Today’s important story on how to come out of divorce after 50 healthier and happier (with 6 practical tips!) was contributed by Rachel S. Ruby, an attorney, and former certified divorce mediator. Enjoy, darlings!
Divorce is one of the biggest traumas faced by humans, and although it is never easy it can be especially difficult for women over 50 to heal and move on. The good news is that it IS possible to be happy after divorce, and women CAN get there through healing by committing to the process. “Mid-life” can make divorce more challenging and fearful for several reasons:
– By mid-life many women have been in long marriages with established patterns and roles. These can lead to deep seeded fears of making big changes that take them out of their comfort zones.
– Women who have been absent from the workforce (perhaps while raising children) often do not know how to jump back in to support themselves. Others may not have taken care of important tasks during the marriage, like paying bills, investing, dealing with taxes and insurance, and other responsibilities that are necessary when living alone.
– Starting a healing journey can be fraught with uncertainty and the absence of knowledge and tools for healing.
The healing process differs for each person, and the time it takes also varies depending on how much effort is put into it and how much deep work needs to be done. However, if you commit to yourself and the new life you want to lead, you will discover that you are worthy of all the beauty and riches that life has to offer.
To start that process, here are 6 steps that can be implemented in order to get started:
1. Put YOU First
Most mid-life women have learned over the years to put others first. This is due not only to the archetypal caretaker within, but also from societal norms and expectations, motherhood and partnering in long marriages.
Brushing aside personal needs can become a pattern and oftentimes leads to suffering and even losing oneself by making excuses for not having time to eat right, exercise, focus on the self, and take time to connect with one’s spirituality. This behavior leads to poor choices and can put us in a vicious negative cycle where we ultimately are not taking care of ourselves completely (mind, body and spirit).
Learning to put oneself first can start by simply focusing on certain tasks for short periods during the day, like getting out in nature, using meditation or visualization, and journaling. This personal time will foster self-discovery and provide insight into what is wanted and needed in order to create a new reality. This is achieved through self-love, the highest spiritual state one can reach. If done correctly and in conjunction with other steps, the healing journey will eventually lead to intense happiness.
2. Let Go
Letting go means releasing people, concepts, patterns of behavior, societal/cultural/religious “rules,” and instilled familial beliefs about what is “right” and “wrong.” One of the reasons divorce is so difficult is the programming we’ve received from a very young age that marriage is forever and divorce is wrong.
The older we get, the more difficult it can be to learn to let go. Getting rid of these concepts, ideals, and also of people who bring negativity into our lives will not only make us feel better and stronger but will also lead to being authentic and speaking the truth. Once able to do so, there will be an infinite feeling of lightness and freedom. The first step is recognizing that ONLY YOU have the power and the responsibility for your own happiness.
Forgiveness does not only mean forgiving the ex-spouse. It also — and most importantly — means forgiving ONESELF. Holding onto anger, blame, and resentment toward oneself and/or an ex-spouse can cause illness and pain within the physical and mental/emotional body. Recognizing that we are not bad, evil, wrong, etc., for the demise of the marriage. That suffering is temporary, and that divorce is a means of finding purpose in life so we can be our highest and best selves, is the key to happiness.
It is only at this point that we can heal our spirits and make a difference in the world. It is also imperative to acknowledge that being older adults does not mean we cannot achieve happiness once again — in fact, the truth is quite to the contrary — the wisdom we have gained throughout our lifetimes has provided us with a skillset to accomplish anything!
4. Find the Right Support Networks
Everyone needs support when going through a trauma, and with divorce this is especially true. Unfortunately, we may turn to those who do not truly support our needs and truths, question our decisions, or infuse negativity into our lives. This can lead to self-doubt, frustration, depression and a downward spiral into the victim mindset — from where it becomes harder to heal. Learning how to find supportive people who truly celebrate our choices and actions will benefit the healing journey. Our life experiences provide us with strength and the knowledge to seek out the right people.
5. Healthy Mind, Body, and Spirit
Healing is not complete until we achieve a healthy and happy mind, body and spirit. When it comes to our bodies we know it is important to eat right and exercise, but the trauma of divorce puts a great deal of stress on the body – stress that can manifest into physical and mental ailments and illnesses.
The body truly is a temple, and properly caring for it will lead to feeling better physically, mentally and emotionally. Achieving this state allows for clearer thoughts and an absence of the victim mentality mindset, opening the heart to allow the birth of a new you.
6. Recognize Unhealthy Patterns
Falling into unhealthy patterns — those that bring toxicity into our lives and hinder growth and healing – can be easy, so recognizing them and learning how to rewire the mind is a necessary part of healing from divorce. In order to discover the patterns that have a grip on our happiness, we must identify them, change behaviors and thoughts surrounding them, and get into a positive frame of mind, surrounded by positive people.
Some examples include letting go, not watching mainstream news, listening only to inspirational and uplifting music, spending time in nature, signing up to learn something new, journaling, and taking time for oneself in other ways.
What to Do If You Need Guidance During or After Mid-Life Divorce
Each of these above steps to healing from divorce after 50 involves many subparts, and women often need guidance in order to successfully move through them and make changes within the mind, body, and spirit. This deep personal work is necessary in order to heal from divorce, create a new life and achieve bliss.
Rachel S. Ruby is an attorney, former certified divorce mediator, and entrepreneur. Rachel’s life was turned upside-down when she divorced in midlife after almost 30 years of marriage. She has authored several books, and Divorce to Bliss is her most heartfelt book to date. It took a big journey through the dark tunnel of divorce for Ms. Ruby to find true happiness and live her best life. It is her passion and her mission to share this pathway to happiness after divorce, so that others can live their truth and find ultimate bliss.
For more information on diving deeper into the inner work, please visit RachelSRuby.com.