Life can begin and change at any age—and for a lot of reasons—but divorce after 60 is a growing trend. It’s becoming so common, there are names for it: Silver divorce, Gray divorce, late-life divorce. There are several reasons for the growing trend of divorce after 60:
- We’re healthier than before and living longer
- We’re less willing to “settle” and stay in bad marriages
- There is tremendously less stigma to ending a marriage
- Women are more independent than in previous generations
- It’s more widely accepted for men to leave a long marriage for something new
Whatever the reason, divorce after 60 is becoming more common and can be terrifying and daunting, but it can also be exciting and motivating. Starting over after 60 can, in some aspects, be easier than starting over at a younger age—when your priorities and confidence weren’t as mature as they are now.
Be sad, but cope.
No matter the reason for a split, divorce can uproot a person and make them feel unworthy, discouraged, and unwanted. You may want to sob and scream and lounge in sweats watching Netflix all day. That’s fine! Be sad. Take time to grieve.
But remember there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Life hasn’t ended; a new door has opened, and this journey is just beginning.
Surround yourself with loved ones and allow yourself to lean on them when needed. It’s easy to slip into sadness at a time like this, but making sure you’ve got someone to talk to is a satisfying and comforting safety net to keep you in good spirits. And if you don’t feel like being around people, do something that makes you happy instead. Get in the kitchen and bake, watch an old movie, craft, or go for a nice walk. Do the things that make you feel great and cope with your loss.
Get your finances in check.
Finances are probably last on your list of things to worry about after a divorce, but you need to protect yourself and your assets. Contact your bank, cancel any joint accounts, and take care of any outlying debts. You’re responsible for any joint debts in your name, and if an ex-partner stops paying, it could affect your credit rating. You also should reevaluate your will, especially if your ex-partner is listed as the beneficiary. If you don’t have a drawn up will, now is the time to do so.
Look good, feel good.
After divorce, it’s easy to lose confidence and feel like you’re not enough, especially if your ex-partner has moved on. Make sure you get dressed every morning. If you feel your best when your makeup is done, put on makeup. Our emotions follow our actions, and research has shown that when we put an effort into how we look or dress, we can feel more confident and more productive. Simply smiling and standing up straight can make an impactful difference in your day and outlook on life.
Identify what’s important to you.
As opposed to finding yourself starting over at 25, you have more knowledge and experience now. The choices you are faced with after 60 are different than before, and based on your experiences and past decisions, you can choose a different direction. Focus less on age and focus on what you can explore now. Figure out what you find important in your life and focus your energy into those things.