It’s not easy falling out of love, or realizing someone fell out of love with you. Maybe you tried to make your marriage work, but there were irreconcilable differences that lead to a divorce. Whatever the reason for you going through this may be, the process of separation can be excruciating on yourself and others.
We know this isn’t easy for you, which is why this article focuses on how you can survive divorce after 30 years of marriage.
Many factors come into play in a marriage, and as well as a divorce. Deciding to divorce your spouse after 30 years of marriage can be terrifying. But something had to be done, right? For your own peace of mind. Well, whatever your reason may be for divorce, we can teach you how you can survive a divorce gracefully.
To start with, when someone’s going through a divorce, the truth is, it probably sucks. Imagine being in a marriage for 30 years. That’s close to 10,950 days. That’s a lot of time and energy invested in two people and their marriage. It can feel wasted.
But not all time is wasted. Because during your marriage, you learned what works for you, and what doesn’t. You know with surety, what triggers or irks you, what makes you warm, what calms you down, etc. Similarly, when you spend so much time with someone, you learn a lot about them too. And most often, the reason for divorces is mostly that last straw that broke the camel’s back.
So whatever your reason for being here maybe, you’re looking for ways to stay afloat after your marriage. Surviving divorce can be distressing, not only for you but your children, pets, and other family members too. Dividing assets and liabilities is one thing, but learning how to make ends meet, juggling responsibilities between your ex and yourself can be even harder. Being there and supporting your children, learning how to take care of your pets by yourself while you go through this can be challenging and stressful at the same thing. Maybe you need to look for a new place to live in or a new job. There’s a lot of work to do.
Sounds frustrating, doesn’t it?
So, how can you survive divorce after 30 years of being together?
It’s not as easy as it sounds. Learning who you are now as a person reflects why the divorce is happening in the first place. Chances are you and your partner want something different. 30 years is a lot of memories, a lot of precious ones even. While you go through this period of transition, perhaps getting in touch with your lost self, or your inner child is what you need.
An inner child:
Everyone has an inner child. A child-like personality we all resonate with. But over time as we go through life, we meet with various levels of difficulties, and in overcoming all those situations, trying to make it work, we lose touch with our inner child. Some of us are even told that being childish is only for children. But think about it, what do we like most about other people? Their serious, uptight attitude or their relaxed, easy-going, calm nature? We prefer people that can take things easy, be humorous, enjoy activities they like, and are they being themselves, don’t we? Maybe what you need is to get in touch with this inner child. Listen to what they have to say.
Getting in touch with who you were once before your marriage can also be a good idea. Sit and reflect about what changed, learning how you changed can help you turn this divorce into a blessing. From there on, you can go on to finding a balance between your previous self and who you are now. No time is wasted, everything is learning. Aren’t we all trying to be better people anyway?
If your inner child is wounded, getting in with it can help validate their painful experiences. Healing their emotional wounds can be very helpful for you as it helps address and deal with emotional wounds in the present.
You can reconnect with your inner child by
1. Looking to children for guidance.
Where, and how else to begin if you’ve forgotten the basics right? You can begin by watching children play. Watch how they resolve conflicts. It’s mostly very different from the way adults handle them. They don’t take it personally, they don’t hold grudges, they let it go by learning to accept their loss and/or differences and get back up. Children are even more resilient than adults. Surprised?
Kids are almost cheerful and playful, filled with enthusiasm and joy. They, too, have their bad days, but they don’t dwell in them forever.
2. Do things you enjoyed as a child.
When you’re learning to re-connect and re-love your inner child, think about how you spent your days as a child. What did you do to have fun? Think about the things that brought you joy. Perhaps there’s something you wanted to do as a child but couldn’t. Doing things you loved back in the day or doing something you wanted to do can bring about the same positive feelings and also help build new experiences by yourself.
You can get your hands dirty with paint, go boating or fishing, catch up with friends, play with rocks, or even build a fort. Staying active will do great for you.
Spirituality includes breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, practicing religious ceremonies, etc. Being spiritual helps in feeling connected with others and the world. It helps you relieve your mind of burdens, and it teaches you how you can sit with your thoughts and not act on them. There’s a bigger purpose to life. When we fall, we need to be able to see it from a larger perspective.
Practicing spirituality in a form that best suits you would help you feel more grounded with yourself. You can learn how you can control your thoughts by letting them flow and bringing your focus back to your breath. You don’t have to stop your thoughts, you can’t stop them. Sitting with your feelings and realizing you don’t need to run away from it can teach and build resilience in you. Soon you realize that you can learn to deal with your difficulties with each passing breath. The key here is practicing regularly. Since spirituality can be practiced in many ways, you can choose to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Loving yourself through this divorce has to be your number 1 priority:
Remember to treat yourself with compassion. It’s not easy surviving divorce after 30 years. Be there for yourself. Show up for yourself. If your ex is toxic, chances are there’s a lot of fear, anger, and other distressing emotions involved. Try your best to not take it out on anyone else. Whatever’s happening between you and your partner, has to stay between you two. Do not bring your children into this. They’re not your mediators, nor should they be your emotional dump bags. Be the bigger person. Of course, it can get messy when you’re dealing with all this, but reminding yourself what’s in your control and what isn’t can help you deal with it a little better.
That being said, do keep your kids informed. Children and adolescents understand when there’s emotional distress at home. Talk to them and reassure them it has nothing to do with them. You can tell them you both are going through a difficult time together are trying to sort things out. You can tell them that things may be different from here onwards, but they will be loved the same.
Your emotions are yours. But that doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help or talk about your struggles. You can speak to someone you trust. They can be your friends, siblings, or other people that you know and trust. If you feel like they can’t understand or you feel like you have nobody to fall back on, don’t worry. There are professional services that offer counseling and psychotherapy. It’s important to know you’re not alone.
Get a therapist:
If your partner is willing, and your relationship with them isn’t in shambles, ask them they’re up for marriage and family therapy. This helps you two air out any difference in a safe space with a facilitator, where both your emotions and needs are addressed. This may help smooth the process of surviving divorce after 30 years of marriage, for both of you. Even if they’re not on board, consider seeing a licensed therapist for yourself, and your kids if it’s necessary. Many professionals offer services tailored specifically to you. Don’t worry you can’t afford someone, many counseling and psychology graduates that offer their services for free as part of their training requirements. You can see a couple of them until you find a good fit.
The therapist essentially offers a safe space for you to process your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs in a nonjudgmental environment. What’s more, is that a therapeutic relationship teaches you how to model a healthy relationship outside the therapeutic setting.
Grieve your marriage:
A lot of times, people feel like they lost something when a marriage ends. This is normal and natural to feel. When people and animals we care about die, we feel loss, anger, pain, etc. We grieve that loss over a period. The same applies to your relationship within the marriage too. Feel the loss. Sit with your feelings. Every moment passes. Try to find meaning and purpose. Look for things that interest you and keep you going.
Embracing who you are, and where you are currently in life can help you make smarter decisions in your future. This may be a scary time for you, you might feel alone and confused, or happy and finally free. Whatever it is, embrace it. Because, now you have new air to breathe.
Do what you want with that space. Take care of yourself. Do something you always wanted to do. Take yourself out on dates with yourself, take your kids out. Walking your animals and playing with them is proven is help relieve a lot of stress too. If you don’t have a pet and are considering getting either a cat or a dog, make sure you have a good source of income. Apart from taking care of their daily needs, having enough space and enough time for your pets is essential. They have so much love to give to you.
By being yourself and wanting to be a better person than you were yesterday, you’re already on your way to surviving this divorce. Pick yourself up, and face the light tomorrow, again. You have strength in you.