8 Easy Steps For Moving On After A Long Marriage
Divorce is one of the most difficult experiences a person can go through. Not only is the process of separating from a long-time partner emotionally draining, but it often leaves a person feeling lost, mourning the identity they had in the marriage and without direction. People often identify themselves through their particular roles within the marriage and so moving on after a long marriage is often overwhelming as it requires redefining their identities.
In 2012, researchers at Bowling Green State University concluded a study where they found that the divorce rate in America for people over 50 had doubled in two decades and more than doubled for those over 65. They named this phenomenon the gray divorce revolution.
According to the Pew Research Center, divorce rates from 1990-2015 have become an age-dependent trend. The divorce rates for those aged 25 – 39 actually declined by 21% while the divorce rates for those between 40-49 increased by 14%, but for people over 50, the divorce rate more than doubled (109%) whilst for those over 65 the rate has tripled.
This phenomenon is not exclusively American either as it has been noted in many other countries in the world.
Why are long marriages ending in divorce?
It has become increasingly common for a long-term marriage to end in divorce. There are many factors that can lead to divorce after years of marriage.
- the gradual change in values, interests, and goals between the spouses. Over time, both parties may realize that their individual dreams and aspirations no longer align, and this can lead to feelings of dissatisfaction or resentment.
- if either partner has experienced a significant change in life circumstances, such as a career change, health issues, or the death of a loved one, it can cause a shift in their priorities, which can also contribute toward the divorce.
- couples may become increasingly disconnected and find themselves unable to effectively communicate their feelings and needs. This disconnect can cause the relationship to become stale and unfulfilling, causing one or both partners to seek a change.
- Infidelity is not uncommon for couples who have been married for many years to seek emotional or physical intimacy elsewhere. With the use of social media, it is now so much easier to meet other people. This can be devastating to the trust that is necessary for a marriage to last and can ultimately lead to the decision to divorce.
- Divorce has become more acceptable in recent times and older couples now have the social freedom to divorce.
- Empty nest syndrome – once adult children leave the home couples may realize that they no longer have anything in common and are free to end the unhappy marriage and start a new life.
Research indicates that there has been an increase in grey divorces as people are not satisfied with their marriages and want to make the most of their remaining years by following their own interests and passions.
After the divorce proceedings, it is therefore important that we explore steps to help you cope with moving on after a long marriage and find a path toward a brighter future. Embrace your new life and newfound freedom by empowering yourself to rebuild your life and moving on after a long marriage is possible.
Steps for moving on after a long marriage
Acknowledge Your Feelings
Heartbreak, loss, and grief are normal parts of ending a long marriage. You may feel sad, angry, and confused as you process your feelings. It’s important to acknowledge and identify your feelings so that you can move through them and begin to heal.
For the best divorce recovery, it’s important to process your feelings and let them go, don’t hold on to negative thoughts that will keep you trapped in a downward spiral. Reach out to your support system and share your feelings with those close to you.
However, should you struggle with intense feelings that are difficult to manage, consider seeking therapy. Talking with a trained family therapist can provide
- a space to process your emotions in a healthy way.
- can offer you tools to manage your emotions better and find effective ways to cope with difficult feelings.
- you can better understand the sources of your pain and find ways to process the loss of your marriage
- learn how to set boundaries with people who may be trying to take advantage of you during this difficult time.
It’s important to take care of yourself and not feel guilty about doing so. You deserve to give yourself the love and support you need so that you can bounce back as quickly and easily as possible.
Identify Your Needs
It can be challenging to know what you need after a long marriage. You may feel unsure about what you want for your future and feel uncertain about your own identity as this has been so closely linked to your identity within the long marriage and this is normal.
One way to identify your needs is to create a list of your hopes and dreams and a list of deal breakers for your life going forward. This can be a challenging exercise as it may stir up feelings of loss and grief.
However, by creating a vision for your future, you will begin to see a path forward toward a happier, more fulfilling life.
You can also use this exercise to reflect on your past and how your life has changed over time. It can help you understand what you need to feel fulfilled and happy in the present moment. By understanding your needs, you can make empowered choices about your future and take steps to achieve your goals.
If you are unsure and concerned about your retirement plans contact a financial advisor for assistance.
Take Time for Self-Care
Many people find themselves neglecting their own needs after a divorce. You may feel like you need to be strong for your children or you may feel pressure to move on and start dating as soon as possible or you may be concerned about finances.
However, it’s important to take time to process your feelings and heal after a divorce sp moving on after a long marriage is an easier process for you. One way to take care of yourself is to create a self-care plan. This can include activities that help you relax, cope with all the changes that you have to deal with, and feel good about yourself.
You may wish to consider joining a support group for divorced individuals or taking part in online forums. This support network can provide a sense of connection and support as you move through your divorce.
The support groups and online resources can also provide you with a safe space to talk about your wide range of emotions and assist you with feelings of loneliness.
It’s good to have some alone time, but find new hobbies, try new things and spend time with your trusted friends and find joy in your life again. Join new groups of people, your kind of people that bring fun to life so moving on after a long marriage is easier for you.
Seek Support From Friends and Family
During the process of filing for divorce, it’s normal to feel isolated and alone. You may feel like you have no one to talk to or no one who understands how you are feeling but seek out support from friends, family members, and people in your community as they can be a good sounding board.
Let people in by connecting with old friends.
You may also need advice on important decisions that you need to make and miss the comfort zone of your marriage. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help.
Moving on after a long marriage is going to involve the breaking of old habits and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.
Get a clear understanding of your financial situation as this will provide some calm and direction over the chaos of divorce. Unfortunately, gray divorcees are often less financially secure than others in their age group. With some understanding of your financial situation, you will then be able to take further decisions.
Develop Healthy Coping Strategies
Moving on after a long marriage can leave you feeling confused and uncertain about your future. It may feel like everything is falling apart and you don’t know how to move forward.
Finding healthy ways to manage your emotions and take care of your mental health will help you to bounce back more easily. Some ways to do this include: –
- Talking with a therapist
- Spending time in nature
- Connecting with friends and family
- Practicing yoga
- Creating visual art
- Using guided imagery to create a new vision for yourself
All of these activities can help you manage your emotions and find peace and calm in the midst of a divorce. One way to find hope and inspiration is to create a new vision for your life, By engaging in these activities, you can open yourself up to new possibilities and ways of thinking about your future. Creating a new vision for your life can help you let go of the past and embrace a new way of seeing the world. It can help you find hope and inspiration.
You may wish to look into how to build resilience in your life. Resilience is your ability to cope with stress, change, and trauma in a healthy way. It can help you better manage your emotions and find ways to thrive in difficult situations.
Let go of the past and anything that brings up painful memories and emotional aspects of your divorce. If you need to change the family photos or move house that is okay. Find what works for you so that you can start your new chapter excited about the future without lingering memories of the past.
If you need to downsize or give things away, take a deep breath and go for it. As hard as it may feel now to do this, it will make things easier for you in the long run.
Don’t play the blame game
Don’t spend time and energy blaming yourself or your partner. Learn from the mistakes of the past, embrace the healing process and personal growth, moving on after a long marriage and into a new chapter of your life.
Ending a long marriage can be a challenging experience, but it doesn’t have to be a negative one. Take small steps every day to move forward so you can find a new path toward happiness and a brighter future.
Divorce and moving on after a long marriage is a major transition in every person’s life, involving many changes and transitions. It is often our acceptance of the situation and response to it that defines how we manage to successfully transition into the next chapter. At this moment you may be feeling fearful of a future filled with unknowns. Take small steps each day, and positively embrace the change because life often surprises us.