Surviving a Divorce After 60? What to Do When Things Are Not Going Your Way
The New Year brings a lot of promise for women going through or recovering from divorce. Yet for some of us, there are still a lot of challenges and mixed feelings.
It could be that feeling when your head starts to pound and you feel so stressed that you could just scream. Or it could be the never-ending guilt where you second-guess your every move during the divorce. It could also be the loneliness that creeps up on you.
It’s natural to feel like the whole world is against you when you’re navigating the end of a marriage.
So, today, before you launch into a new year with new goals, here are a few things for you to remember when you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
What You Feel Is Temporary
Feelings are temporary. It may not feel like it right now, especially if you are overwhelmed and stressed. But I promise you, there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. It may not be today. It may not be tomorrow. It may not be three months from now. But the nightmare you feel will pass.
So, the next time you feel like you can’t take another day of the drama – stop. Take a breath and tell yourself the same thing that medical professionals tell folks who are going through rehab: “This too shall pass.”
It may sound trite and cliché, but it’s true.
Imagine your life and your future as a giant beach, with millions of grains of sand stretching as far as the eye can see. It’s vast and beautiful.
Now, imagine what you’re going through right now as just one tiny grain of sand – out of trillions of grains that make up that beautiful beach.
Your life and your future after the divorce are that big beautiful beach. Look at that beach, recognizing its beauty and what it can do for you. Then step over that one grain and move on to the amazing things that await you.
How to Let Go of the Divorce Negativity
When you’re feeling awful, stop and identify what is making you feel that way.
You’ll want to dig deep and be specific. Oftentimes, we carry a burden of feeling terrible, allowing it to be this unidentified grey weight that hangs over us. It’s like having an unwelcome house guest that we know is there, but can never seem to find.
Take a look at my example:
Instead of a general and unidentifiable emotion – “I’m really hating this time of year right now” – try being more specific with that uneasiness and dread you have.
Say, “I’m really struggling because my financial situation has changed when I thought I would retire soon. I’m stressed because now I don’t know what my future looks like.”
Now that you’ve identified the exact thing that burdens you, how can you change your outlook? To put in the most productive way possible…
Direct That Emotion and Energy into Something That Heals You
If you need some help, here is an example:
“I’m stressed about the new financial situation now that we’re divorcing, so I am going to direct that energy into educating myself about finances – something I’ve always been nervous about.
“I am going to look for budgeting resources online. And if I feel overwhelmed, I will also reach out to the many free financial resources available. I will also consult a divorce finance specialist if I get stuck.”
It won’t be easy, and it will take practice and persistence. But when nothing seems to be going the way you wanted, or expected it to, you have two choices.
You can either continue to fret and stress and spend your energy lamenting about your current situation, or you can direct that energy and change your course. And when you choose the latter, you’ll be amazed.
So, how about you? Do you feel like things aren’t going the way you want them to at the start of the new year? How will you redirect those emotions and energy into something healthy for you? Please join the conversation below.
Martha Bodyfelt is a divorce coach, whose website “Surviving Your Split” helps readers navigate their divorce with less stress and drama, so they can move on with their lives. For your Free Divorce Warrior Survival Kit, stop by Surviving Your Split or drop Martha a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit her on Facebook.