So, in an ideal world, everyone would find their Prince Charming or Sleeping Beauty and live happily ever after, right? But, in the real world life happens; people make mistakes, they change with time and the strains and stressors of everyday life causes some marriages to fail. South Africa has a divorce rate of 61.2%. You are not alone!
When you got married you were so sure that it would be “till death do us part”, but here you are, over forty and you’re “happily ever after” have come to an abrupt end. Yes, the man you thought you’d spend the rest of your life with; the father of your children, walked out the door, and with that all of your hopes and dreams for a life you thought you’d have. So, how do you survive the mid-life divorce?
Without question, coping with divorce can be one of the most difficult challenges a person can face. Mental Health experts say the pain it causes rivals grieving the death of a loved one. The only difference is that the person your grieving for, is still very much alive!
The reality of a divorce is that there are significant losses experienced by everyone involved: the presumed happy future, financial security, affection and love … all of this ripped out from under you.
For Divorced women, especially those of “a certain age”, some of the possibilities younger women take for granted dry up. They often have to deal with a lot of discrimination when it comes to jobs, especially if they’ve been home taking care of the kids whilst their careers played second fiddle. And what about dating? It can be brutal “out there” in post-divorce dating land! Yes, it’s definitely a lot harder for a woman over 40 to lose her dream of a family.
Here are a few strategies to help you through this trying time:
- Allow yourself time to grieve. It’s natural to mourn the life and lifestyle you’ve lost. Let it go bit by bit.
- Keep a journal. Writing about your emotional struggles may reduce some pain. Keep track of your healing, inspire yourself. “Look where I was, and where I am now.”
- Lean on friends and family. Spend time with people who support, value and energize you. It’s important that you feel free to be honest about what you’re going through without being worried about being judged or criticized.
- Get professional help if you need it. If reaching out to others doesn’t come naturally, consider seeing a therapist or join a support group.
- Cultivate new friends. If you feel like you have lost your social network along with your divorce, make an effort to meet new people. Join a special interest class or get involved in volunteering.
- Redefine yourself. Recognise that you have the freedom to explore yourself and what makes you happy, perhaps for the first time in years. Learn to enjoy being you!
- Minimize the impact of divorce on your kids by keeping things as amicable as possible while you attempt to navigate this thing called co-parenting.
- Get smart with finances fast. Unless you’re wealthy or a movie star, you’re economic level will decrease as a result of divorce. Accept this reduction and when the time is right you could increase your earnings through your own means.
- Dare to be alone. What’s the rush? Don’t be afraid of not being married. Rushing into a new relationship will only mask the pain.
- Try not to make any major decisions in the first few months after a divorce. Wait until you feel less emotional so that you can make better decisions.
- Treasure you’re magnificence! This may sound cheesy; but list all of your great qualities and read that list every day until you believe it. A beautiful smile, kindness, generosity, intelligence … keep going, your list is endless!
Divorce is an emotional roller coaster that no one should ride alone. And remember, there’s no shame in seeking professional help to rebuild your life.
Source: www.huffingtonpost.com, www.newinki.com, www.webmd.com, www.moneycrashers.com, www.divorce360.com, heshistory.com, www.psychologytoday.com, www.divorcedgirlsmiling.com, www.helpguide.org, www.lifescript.com