Earlier this week, we began a discussion about how divorcing in midlife is different than getting divorced when you are young. Because midlife divorce is unique, it comes with its own unique rules and its own pitfalls. These include being especially careful about how you use social media and making sure to keep your adult children out of the fray as much as possible.
If you’re getting a divorce in your 40s or later, you probably have a well-established support system of family and friends. Feel free to rely on them for comfort and support, but also remember that they have their limits. If you need more attention and support than your loved ones can give (and many divorcees do), it may be a good idea to begin seeing a therapist or counselor.
Divorce is a time of change, which means that you will likely notice changes in yourself as well as changes in your relationships with others. If you have already embraced this change and started “living life to the fullest,” don’t be surprised if your friends and family are not on board right away. Adjustment takes time.
Finally, do not be surprised if your divorce causes you to lose some friendships or family ties. Some people may sever ties with you out of loyalty to your ex-spouse. Others may not want to talk about your divorce because they have their own fears about the strength of their marriage. Still others will simply stay away because they don’t know how to discuss uncomfortable subjects.
There is good news, however. While you may lose some relationships, the ones you keep may be even stronger in the end.
Divorce in midlife has advantages as well as challenges. If you can anticipate the struggles and learn how to cope, however, your divorce can truly be a chance for a new beginning.
Source: The Huffington Post, “5 Ways to Behave Like a Grown-Up Through Your Midlife Divorce,” Abby Rodman, Sept. 21, 2014