What advice do you have for a recently separated 50 year old woman?

Women over the age of 30 becoming invisible and being dismissed is routine in most places on the globe. We still have lots of life to live, though.

Watching YouTube videos encompassing advice for women divorcing at age 50 and older is vague at best, stupid at worst. Women in my particular demographic are supposed to “protect their finances” or “go back to work” and “think positively”.

Isn’t that generalized advice for everyone? Or are there actually 50 year old women out there, who are broke after their divorce, who don’t know that they need to generate some kind of income for themselves?

We give advice for younger women all of the time, we have done that very thing, on this blog. But this time, what guidance do you have for women over 40? Do you have specific advice for older women who are recently divorced? Or widowed? Share your knowledge.

All women are welcome to participate, you can be under 50, under 40, single, married, divorced, all women are welcome to tell us about it.

Tell us what you have learned from your lived experience, and from the women around you.

Jayne

14 thoughts on “What advice do you have for a recently separated 50 year old woman?

  1. Please, rifle through your tool box, and tell me all about it! Make suggestions! Talking is the internet version of holding my hand. And I need all of the hand holding!😊

    I was teaching myself Russian, I was also teaching myself to draw. But ever since this shit was started, back in July, it’s everything that I can do to take care of paying bills, making sure the dogs have their medicines, and then, I had to do a bunch of extra shit to get the asshole out.

    I have been thinking about our internalized bullshit, and how we are always doubted, and often times, that’s the mildest type of patriarchal hatred, isn’t it? And it’s so convenient for males, because we doubt ourselves for them. I think that is where the fear comes from. I don’t know if I can take care of myself, I don’t know if I can survive, I don’t know if I will be alright, all of that doubt breeds fear.

    And then, fear breeds exhaustion. And I am exhausted. But you know what being exhausted breeds?

    Being exhausted breeds a big old FUCK YOU, DICKBAG. Exhaustion breeds a whole bunch of I DON’T GIVE A SHIT. Because I absolutely do not give a single fuck about what bad thing may be visited on me. I will deal with whatever it is when I wake up from my fucking nap.

    I am tired and fighting depression, but I will figure it out. After my really long nap.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I am glad he’s gone, I would have been very worried for you living with him in that pre violent tense state.

    What you could start doing maybe, if interested, is working on challenging your inner thoughts, because many of them will be the learned thoughts, the ones you were taught about being helpless and useless. Women nag themselves all the time and we’re not even usually aware of it, we internalise all the external shit that men tell us about ourselves. Maybe practice grabbing your inner voice and challenging her. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help to restructure unhelpful cognitions and thoughts. I know you can’t afford therapy but there is a shit ton out there online, if you’re interested I can find some resources, links and so on and send them through to you.

    If that’s not for you, perhaps try meditating. I know, groan, but there’s good evidence to show it really does rewire our brains and help us process trauma and get through anxiety and come out the other end mentally stronger.

    By the way I am NOT suggesting there’s anything at all wrong with you mentally! But it is an absolutely normal response to being lied to, betrayed, threatened, frightened, abandoned and verbally abused to feel agitation, anxiety or depression.

    I wonder if you could find a hobby to get involved in. One woman I used to work with threw all her energies into crafting and it was her lifeline as she got more unwell.

    It would be extremely normal to experience depression as a direct result of what he has done to you. I have a few strategies I use if I am feeling low. I have a playlist that is very specific, only songs that immediately lift my spirit get on that list – not just songs I like but those ones where you can feel your heart lift straight away. Music is incredibly powerful, and a half an hour of that can help ward off a dip for me, sometimes.

    I do 4 7 8 breathing. It’s very specific, not just deep breathing and not diaphragm breathing, it has been proven to help with https://www.webmd.com/balance/what-to-know-4-7-8-breathing#:~:text=Close%20your%20lips%20and%20inhale,This%20completes%20one%20cycle.

    You could make a little box of tricks and fill it with things that make you feel calmer and happier, and get it out when feeling anxious or low. Like, something that smells lovely, a photo that makes you happy, a keepsake like a ribbon or something that you enjoy touching.

    Maybe make a photo album, online is fine if its easier, only of photographs and images that make you feel more positive and look at it when you need to distract yourself.

    I’m sorry, I know this sounds simplistic and I know there are NO easy answers. I’m just rifling through my toolbox and I don’t know enough about you personally to know what to offer.

    One thing I would do, if you can, is try to make a couple of friendly acquaintances. Even if you only see them once every few weeks for a coffee. It’s really important to have face to face interaction with other women. Maybe they have Meetups in your area? It’s not a dating site, when I was living in Brisbane and just wanted a night out or a dinner or a lunch or whatever but my friends were a couple of hours away, I’d sometimes do Meetups. I met a nice bunch of women, did a breathing class, a lunch, a karaoke night, a dinner, and a walking thing. You do have to be careful, obviously, because predatory men try to insert themselves into everything, but there are some Meetups that are just a bunch of women having lunch, or going for a walk. Just a thought.

    You might also try writing more once you have your laptop, there are a lot of independent publishers out there, they do pay for writing. Just a thought.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I got divorced at age 40. But I had a job and a helpful extended family, so I didn’t have the same type of financial concerns that you have (I almost wrote that I didn’t have any financial concerns, but LOL how about having to give up my house AND pay child support? yeah LOL I definitely had concerns! just not the same kind, not as immediate). I don’t have any trouble filling up my time. There’s always more to think about and do. As far as getting a job, you’re not necessarily invisible. Strike a balance so that you don’t appear either too desperate or too cocky, be friendly to people, spread the word that you need a position, and someone will eventually hire you. But it might take a long time and the position might not pay well, especially at first. So for budgeting, download the Goodbudget app and use it religiously. It has saved my butt more times than I can count since the divorce. For some people, using it while they are still married could probably even prevent getting divorced in the first place (not you or me though; this is assuming neither person in the relationship is a butt).

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ll be 45 soon. I’ve been single since I was 30. By choice. I don’t need a man fucking up my life. The peace that I have without a man is not something that I’m willing to give up.

    But sometimes, it gets really lonely. I have friends, but there is a kind of loneliness that friendship can’t ease. I’m sorry to say that, but that has been my experience. It doesn’t hit me often, but when it does, it knocks me down hard. The only way to get through it is to rely even harder on my friends for support and keep busy anyway I can. Then it passes and I’m fine again. So my advice is stay close to your friends and have ways to stay busy, even if it’s just adult coloring books, or obsessive cleaning, or knitting, or whatever.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. I know what you mean. I was fine with being alone most of the time because I didn’t really feel lonely. I had family and friends. Then this feeling of loneliness crept into me like a slow-acting poison. I’m coping by staying busy, but I hope it passes soon.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. YouTube has saved my sanity. Seriously.

        I started out listening to women tell their stories about divorce. There’s so many women telling all kinds of stories, and it’s so casual and conversational, it has kept me from being in a full on depression. It’s like having a friend in the room, chatting with you.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. “there is a kind of loneliness that friendship can’t ease. ”

      Yeah that’s a big issue for me. I have my usual background loneliness, and then sometimes I get the oppressive, panicked version that’s tied into worry about the uncertainty of the world and facing it as a woman alone.

      Iris, do you have friends who are like-minded in real life? That’s my dream, lol. I don’t expect to find a bunch of radical women where I live. I’d just like to meet some who are slightly less male-centered in their worldview. But that seems pretty difficult.

      RFS, I wish I had more advice. I guess the most helpful things for me have been to focus on work, sit in the sun when I can (it always helps my mood), and listen to music.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Diver, I wish you had like-minded friends in real life. My friends are all very male centered. I live in rural Utah and so my friends are Mormons. It’s hard sometimes.

        I totally understand that oppressive, panicked version of loneliness. I wish the world were less uncertain, but I fear it’s only going to get worse.

        Liked by 3 people

  5. I’m under 50 but some advice based on what I see with older female family. Pretend that you’re miserable and tired even when you’re not, because ppl will be quick to sabotage you when they see a happy single woman. Since you live on own property alone this can easily be done by putting on a sad face and shuffle when around others. It also keeps spiteful ex’s content and less prone to lashing out, which is a real possiblity since that whole “I’ll show you asshole” mantrum (he would’ve had a mantrum before leaving no matter what you did or said).

    I’m kind of worried for you since you didn’t legally divorce, he could easily rack up debts just to get back at you. Maybe keep in regular contact with his mom and ask how he is, if anything it will keep up the image that you regret him leaving & you’re sad, to keep him pacified. But not enough so that he’d get the idea of moving back in with you, play up the “I’m just so tired”. If you have emergency don’t let him know, if need his mom’s help then plead with her to not tell him because “it will just stress him out” or some feminine considerate shit. They usually try to get back at you when you’re already down.

    Anyway I fucking hate that we have to pretend to care and soothe men even after they leave us so we can be left in peace afterwards.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The mantrum is happening, anyway, no matter what, just like you said.

      Knowing that, once I get into a groove, and I am moving along, I am going to happy and sassy all over the fucking place, males can go fuck themselves. It’s easy to say that, though.

      I am not worried about him running up debt, that will hurt him as much as it would hurt me. I am in SC, he is now in Vermont, that’s what he told me, anyway.

      I am poor, and I am likely to stay poor, and that’s fine. I am satisfied with what I have received from his mother, that was more than fair of her.

      If I have some kind of emergency, I am trying to keep a little bit of an emergency fund, because I have no one, IRL. My sister and nephew are states away. If my car breaks down, I don’t have anyone to call to come get me. I absolutely did depend on Mr Jayne, like he depended on me, but that’s not the entire reason that I don’t have female friends. A lot of it now is covid, we are supposed to be afraid of each other and stay away from each other, and that’s detrimental to female friendships, especially when we are already so isolated.

      If my dogs need something and I can’t afford it, I would consider asking him, if I absolutely had to. But I don’t need him. I hope he suffocates on a dick.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It isn’t just about him running up debts. It’s also about him doing something really stupid that harms or kills another person…like causing an accident while driving high, or anything really…that causes someone to file a civil suit. As his legal spouse they can go after marital property and assets. You have to talk with a divorce attorney in your State to find out how exposed you are. Your land may be exempt from marital property splitting if you owned it before the marriage, however, in my state the other spouse is entitled to half of any increased value in said property during the marriage. As you said, you don’t know who this man is, so don’t rule out anything especially since he threatened you upon leaving about showing his real asshole self.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Those things are definitely legitimate concerns.

        But I am concerned that he will get angry if I file for divorce. And if he decides to punish me for it, he will come at me with all of his mom’s money behind him, he will have endless resources to take me to court and try to take what’s mine.

        I could pay for a simple divorce from a sane person. But according to male law, he didn’t abandon me, he isn’t at fault, it’s my fault for withholding sex. I was not legally allowed to do that. Any attorney will tell him that.

        I can’t afford a legal fight. And his mom is ok with me, for now. But if he gets offended by anything that I do, she is going to pick a side. And she will fight that battle for him, too.

        I have to balance my concern against his crazy. It’s possible that he could hurt someone or do something violent, either on purpose or accident, but it’s much more likely that he will come after me, full force, if I try to divorce him, right now.

        I think that he will be wanting to get married to someone else in less than a year. It’s just a feeling I have. Even if he doesn’t want to remarry, eventually a woman who is dating him will want him divorced. And in that case, he will just want to divorce quickly and quietly.

        So I am waiting. That’s my safest choice, for now.

        Liked by 1 person

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