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How to handle the ups and downs of midlife divorce

It may not come as a surprise anymore that divorce among older generations is booming. It’s hard to pinpoint a specific reason behind this trend, but a lot of it may have to do with longer lifespans. In general, people are living longer, which forces them to evaluate whether or not they want to spend the rest of their life with their current spouse. Their children may be out of the house and most of their primary goals accomplished, which leaves them with the task of really evaluating their marriage.

It’s a given that divorcing in your later years can bring unique challenges. For example, divorcees may need to consider being picky about who they share their divorce woes with. It may seem like a good idea to put all your stresses on your best friends, but it’s good to remember that they also have lives and are likely busy with their own worries. 

In the same breath, it is not okay to air out your relationship dirty laundry to your teen or adult children. Although they may seem mature, it’s still unlikely that they will be able to fully understand the inner workings of your marriage. Not only that, but it’s good to remember that your ex is still their other parent. The smarter idea is to find a qualified therapist or counselor if you need someone to talk to. Your divorce attorney may be able to point you in the right direction.

Finally, remember that not everyone is comfortable with the idea of divorce, and you may notice some pushback from family members or friends. This is especially true if they are in a marriage that isn’t necessarily making them happy. The best thing you can do is live a happy life and try to understand that people around you may need time to adjust to the new, and hopefully happier, you.

Source: The Huffington Post, “5 Ways to Behave Like a Grown-Up Through Your Midlife Divorce,” Abby Rodman, Sept. 21, 2014

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