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One would think that divorce among couples who are both over the age of 50, and have spent many years together, would not be as common as it is for younger couples. Unfortunately, statistics say otherwise. Click here to read the article, “Divorce Over 50: A Gray Area.”
This article comes from the Fall 2018 issue of VUE, which you can read here.
“The past has been written, but you can write a better future”™
Many people get married thinking it will last a lifetime, however in some cases DIVORCE, dissolution of marriage happens. According to PEW Research, about 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher. FACT: there’s a 50/50 chance of a marriage ending in divorce. This number increases for each marriage. For example, 41% of first-time marriages end in divorce while 60% of second marriages end in divorce. Third marriages have a 73% chance of ending in divorce.
On your wedding day, divorce was not on your mind. In fact, it never crossed your mind. However, 50% of all first marriages end in divorce, 60% of second marriages, and 73% of third marriages.
So now you find yourself here, dealing with divorce, whether you are deciding to get divorced (stressful), going through divorce (the big, black hole) or completing the process, how can you re-discover YOU?
Think about those activities, hobbies and/or passions that lit you up before the chaos of divorce set in.
Here is what I did and still do to re-center myself: Get an inflatable pillow, sea salts, a glass of wine, smooth jazz, scented candles, and close the bathroom door and enjoy my own thoughts, let my mind wander to those places of just me…
What lights you up?
- The great outdoors and hiking
- A few hours of smelling the ocean air and feeling that breeze
- Yoga on the beach
- Reading a good book of your choice
- A day on the golf course
- A sporting event
- An evening concert in a stadium under the stars
- Bowling with friends and just being young again
The choices are limitless and have no boundaries, but you need to get into your “bathtub” and “dream.” And after that dream, put that dream into motion. These little personal acts of kindness to yourself, and for yourself, don’t completely take the stress and anxiety of divorce away, but they are a reminder that there is and will be a better life ahead.
Most people leave marriages, not because they don’t believe in the institution of marriage. Studies show they don’t go for the proper help to learn where they might have done better. Is the desire to improve and not make the same mistakes again crucial?
So, this is me: first marriage all in: 23 years.
Second Marriage, 17 years, still amazingly strong, in fact, better than ever.
Not because we are, “oh, so in love every minute of every day”, but because we put our relationship; two individuals, a unit, a loving partnership, as #1.
We start by keeping it fresh and have a date night every week, our special time together. We put on our “date night clothes”. Being a wife takes on one roll, but remaining a girlfriend takes on quite another.
As women, we wear many hats for many folks that we forget the uniqueness of who we are in this relationship: as an individual; as a girlfriend; as a lover; as a partner and as a best friend. Don’t forget that you, as a couple, are the ones left together after the children leave and careers wind down.
Remain a lady, feel sexy, put on the good perfume, feel alive as a woman!
Life’s lessons come in all shapes and sizes. As we go through them, we don’t understand the “why” quite yet. I am thinking about a particular life lesson that you may already know: “Appreciate the little things in life and enjoy them.”
After an extremely difficult first marriage, I remarried and obtained “sheer bliss.” However, my husband’s business got hit hard due to 9/11, then the real estate crash of August 2007 hit my mortgage industry job. No more vacations, theater, concerts, dining out, gym membership, personal trainer. etc.
After I stopped feeling sorry for myself, I put on my thinking cap and re-arranged our entire budget. I made many changes to make me feel whole and stable again. I watched for sales at the grocery store, and started cooking; not basic cooking but real cooking. We invited friends over for dinners and had small house parties. For the holidays with our children and family, I suggested re-gifting. How easy is it to purchase something somebody wants, but ooooh, to take a possession that is near and dear to you and give it to someone you love. That ended up becoming more loving and so powerful for each giver; those feelings inside, money could never buy.
It took about 4 years to feel financially whole again. The changes we made during the hard times have taught me powerful lessons and have stayed with me. As an example, we do much more home entertaining, cooking and opening up our home to all. It is personal, intimate and has a warmth that no restaurant can duplicate.
I have learned that life throws everyone punches and we don’t know why at the time. Life’s lessons, that I still carry through to this day, never would have happened without our own “financial crisis.”
“Appreciate the little things in life and enjoy them”.