Words such as “failure” or “waste” may be cropping up in your mind over and over.
Thinking like this is not only pointless, it’s harmful for your mental health!
If you find yourself consumed by bitter thoughts – or grief, if you were the one left – you must recognize that it is happening.
These negative thoughts won’t just disappear, but over time they can be alleviated.
However, while divorce rates in general have stabilized, the number of us aged over 50 getting a divorce (dubbed “gray divorce”) has almost doubled since the 1990s.
There are numerous reasons behind this upswing in people deciding to call it a day long before “till death do us part”.
It’s easy to end up suppressing certain elements of oneself when in a long-term relationship, even subconsciously. Now you are once more a unit of one, an “I”, and that will take some getting used to! In a list, write out all the things you’d have liked to do whilst married, but couldn’t, or wouldn’t.
Next to that, list all the things you will never, ever do again, now that you’re single after all these years.Looking at these lists side by side will give you a clearer picture of who you are now and where you might be going. Fact – your physical health is the basis for everything else, so don’t ignore it.And as we get older, we can no longer take our health for granted.Some people find putting everything they’re feeling and experiencing into writing can be helpful.For others, just talking it through with close friends is enough. An experienced therapist can give you coping tactics and help find a path ahead if you’re deeply hurt and unable to move forwards with your life.Perhaps they feel compelled to be mediators, or a shoulder to cry on. If you are the one who initiated the divorce, you may feel guilty for your children, and be tempted to assuage that guilt by justifying your decision to them at length. Don’t burden them with your own emotions, or ask them to take sides. Give them the time they need to come to terms with the divorce. Many initiators of late-life divorce are taken aback by the sudden animosity of their former in-laws, or other extended family.