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Picking Up the Pieces After Divorce

Divorce

Roughly half of marriages in both the UK and the US end in divorce, but, whilst divorce rates are falling or plateauing in other age groups, later-life (or silver) divorce is on the rise.

Most people understand the risks that marriage brings, but no one gets married with the expectation of dealing with divorce. According to AARP, women initiate about 60% of US divorces after age 40,  However, even if you were the person who instigated it, divorce ranks as one of the most stressful situations anyone can go through. Dealing with a divorce and its aftermath is no small matter. It requires patience and stamina. There are no shortcuts.

That doesn’t mean that the process of getting over a divorce will take years. How long it takes is largely up to you. There is life after divorce.

These tips will help you move on to your new life as a single person:

  1. Give yourself time before dating again. How much time you require is an individual decision. But there’s no rush. When you begin dating before you’re ready, not only are you potentially creating additional challenges for yourself, but consider your dates, too! They might be getting more than they bargained for. Take the time you need to heal.

  2. Take the opportunity to make over your life. Now might be the perfect time to join a gym, start a new hobby, or travel. When you’re married, you have to accommodate the needs and wishes of another person. You can give yourself more consideration for a change.

  • What would you like to change about yourself and your life?

  1. Learn from your divorce. What went wrong? What did you learn? What were the good and bad qualities of your partner? What type of person do you believe would be the best match for you? What mistakes did you make along the way?

  • A divorce is painful, but a great learning opportunity. You can have much more confidence in your next relationship if you use what you learn.

  1. Forgive. You can’t truly move on until you’ve forgiven your ex-spouse. This may take time. But you’re never really free until you’re able to forgive.

  2. Get the support you need. This might take the form of a friend or family member. There are also support groups for the newly divorced. Avoid the mistake of attempting to navigate your healing process alone.

  3. Maintain your daily routines. This means to continue to bathe, brush your teeth, and so on each day. Continue to eat healthy meals. Go to bed at your normal time. Keep your normal social outings. It’s easy to fall into a slump and to allow the quality of your life to deteriorate. Some things will change, but many things can stay the same.

  4. Avoid making your situation worse. This isn’t the time to overeat, drink excessively, or start using drugs. A rebound relationship also isn’t advised. Get your feet back on the ground and avoid doing anything that can make your challenging circumstances ever harder.

  5. Get out of the house. Not only can you keep your previous social schedule, you can consider adding to it. Join a yoga class or a golf league. Create something new that you can enjoy with others. You won’t find any solutions while you’re sitting on the couch, staring out the window.

  6. Share your feelings with a divorced friend. It’s important to talk to someone who has had the same experience. Confide in someone that has successfully moved on from divorce.

  7. If you're female, join us in the Association of Retired Single Women Facebook group.  We're a friendly lot - mostly happy to be single and not particularly looking for another relationship (but we haven't completely closed that door to the right person.) Instead, we try to get the most out of our lives - traveling, hobbies, moving to new areas (or new countries!), some of us are still working and some are starting retirement businesses.

Divorce is stressful and unsettling. There are almost 900,000 divorces each year in the United States and over 111,000 in the UK. You’re certainly not alone. Give yourself time to grieve and heal. In time, your life can be even better than it was before. Use this opportunity to reinvent yourself and your life.

Here are the questions from the above post turned into journalling prompts:

 

Bonus: Download the journalling prompts in a downloadable .pdf booklet to print out and keep Click here to get it

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