The point of this website, its reason for being, is to help as many people as possible move through their Divorce Over 50, eventually reaching the point where they can say:
“It wasn’t the plan, it isn’t ideal, but my Divorce Over 50 let me hit the reset button, be the person I want to be, and I’ve moved forward into a bright, exciting future.”
In order for that to happen, the DO50 needs to work through a three stage process:
Each of these stages is made up of several steps. The steps range from practical and quantifiable actions like “Deal with the legal aspects of your divorce” (Survive); to more subjective, on-going, and etherial concepts such as “Practice forgiveness” (Revive); and onto more physical and fun like “Get out there and have sex” (Thrive).
Our “Roadmap Through a Divorce Over 50” lays out the steps we’ve identified, and offers links to articles with more information. The Roadmap suggests one particular route through a Divorce, but everyone will travel his or her own path. Not everyone will do every step; certainly DO50’s will go through other steps unique to them. But it is a template for the process, and is available as a FREE DOWNLOAD HERE
Traveling your personal path will take time, and there likely will be pain, loneliness, and frustration along the way. But everyone can reach the point where they’ll be able to truthfully make that declaration above.
Perhaps the lynchpin of the entire process is a step in the Revive Phase. It’s the inflection point , where the DO50 goes from being a survivor to someone who embraces his or her situation, and chooses to move forward in a positive manner. And that step is:
“Speak in your own voice again”
To fully understand, let’s take a step back.
During your long term marriage, in doing your best to mesh with your spouse, it would only be natural to experience some drift in your personality. Maybe you suppressed a natural part of yourself, like your assertiveness, so there’d be fewer fights. Or perhaps you dressed and wore your hair a certain way to please your spouse. More than likely you deferred to your spouse in at least some areas, such as religious observance, couples friends, decor, travel, pets, or others.
There was nothing wrong with taking these actions — compromise is part of making a marriage work.
Still, no matter what adjustments you made, the marriage finally stopped working.
Which has presented you with a great opportunity. One you must not miss.
You get to choose who you will be now. And going forward.
You get to evaluate how you’ve changed, and decide if you’re being the you you want to be. Additionally, you can reevaluate what you’ve been caring about. Do those things or issues really matter to you, or were they concerns developed during, and because of, your marriage?
If you decide the “long-term marriage you” isn’t who you want to be, now’s your chance to either get back to being who you were, or to reinvent yourself and become who you want to be now. (And, of course, it could be some of both).
Take advantage of the chance to wipe the slate clean. Move forward with the personality that’s truly you, pursuing the interests that are truly yours.
In other words, get back to speaking in your own voice, both in your head, and to the outside world.
Internally, your voice may say you can enroll in that class, join that group, pursue that new career. You’re on your own now, no longer a “we,” but rather an “I.” And that’s a good thing. You’re the focus, and it’s time for you to care about yourself just a little bit more than you care about anyone, or anything, else.
Externally, that newly authentic voice may say things to your ex like, “We’re not married anymore, so you can’t talk to me like that.” To the rest of the world, your voice will remain just as kind and polite as always, but now you’re just speaking for you. Asserting for what you want, what you’re entitled to.
This step is not like flipping a switch; it will take time and practice.
But it’s a vital step in the DO50’s process, and will represent significant progress in moving forward into that brighter future that awaits.