Light at the End of the Tunnel: Surviving Divorce
Divorce is hard. Divorce is staring down the barrel of all the years the two of you spent together, and feeling the weight of your decisions. Divorce is loneliness and fear. Divorce is cataloging your entire life and deciding what you get to take with you. Divorce is so much more than just the emotional toll it takes on you. If you have children, they will crave answers to why their lives are shifting. Custody will have to be decided. The custody of pets must also be determined. From there you have to add up all the financial and physical wealth you’ve gained as a team and divide it to both parties satisfaction.
It doesn’t matter which side of the divorce you’re on, whether you asked for it or not, there is an uncertainty there. Having to start everything over again will give you pause, if only for a moment. A lot of things happen during a divorce, and it can be easy to get swept up in it. There is usually anger from at least one party. If the anger is yours, don’t give in to it. Divorce doesn’t have to be a brutal fight, a desperate need to wrestle every ounce you can from the other party. In the end, none of that stuff will matter. Fighting with each other over Tupperware, Aunt Helen’s tea cozies, and a pizza cutter won’t truly make either of you feel better. “Winning” one of these items might feel good in the moment, but dragging out proceedings over every object will leave you both hurting more.
Even though you are divorcing, remember, not all the times were bad. This person is someone you once loved. You planned a future with. You have inside jokes and funny stories. The relationship didn’t work, and that’s ok, but don’t lose sight of all you gained from the marriage. Don’t burn the bridge more than you have to. If you have kids, this is a bridge you will have to walk on often. Burning it makes you just as likely to get hurt. If you have kids, they are watching how you treat their other parent. It’s setting a baseline for every break up they have.
No matter how long the divorce seems, no matter how hard it is to get through the changes and the loss, all of it will come to an end. You will walk out the other side. When you do, there is an internal push for change. Cutting your hair, buying all new furniture, a need to pull all of the pieces together immediately. Be wary of that inner voice. It’s all too easy to overspend and end up in very troubled waters. This time all on your own. Make the changes, pull things together, but do it mindfully and responsibly.
Divorce is a fresh start. Divorce is a way to reinvent yourself. Divorce is the beginning of the next phase of your life. Divorce is pushing yourself on to better things. Divorce can be scary, but it’s usually for the best.
When you’re getting divorced, the emotional aspect of it is probably on your mind more than the financial. You’re just trying to get used to the idea of being single again. So you may not pay too much attention to the way in which the finances are arranged. However, if you don’t pay attention to this aspect now, you’re sure to regret it later.
Expenses Increase After a Divorce
Let’s face it: two people living alone are going to spend more money than two people living together. When you only have one rent/mortgage to pay and when you’re buying groceries in bulk, you’re going to save money. So it’s important to make sure that you’re not putting yourself at a disadvantage, financially speaking.
Alimony and Child Support
Most women have to decide whether to apply for alimony and child support. Don’t let your pride prevent you from doing this because you’ll regret it later. You may already have a job but if your spouse was the main breadwinner, your job may not pay you as well as you need to support yourself and your kids. You’re not out to fleece your ex, only to get what’s needed for you and your kids to maintain a decent standard of living.
Splitting the Assets
Make sure that you know the value of any assets the two of you might own, like a house or a vacation home. You might end up selling these assets and splitting the proceeds. Or one of you might take one while the other will take the other. But if you opt not to sell, then don’t settle for the asset with a lower market value. Make sure you get your half of the assets, whether you choose to liquidate them or not.
Working It Out Amicably
The best thing to do is to work things out amicably with your ex-spouse, with both lawyers present, or a mediator, if that’s what you’ve opted to do. You don’t want things to get to the point where you’re fighting it out in court.
How Being Positive Can Help Dispel Feelings of Loneliness After a Gray Divorce
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.
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.
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.
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.