Divorce After 50: How to Reinvent Yourself in 3 Steps
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?”
You may have defined yourself as part of a unit and, when you are no longer part of that marriage and your kids are grown, it can be difficult to remember who you are. It can be even harder to reinvent yourself as you move on with your life.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Divorce at this stage in your life has given you the gift of being able to reinvent yourself and define life on your own terms. It is a journey that will be fun and rewarding, as long as you remember to follow the following tips.
Don’t Think of Yourself as Just a “Divorcee”
For decades, you probably defined yourself as a wife, partner, and mother. The roles you played in the household most likely centered on caring for your family. But, that identity can start to feel in crisis once the children are grown. This is especially true when you are no longer with your husband.
Many women think, “Well – who am I now?” because culturally, we were never really encouraged to think outside the care-giver box.
You have been given the incredible gift of redefining yourself. What do you identify with? Do you think of yourself as a no-BS, independent woman? Are you are dreamer, thinker or doer? Or, do you fall into the trap of just seeing yourself as the “divorced older woman”?
Remember – being single in your 50s, 60s or 70s means that you call the shots. You get the freedom to do what you want, when you want. You can treat yourself like the queen you are.
So, start thinking of your self-identification beyond your divorce. After all, this is just one small slice of who you actually are and all the amazing things that you are actually doing.
Have a Plan
Divorce after a decades-long marriage can leave many women confused with how to plan for themselves.
Being married for decades probably meant that the plans you and your partner had were combined. Once the divorce happens, it can be very difficult for women to find their own voice. But, your life doesn’t stop just because your marriage ended. It just means that you now have the freedom to do things on your own terms.
Ironically, this sort of freedom can seem overwhelming at first. The good news is that, with a plan, you can take control back. A great way for creating a reinvention plan for yourself is to answer the following questions:
- Want do you want for yourself?
- What steps will you take to get what you want?
- Who can help you along the way?
Sometimes it can be difficult to identify the steps to get what you want as you continue to reinvent yourself after divorce. Many women worry about whether they will still be able to afford to do the things they love, now that their financial situations are changing. In most cases, once the dust settles, you will have more financial freedom than you think.
There are many excellent resources and professionals with expertise in helping divorced women in their 50s, 60s and 70s to manage their finances. These resources can help you not just to survive, but, ultimately, to thrive!
The key is recognizing that you deserve to be happy and that, with some planning, there is no reason you cannot achieve financial success by yourself.
Don’t View Your Divorce as a Failure
Many women who were married for decades carry an emotional burden after their divorce. They wrongly think that, because their marriage ended, they failed at something. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
If you are over 50 and want to reinvent yourself, you need to start thinking of the end of your marriage not as some tragedy, but instead as the gift that it really is. When you view your divorce as an opportunity to live life on your own terms, you will start to thrive. This is your chance to be happy again. It is an opportunity to write a new chapter in your life. It is your path to building the best possible future for yourself.
Nobody can change the past. However, a past that includes a divorce shouldn’t stop you from building and celebrating your future.
In fact, reinventing yourself beyond the label of “divorcee,” learning to plan for the things you now have the freedom to do and viewing your divorce as a learning experience are the keys to your future. They let you define life on your own terms. And, that’s what reinvention is all about.
What challenges did you face when going through a divorce after 50? What have you achieved since your divorce? How do you see the coming decades? Are you excited about your future? Please join the conversation.