can seem like the last thing you imagined, after all, none of us go into marriage expecting it to end this way. But as you steer yourself through the stages, remind yourself that everyone takes a different amount of time to come out the other side, and by following your own unique journey, you will be ready to embrace a fulfilling new chapter.

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How to Adjust to Life After Divorce – Over 50s