No matter what age, going through a divorce is an emotionally draining time. But baby boomers face additional challenges when divorcing and beginning their pre-marriage lives. Called “gray divorces,” these divorces that occur at or after age 50 aren’t uncommon – but that doesn’t mean that they’re easy, either. Facing a divorce as a baby boomer mom?
The tips below can help you get through divorce as a baby boomer Mom:
Understand Your Adult Children Will Still Be Affected
Just because your children are adults doesn’t mean that they won’t be affected by the divorce. Adults will also deal with conflicted feelings when their parents get divorced. These can be complicated if your kids are entering the workforce or heading to college as their home life dramatically changes.
Be patient and honest with your children, but don’t share every detail of your divorce, either. And instead of venting to your kids, talk to friends or a therapist, instead. With time, your children will adjust but don’t lean on them for emotional support during or right after the divorce.
Grief is a necessary part of any divorce. A major chapter of your life has come to an end, so you will absolutely feel some sadness about it. However, it’s important that you grieve and then allow yourself to move on. If you find that you cannot overcome your feelings of sadness, or they’re significantly altering your life, then seek out a therapist for help.
Look at the Good That Came From Your Marriage
When you’re in the midst of a divorce, it’s easy to fall into the habit of seeing your marriage as a failure – but that isn’t the case. Instead, look at the good that came from your marriage. After all, your marriage gave you your children, treasured memories, and experiences that you’ll never forget.
Your divorce doesn’t mark a failure. Rather, it marks the end of a chapter in your life – and the beginning of a new one.
Straighten Out Your Finances
Divorce as a baby boomer can make for a complicated financial situation. As you’re in or nearing retirement, it’s particularly important to make sure that you have a handle on your financial situation. Divorce will result in a different income, different bills, and probably a different living situation. Make a budget of your “new life” expenses and make sure that you can cover them.
It’s also important to understand the impact that divorce can have on your retirement savings, pension, and even health insurance. If you aren’t eligible for social security based on your work history, you may still be eligible based on your spouse’s work history as long as you meet a set of conditions.
Have worries or questions about your financial situation? Consult with a financial advisor, who can give you valuable advice and insight on how to best handle your finances.
Focus on You
Many baby boomer moms put their passions on the back burner when caring for a family. Whether time, finances, or emotional energy prevented you from exploring your personal interests, now is the time to let yourself have a little fun. Get involved in new groups, meet new people, and try out that hobby that you’ve been wanting to pursue for years.
Look to the Future
Divorce later in life doesn’t have to be a negative event. Yes, your marriage is over, but you are now free to meet new people, take up new hobbies, and have new experiences. There’s an active dating scene among baby boomers, so if and when you’re ready to meet someone else, there are plenty of options including online dating.
Remember, you can survive divorce, move on, and thrive. You’re not the only baby boomer mom going through this, and with time, you’ll see the many benefits that your post-divorce life offers.