Remember that old catchphrase from the seventies, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry”?
Whether it’s true or not, Divorce very often means you, or your ex, really should be saying you’re sorry. But just uttering those words is not enough. To really do its job, the apology needs to be offered correctly. So what’s the proper etiquette for saying you’re sorry?
Most relationship experts would tell newly Divorced people to take some time for themselves, and steer clear of any sort of rebound romance right after their split.
In this site’s Roadmap Through a Divorce Over 50, we talk about three steps — Survive, Revive, and Thrive — with new romance being part of the Thrive phase. Though we also say there’s no set time frame for moving through the phases, and that not every step has to be done in a specific order, the feeling here is that a new relationship should probably come later in the process, after working on oneself (which is not to say a new romance is expected or necessary — there’s absolutely nothing wrong with not pursuing it again, and no one should feel pressured to do so).
Are you ready to try dating again? If you are, there’s good news and bad news.
The good news: it’s so much easier now than it was three decades ago. Online dating has increased the pool of potential dates exponentially. Before, you had to either be set up by friends or family, or meet the person in real life, perhaps at work, the gym, or a bar. Now, via online dating, you can find people of interest right there on your computer screen or smart phone. Contacting them couldn’t be easier, and any old taboos against women making the first move have disappeared.
But the bad news: you know very little about those potential dates, and have to be really careful.
People going through a Divorce Over 50 have a wide variety of issues to deal with, but among the most important, and trickiest, is their finances.
To get some help on that subject, I sat down with Steven Pompan, a Senior Vice President and Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley. Full disclosure, Steve’s a long-time friend, and handles my investments. He’s also been Divorced Over 50, and has made tremendous progress in finding his brighter future. Steve specializes in working with people in our demographic, and I’m confident you’ll find value in the interview that follows:
Divorced Over 50: First off, your philosophy regarding relationships sounds very similar to what we say here at Divorced Over 50.
Steve Pompan: Yes. Ideally, everybody should have a happy marriage. We all went into our marriages thinking they would be successful. However, things happen in life and directions change. Everyone deserves happiness. The Divorced Over 50 (DO50) network for both personal and business has helped my progress in adjusting to a new life.
Valentine’s Day is upon us. How does that make you feel?
For many Divorced Over 50’s, particularly those at the very start of their process, February 14th can be a painful time. It can seem quite strange to be alone on a day that’s all about being part of a loving couple. Although, for those who endured a long, difficult marriage and are happy to be out, their first single V.D. can be a relief, as they no longer have to pretend there’s something to celebrate.
In working your way through your Divorce Over 50, there will almost certainly be times when you’re unhappy, stressed, and feeling low. And that’s why a meal like the one pictured above can be exactly what you need.
But, because you know it’s vitally important to maintain your health as you move toward your brighter future, you recognize that a Triple-Triple and fries should be a real rarity. And that for the vast majority of meals you need to eat smart.
Susan Brown co-wrote a very influential academic paper about Divorce Over 50 entitled “The Gray Divorce Revolution: Rising Divorce among Middle-Aged and Older Adults, 1990-2-10.” You can read it here.
If you’re not into dry, dense documents that include phrases like “The present study also attends to heterogeneity in the divorce experience of today’s middle- aged and older adults by estimating divorce rates across sociodemographic subgroups and examining key correlates of divorce,” maybe you’d like to listen to Dr. Brown in this interview with NPR. (There’s also a transcript of the interview if you’d prefer to read it).
If you ask a man over 50 for the first word that pops into his head when you say “sex,” he’d very likely answer with something like Yes, Now, Please, or More. It wouldn’t matter if he was single, happily married, or unhappily married – most men would have that positive, or at least hopeful, reaction.
But what if you asked an over 50 woman the same thing?
For a plenty of married woman beyond 50 — those who are in that standard, three or more decade long relationship — their first word just might be “obligation.” As in, my husband expects it, I don’t really want it, but I’ll submit occasionally, in hopes of keeping him happy. Or getting him to mow the lawn.
And for unhappily married women past 50, their word is probably something along the lines of No, Nope, Nah-ah, or Fugetaboutit.
But what if you asked a divorced woman over 50 for the first word that pops into her head? Well, there’s an excellent chance that word is “Yahoo!”
How do I, a divorced man over 50, know this?
Hours and hours of intimate contact with almost two dozen divorced women over 50.
In the book, you’ll find 18 candid interviews in which other Divorced Over 50’s speak openly about their marriages, their divorces, and their recoveries.
If you’re going through a DO50, you’ll see that your feelings are not unique. You’ll be able to learn from the experiences of others — their successes and their failures. And you’ll see that many of them have made it through the difficulties and pain, and are now moving forward into their brighter future.
And if you’re Di-Curious, these stories can provide a wealth of information to help you make your huge decision: Will I be better off if I get out?
If you’re still looking for a New Years resolution that will pay off big time, how about becoming a “Superager”?
So what’s a Superager? It’s someone of an advanced age who’s still got a mind like a person many decades younger. And though that’s a worthy goal regardless of marital status, Divorced Over 50’s have even more motivation, as we’ve got that brighter future coming, and want to fully enjoy it (Right?).
There’s a catch, though: It takes hard work, and you’ve got to push yourself through some pain.