While estimates show that about one in every three Aussie marriages will end in divorce, there is no secret that an unexpected divorce can lead to depths of emotion, especially for women over 40. What you thought would never occur to you after a 20-year marriage has happened. Dealing with a divorce after all these years of marriage can be a frightening time filled with uncertainty, difficulties, and challenges. As a 40+-year-old woman, a divorce will often hit you harder as you try to navigate a new life, with fewer resources, more child-related responsibilities, and the challenges of dating again. Although a divorce may cause pain that rivals grieving the death of your loved one, you can survive its effects by learning a few coping strategies.
Work on yourself
The grief of a divorce is real. It's normal to feel isolated but at the same time, you don't have to crumble underneath the weight of the transition process. You can learn to dance in the rain. This is the best time to take a personal journey of self-exploration. Now is the best time to take up those tennis lessons you always said you were interested in or take that road trip you made plans for a few years back. It's important that you stay busy in a constructive manner to keep your mind from wandering. A productive hobby that redefines you is very crucial at this moment.
Seek out counseling and support
There is no way you can fight the pain of divorce quickly. However finding a counselor or a divorce care support group is a good way to weather the effects of a divorce. Leaning on a support network of other divorced persons or that one good friend can save your sanity. Build up your support group and encourage everyone to share, a process that can be very liberating. It's important you take advantage of support resources available to you, especially counseling. Such emotional support will help you navigate the painful hurdles of a divorce.
Your kids are still a factor, try to minimize the divorce impact on them too!
In an unexpected divorce, pain is inevitable even for your kids. It's important that you help them through the process by keeping things as friendly as possible with your ex-spouse. Although you're dealing with a lot of pain and grief, it's important to remember that your kids are affected by the outcome. Avoid pulling your kids into any conflict with your spouse, especially one that provokes them to take sides. It's important not to criticize your ex-spouse in front of the kids as this may affect their behavior in a negative manner. Remember this can be a stressful, sad and confusing time for them. Listen to them and acknowledge their feelings, and with time, they will adjust to the new normal.