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.
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:
- 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.