Living Happily as a Senior After Divorce

Living Happily as a Senior After Divorce

Life after divorce can seem frightening, particularly to seniors who worry about aging and dying alone. But the reality is many seniors find that they are happier and feel more fulfilled after their divorce than they did during their marriage. Rest assured that it is possible to live happily as a senior after divorce.


Divorce Rates Among Seniors are Rising


In contrast to younger populations, who are seeing falling divorce rates, the divorce rate for people over 50 is on the rise, doubling between 1990 and 2017. And among those over 65, the divorce rate has tripled. So if you’ve found yourself going through a so-called “gray divorce,” you’re not alone.


In fact, according to the US Census Bureau, 43% of people between the ages of 55 and 64 have divorced, and rates among those 65 to 74 and over 75 are also high, at 39% and 24% respectively. If you are a divorced senior, there’s a good chance you know other seniors who are also divorced, and that presents opportunities to build friendships and support one another.


Divorce Doesn’t Equal Loneliness


While it’s true that divorce is a major adjustment, and it can feel very lonely to live without your spouse in the beginning, the good news is that according to one survey conducted by the AARP, 76% of people who divorced as seniors believed divorcing was the right decision. In contrast, a survey conducted by the University of California San Francisco found that among seniors who reported feeling lonely, 62% were married. Being divorced doesn’t mean you will always feel lonely, and you may find that you actually feel less alone than you did when you were married!


Focus on the connections you do have. Rekindle old friendships. Reach out to relatives you may not have spoken with recently. Lean on close friends and family members. And spend time with your children, if you have them. The internet can also be a great way to maintain connections even when you can’t see friends or family in person, so take advantage of things like chat and video calls.


Divorce Can Be Freeing


Many seniors who divorce report feeling more free and wishing they had made the decision to divorce sooner. After years of staying in an unfulfilling relationship, many seniors find that they are able to put themselves first and consider what they really want for the first time in their lives. Without their former spouse’s expectations, they are free to do the things they enjoy or may have given up earlier in life. Try thinking of this time as an opportunity to do the things you enjoy and be your most authentic self.


Seek New Connections


You don’t need a spouse to be happy and content. Friendships can be very fulfilling, and with so many seniors now divorcing, you’re likely to find friends who know what you’re going through. If you want to make new friends, consider visiting your local senior center, trying out a new hobby, or returning to an old activity or hobby that you’d given up. You’ll likely find friends with common interests and similar life circumstances. Having a network of supportive friends is a great way to ensure you always have companionship. And participating in activities is always more enjoyable with friends at your side.


If you’re a divorced senior, you may find that your best years are yet to come. If you need help with transportation, medical care, attending events, or just some friendly conversation while you get help with housework, give us a call. We’ll be happy to help.

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