Divorce at 50

My friend Mark Weiss recently pointed out an article containing the personal story of a woman, Joy Cipoletti, who divorced at the age of 50 – Why I Divorced My Husband Right Before My 50th Birthday. She was young enough to still have children at home, but old enough to be running her own business.

However, I thought that much of what she said really applied at any age including divorcing later in life. On the one hand, she had come to the realization she had to move on – “I knew if I stayed I would continue to shrivel up until there was nothing left of me but a shell. I was already just going through the motions of raising three school-age children and working to pay the bills.” On the other hand, moving on raised new fears – “Then reality set in. I had three children to raise and a household to provide for… I was on my own.”

Sometimes the decision of whether or not to divorce feels like being caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place. Staying isn’t good, but leaving doesn’t look good either. Professional assistance can help. A financial adviser can help you make plans for your financial future as a single person; a counselor can help you navigate the emotional turmoil; and a solution oriented lawyer can help you get to the resolution of the divorce issues with your spouse so that you are both able to move ahead.

For Joy, the process certainly was not seamless. She and her children had to scramble to adjust to their changed lives, which included some significant rough spots. She had to deal with issues around when and whether to begin dating again. Ultimately, however, she was able to let go of how she thought her life “should” look, and create a new life that she loved.

Divorce is a difficult life transition, but for those who need to go there, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.