What are you thinking about this holiday season?
For many of us, the holidays can feel dark, lonely and stressful – especially if we are over 50 and going through divorce. Instead of looking forward to the beautiful decorations, smell of baking pies and holiday songs on the radio, we may feel triggered by sadness.
The end of a marriage, or any other relationship, when we are in our 50s forces us to deal with a whole slew of issues we were not expecting at this time in our lives. These include learning how to be single, possibly living on a reduced income and learning how to redefine ourselves.
If you divorced in your 50s or 60s, you’re familiar with that feeling. Some of us know it all too well, both during divorce and afterwards.
Let’s talk about one of the most common obstacles that stop us from moving on after divorce, especially after a long-term marriage.
Divorce has been declining in America – except for older Americans where it has been increasing. The number of people over the age of 50 who divorce nearly doubled between 1990 and 2010, according to a recent study. Researchers have dubbed divorce for those over the age of 55 as the “gray divorce,” and have started to note its many financial consequences.
During and after a divorce, it can be very difficult to maintain your connections and community.
When you are recovering from divorce after a long-term marriage, loneliness is definitely an obstacle that keeps you from moving on. We get stuck in this mindset because it makes us feel like we have nobody in the world.
When you go through a divorce, it is quite possible that you will experience a crisis of confidence. I did. I wondered how I was going to deal with it all: the emotions, the financial realities, the effect that the divorce would have on my children. Was I up to it? Would I be able to do it?
After divorce, are you making this happiness mistake? Let me explain.
A while ago, I was laid off from a 9-5 job and I started to panic. As I started to assemble a resume and apply for new jobs, a voice in the back of my head kept chiming in: “I will be happy again once I am in a new job. Once I get that first pay check, I know I’ll smile and feel better about everything.”