How Being Positive Can Help Dispel Feelings of Loneliness After a Gray Divorce

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The term "gray divorce" is generally used to refer to people getting divorced in their fifties. Often, you'll find that these are couples who stayed together for the sake of the children. And as soon as the kids were safely off to college, the couple didn't feel the need to stay together anymore. Of course, things may not be as cut and dried as this; there are many other reasons why people get divorced as well. But if the couple has been married since their twenties, then it's likely that they stuck it out for the kids.

Loneliness

Like any other divorce, the thing that's most scary about a gray divorce is the idea of being alone. You get used to having someone around to do normal things with, such as running errands or watching TV. You might have other couple friends that you went to meet together. Even if you didn't spend a lot of time together, there's a certain sense of comfort in having someone else in the house at the same time. So the idea of losing that can be intimidating.

Friends and Kids

It's more than likely that one of the two spouses will also lose their friends because friends always end up having to take sides in a divorce, thus enhancing the feelings of loneliness. Although children don't have to take sides, the fact is that the child will end up feeling more sympathy for the parent that they are closer to.

Dating

When you've been one half of a couple for so many years, your dating skills are quite rusty. You might feel self-conscious about approaching a member of the opposite sex. Women often complain that men their age are looking for younger women. And if the men are fairly successful in their careers, younger women are also open to dating them. So there are some obstacles when it comes to dating again.

Positivity

It's important to keep in mind that you're not going to be alone for the rest of your life. A lot of self-help gurus recommend that you should remind yourself about all the good things in your life; this will give you the motivation you need to keep going. Try online dating or download an app which will allow you to chat and become comfortable with someone before meeting them. And remember that you now have the freedom to try whatever you like. Be adventurous.

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Gray Divorce: Trends To Know; Tips If You're In The Process

Once upon a time, it was " 'til death do us part." Now it's "there's no time like the present" when it comes to divorce, especially for those over 50:

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  • While divorce rates have decreased in most age groups, the rate for those over 50 has doubled since 1990.
  • There are many reasons for gray divorce, among them: facing an unfulfilling relationship over a longer life expectancy, the stress of second marriages and blended families that do not work out and women working longer with independent and higher incomes than in the past.
  • The social and religious stigma attached to older people divorcing no longer seen as an issue.

Here are seven things to know if you're involved in a gray divorce (or thinking about it):

Gray divorce is typically very expensive, because couples together for 20 to 30 years amass greater wealth and property that must be equitably divided, and because they have no minor children home needing financial support. The greater the wealth, the more complicated and costly the court proceedings and attorneys. Both parties in a gray divorce facing living on less income, since retirement savings may be reduced by legal fees and payments to their ex-partner.

Funds in a 401(K), 457, 403(b), IRA or pension accounts must be divided correctly, or both parties face fines and penalties. An attorney who specializes in the documentation needed for this, called a QDRO, can help you avoid expensive legal issues later.

The kids are all right...maybe: Your grown children and their kids may be fine with the divorce, or they may experience their own collective meltdown, with the younger generations taking sides and worrying about what's now left of "their" inheritance. And less money for the divorcing parties means less money to help them with any plans or expenses they incur.

And if you're a member of the "sandwich generation," will you have the means to help your parents post-divorce? Or will they need to assist you? Will all of you have enough money to last the rest of your lives?

Your health and health insurance both become major financial factors later in life. While you cannot prepare for every eventuality, you need to budget for as many "what ifs" as possible as you age, including home health care, long-term insurance and nursing home care.

Doing what you love, not just what you need matters to your quality of life at every stage. Will you have the means to travel, visit family, socialize with friends and pursue your hobbies after the divorce?

Even in the midst of divorce chaos, it's possible to have calm and rational discussions with both your attorneys and a financial planner. Before you go your separate ways in anger, try divorce mediation first, to work out the dollars and sense details. While both parties will give up and compromise during the process, neither will walk away feeling like the biggest loser.

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How Traditional Male-Female Roles Affect Men After a Divorce

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Traditionally, men have been breadwinners while women have taken care of the home. However, nowadays, things are changing within the system. And although it's rare to find a situation in which the man stays home and looks after the kids while the woman goes out to work, it's at least become quite common to see both partners working and having careers while they're also raising children. Still, the fact that men tend to spend more time out of the home affects them when it comes to a divorce.

How Overworking Leads Into a Divorce

First of all, you may often find that overworking is the cause of a divorce. Men feel so much pressure to provide for their partners and children that they push themselves to the point of overworking, thus spending very little time with their families.

The precipitating event which leads into the divorce may be something more dramatic like infidelity but the underlying reason is often that men just don't spend enough time with their spouses, fulfilling their emotional and physical needs. And, as a result, they may feel that their own physical and emotional needs aren't being met either.

Both partners are starved for love and affection by the time a divorce comes around. The situation has become so dire that there's no way to remedy it and a further split becomes necessary.

Feelings of Loneliness After a Divorce

Of course, there's going to be intense feelings of loneliness after a divorce—something which men may not expect because they've lived alone before and they think that they can go back to it in a snap. But the absence of a partner and children, the absence of noise within a home, the absence of family meals no matter how noisy and irritating they seemed earlier is difficult and makes them feel isolated.

The fact is that children usually go with the mother after a divorce; the father only sees them on the weekends. So whereas women might lose the presence of one person in their life, men often lose the presence of more than one.

Practical Adjustments After a Divorce

Men may also have to adjust to a new living situation—possibly a smaller house or apartment than they had before. Additionally, they start realizing that they relied on their spouse to do certain things within the house, such as, possibly, cooking. Often, it's only after a divorce that they realize how much thought goes into the preparation of a meal. So in addition to an emotional upheaval, men also have to adjust to the practical issues surrounding living alone.

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7 Ways to Self-Care Through the Breakup Blues

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The shock and the mere hint of rejection can make you feel like you got hit by a train after a breakup. However, you can make a complete 360-degree recovery with an effective self-care plan. These are seven quick tips that can get you inflated and smiling again in no time:

1. Embrace the Grief Stages

Grief is normal. Everyone who loses something or someone significant goes through it. Accepting this concept and working through the stages naturally will help you survive your breakup.

2. Remember It Isn't Personal

Many people fall into depression because they keep wondering what was wrong with them that made the breakup occur. Very rarely is a breakup one person's fault. Sometimes the reason is that you just weren't a good match. The perfect flame is out there for every bad match, so don't beat yourself up over the loss.

3. Get to Know Yourself

The post-breakup period is a perfect time to spend time with yourself and get to know you. You will learn information about yourself that you never had time to learn when you were engulfed in a relationship.

4. Accomplish Something Great

Have you ever wanted to take music lessons, write a novel, or reinvent the wheel? Now is the time to do that and have fun doing it, too. Go do the one thing that you always dreamed about but never had the time to pursue.

5. Pamper Yourself

Give yourself all the love and care that you feel that you didn't get from the relationship. Eat delicious ice cream. Get a manicure. Take a cruise around the world. This is your time to be loved even if it's only by yourself. Self-love is some of the most spirit-lifting love you can get.

6. Hang With Supportive Friends

You should always make a point to surround yourself with supporters like friends and family members. This is especially important when you're in the depressive stage of grief. Reserve a night of the week for activities like bowling, shopping sprees, or group movies. Try not to discuss the breakup unless you need some more advice.

7. Bless Yourself With Therapy

Schedule an appointment with a therapist so that you can have another person in your life who will support you and steer you in the right direction. The services that you can get from a therapist can be quite comforting and empowering if you choose the right one.

We offer therapeutic services for post-breakup clients. We also provide help with finances, divorces, and family issues. Contact us for a consultation to see if we can be a positive force in your journey of recovery.

I offer a 45 minute complimentary Clarity Session to show you how I can help you. Click here to book your session now!