We are seeing that more and more couples who have been married for many years are choosing to get divorced. The reasons can vary, just as they can with any sort of divorce. However, those who have been together for a long time will often have more difficulty adjusting to life after the divorce. In the post, we will be looking at some of the things that you can do to make it easier to get on with life if you have to get a divorce after a long marriage.
The term often applied to this is “gray divorce” and typically refers to those who are over 50 who decide to get a divorce. However, long-term doesn’t always just refer to older couples. Someone who marries at 18 and divorces at 35 was still in a 17-year marriage. That’s long-term by most standards.
What Factors Account for Divorce After a Long Marriage?
You will find that the same reasons people get divorced who have only been with one another for a few years apply here, too. It’s all the same sorts of issues and behaviors.
It might be over issues like money, infidelity, or simply growing apart. If you no longer have things in common with your partner, even being married can lead to a lonely existence.
The marriage might’ve been over years earlier, but people could have stayed together for their children. Keep in mind that this is not a good idea, but it is something that people do, thinking that it will be easier on the kids.
Your Adult Kids Can Still Struggle with the Idea
One of the important things to remember with these types of divorces is that they can still hit your kids hard. It doesn’t matter how old they are. Even adults who are in their 40s will find it hard to believe their parents are choosing to get a divorce.
Regardless of how old your kids are, make sure that you let them know about the divorce as soon as possible. They will have questions, just like small kids would have. You can answer them as you see fit. just because they may be adults now doesn’t mean that they have the right to understand everything that’s going on with your divorce.
Letting them know is fine, but your kids should never be an outlet for you to complain about your spouse and the divorce. Even though they are older, don’t try to get them to take sides. Chances are they have a good idea of what’s going on and may have seen the signs themselves.
Tips for Getting Over the Divorce
A divorce is difficult no matter how long you have been together. However, when you’ve been together for many years, it can sometimes seem harder, and it can feel lonelier. It doesn’t have to, though. Keep the below tips in mind whether you’re getting a divorce after a long marriage or a short one.
No More Blaming
Often, people end up spending a lot of time and energy blaming themselves or their ex for the divorce. Even though one or both of you might’ve been at fault (entirely or partially), you can’t keep playing the blame game. All it’s going to do is keep you angry and waste your energy.
Choose the Right People
First, you need to make sure you are surrounding yourself with the right people after your divorce. Sometimes, you may find that certain friends you’ve had for years side with your spouse, or they just no longer spend time with you because you aren’t part of a couple.
Regardless, those people aren’t for you. Instead, you should strive to find yourself some better company. You will likely have friends that stood by you through the divorce. Spend more time with them now. Also, be sure to get out there and find new friends.
Rethink Your Finances
You will also have to consider money more carefully now that you are getting a divorce after a long marriage. Many couples who have been together for a long time have become accustomed to a certain lifestyle based on their income.
When you are divorced, that income is no longer the same in most cases. It could now be cut in half or less, and you still have expenses to pay. When all is said and done in your divorce and the money matters and property division are settled, you have to think about making ends meet going forward.
Sometimes, this will be downsizing and getting rid of some things you don’t need or want any longer. Other times, it might mean getting a new job to help bring in some additional income.
Consider a Different Living Arrangement
One of the other things you can do to help ease the financial burden is to rethink where you are living. In some cases, this might mean moving out of a large house and into a small apartment. It might mean moving in with some other people around your own age to save money. You might not like the idea of having roommates again, but sometimes, it’s the best thing for you financially.
Try New Things
Now that you are divorced, it’s time to get out and experience some things that you haven’t done before. Find some new hobbies and activities to help you stay busy and to find other people who have similar interests. Maybe you have always wanted to mountain bike. Now could be a good time to get started. Perhaps you like the idea of painting or photography. Learn the hobby… maybe even turn it into a side business.
Embrace Who You Are and Be Who You Want to Be
You now have more time and more freedom to relearn who you are and what you enjoy and want from life. Get reacquainted with yourself and think about what you want out of life going forward.
Getting divorced, regardless of your age, should be looked at like a new chapter in a book… not the ending to your story.