For many women who are ending a decades-long marriage, life after divorce can seem like a fog. It’s easy to wonder, “Well, what the heck do I do now?”
Divorce after 50 is especially tough on women. For years, divorce was stigmatized and many women were left to feel ashamed by their situation. They felt like it was their fault and that they didn’t deserve a chance to start over.
Many women believe that they are not entitled to Social Security if they are divorced. The truth is you can get Social Security on your ex-spouse’s record, under certain circumstances, even if you have been divorced for many years.
When fighting through a divorce after 50, it’s normal to feel like you are getting dragged through the mud for months – even years – wondering if frustration and stress will ever end. Even after the divorce papers have been signed, hurt feelings may remain.
Divorce after 60 may be painful, but, at least it is no longer a taboo subject. It’s also a challenge that more and more women are facing as our generation ages.
Many women in our community have been forced to deal with a divorce after 60. These women are not alone. According to UK government statistics, divorce rates for women over 60 have increased significantly since 1991. This is despite the fact that overall divorce rates are down during the same period.
There has been a lot of talk lately about the increase in silver divorces among baby boomers. As our children leave the house and we start to look towards the coming decades, more of us are deciding to go it alone.
In recent years, a lot has been written about the fact that divorce rates among people over 50 are rising, while other generations are staying married longer. For example, over the last 20 years, baby boomer divorce rates have increased 50%.
Elizabeth Kubler Ross wrote about the five stages of dealing with death and loss – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.