Divorcing your partner wasn’t on your mind when you get married. But it’s not the end of the world!
When you decide to get married, you do it truly believing that you and your partner will be together for the rest of your lives.
No one walks down the aisle thinking that their marriage won’t last and that in only a few years they’ll have to divide their assets and go on their separate ways.
Unfortunately, the road to the aisle may be paved with good intentions but the “I dos” are not always forever. In fact, between 43 and 46 percent of married adults end up calling it quits, even after more than 10-15 years of marriage.
Fortunately, every cloud has a silver lining and divorce makes no exception. Divorce can change your life in incredible ways, even when you are in your forties; or should I say, especially when you are in your forties, with your best years still ahead. Here’s how.
You’ll feel happier
Being in an unhappy marriage is not good for anyone. Not separating from your spouse for all sorts of reasons, from your children to money or the fear of being alone, will not make your marriage any better.
In fact, you’ll just continue being unhappy for a longer period of time, regretting the decision to remain trapped in a bad relationship.
According to one study by Avvo, most of the divorced female participants claimed they had no regrets regarding their decision to divorce their spouses. In the long run, they feel happier being single than stuck in an unhappy and unhealthy marriage.
Speaking of being single, check out these 7 Reasons Why You Need to Learn to Be Single
You can refocus on your career goals
When you’re in your 20s think you have your whole life ahead of you, in your 30s you have some sort of goals in terms of your interests and job.
But it’s in your 40s when you know what works for you and can use your experience and knowledge to tap into your highest potential and achieve your work goals.
Without the baggage of your bad marriage, you’ll have plenty of energy and time to focus on having a successful career.
You’ll have more time for your passions
Your husband was not the biggest fan of going to the theater, so you never got to enjoy a musical on Broadway. Your wife didn’t like sports, so you stopped going to your favorite basketball team’s games.
When you no longer have to worry about pleasing your spouse to the detriment of your own hobbies, you can freely and happily do all the things your partner wasn’t interested in doing with you.
More than that, with a shedload of life experience behind you and a whole lot more confidence in yourself, doing those things by yourself will not make you feel awkward or embarrassed in any way.
It’s better for your children
Parents who are constantly distressed and irritated often project their feelings onto their children.
According to a study carried out by researchers at Auburn University, arguments between parents can have a significant effect on the mental and physical state of their children.
More than that, the study revealed that children witnessing their married parents’ unhappiness felt worse than if their parents got a divorce.
If you’ve had your children in your 20s or 30s, now that you’re in your 40’s it means they are also old enough to understand this kind of change and its beneficial effects for everyone involved, much better than they would have understood it in the past.
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You can reconsider your priorities
When you’re with someone, “me” and “my priorities” become “we” and “our priorities”. In a healthy marriage, it’s normal to think as a team but consider your individual priorities, as well.
But in an unhappy marriage, there’s no individuality. “We have strong opinions about this political issue,” “We have rules in this house,” and so on and so forth.
When you and your spouse decide to go your separate ways, you get a new chance to set your priorities straight without being influenced by your partner. Your rules, your opinions and your actions.
Check out Top 13 Most Shocking Facts About Divorce in the U.S.
Changing your relationship will have a snowball effect
Making such a big decision like divorcing when you are in your forties is not easy, but once you make the change, other things start to change too.
If you couldn’t find a good enough incentive to make a change in terms of your career, to make some changes around your house or just start being more physically active, a divorce can offer you the opportunity to reinvent yourself and motivate you to make the changes you’ve been postponing for so long.
You have more time for self-reflection
If someone asks about the reasons behind your divorce, you might say it loud and clear that it was your spouse’s fault. However, a few weeks of alone time after the divorce might give you a different perspective on what went wrong in your marriage.
The post-divorce period allows you to reflect on your own behavior and things that you might have done to contribute to your marriage’s demise.
Your sex life will get better
Contrary to what many people might think, one study published in Women in the World revealed that women’s libido hits its peak after they turn 36. Therefore, if you’re in your forties and have recently become single, get ready for the best sex ever.
You’ll have more confidence
When you no longer have your partner to hide behind, you’ll have to muster your own courage and confidence to trust your own judgment and abilities.
The good thing about being in your forties is that you’ve already been through a lot, seen a lot of things. You know what matters to you, and you feel more confident about your body, your sexuality, your career choices etc.
This newly discovered confidence makes it easier for you to move forward with your life after the divorce and enjoy it to the fullest.
You can travel on your own
Traveling solo you the chance to discover new places, experience new things in different ways than how you would have done with your spouse.
From visiting all the locations your spouse never wanted to see to spending an entire day at the hotel spa, pampering yourself, traveling on your own might even make you see the places you’ve already been to in a different light.
You might even meet some new people on your adventures.
You become a more thoughtful parent
When you’re in a bad marriage, you no longer have the energy and ability to focus on the people who need you the most: your kids.
When you’re done with the marriage turmoil, you can concentrate on your children all over again and be the parent you used to be when everything was ok in your marriage.
Just make sure you don’t pamper and spoil them too much; it’s not in anyone’s best interest. To prevent them from becoming spoiled adults.
Your children will have a healthier relationship model
Children know when their parents don’t get along anymore. They feel the tension and animosity between their parents, no matter how much the adults try to hide it.
Worse than that, science revealed that children tend to behave and repeat the same patterns they’ve witnessed in their parents, in their own relationships.
Divorcing when you are in your 40s means you still have time to show them there are other types of relationships, healthy and loving ones that build you up instead of bringing you down.
You’ll no longer have unrealistic expectations about love
The idea of committing yourself to a forever relationship created unrealistic expectations about what you have to do to make each other happy.
The good thing about divorcing in your forties is that you’re mature enough to understand that you don’t have to rely on one person to satisfy your emotional and physical needs.
You’ll have more time to be creative
Being in a marriage can often take up all of your time, including your “me” time. Fortunately, a divorce in your 40s can come with a lot of free time to do whatever you want.
According to researchers at the University of Buffalo spending time alone can help you rejuvenate your mind and boost your creativity.
You will become more ambitious
An unsuitable partner can kill your ambitious and determined spirit. Not for good, but just long enough to lose some opportunities in life.
Whether your partner specifically asks you to be a stay-at-home wife and mother or he simply wants him to be the sole provider, you might end up thinking that your ambitions don’t matter that much.
But with the needy spouse and bad marriage out of the way, you can focus on what you want to do and use your ambition to motivate you, keep you focused and obtain the success you deserve without feeling like you’re hurting your partner’s feelings.
You can reinvent yourself
Along with age, comes wisdom. Wisdom to understand that it’s ok to put our needs first and that other people’s opinions don’t matter all that much at the end of the day.
Divorcing in your 40s offers you the possibility to reinvent yourself and do what you feel it’s best for you not what others say it is.
Get that crazy haircut, take those dancing lessons, or take that dream job in another country and stop living based on other people’s standards! After all, you only have one life!
You will eliminate negativity from your life
An unhappy marriage and consequently the negativity and bad energy caused by it, can have a harmful impact on your mind, heart and body and prevent you from successfully carrying out your day to day activities.
When you eliminate the main source of negativity in your life, you no longer focus on the things that go wrong and start seeing the positive aspects of your life. Life may not be perfect but you can still fill it with perfect, happy moments.
You can get your finances in order
In many marriages, partners rely on their spouse’s income and live beyond their individual financial means. When you no longer have your partner’s income or inherited wealth, you’ll have no other option but to make it on your own, with your own money.
Fortunately, living the single life can not only help you become more organized and careful with your finances but also save more for rainy days or retirement.
You can get rid of bad relationship habits
What better time than the present to get rid of the relationship habits that held you down and made you miserable throughout your marriage.
Whether you don’t respect each other’s opinions, don’t trust one another or accept being cheated on constantly, divorcing in your 40s can help you say goodbye to those old habits, not only to your bad partner.
The even better news is that you’ll have a lot of time to start new and better habits and hobbies that improve your life instead of ruining it.
You learn to become a problem-solver
Being married means sharing responsibilities and duties. In many cases, one partner becomes fully responsible for things such as cleaning, grocery shopping, paying the bills while the other one doesn’t even know where the nearest grocery store is.
Fortunately, being in your 40s means you’re mature and capable enough to adapt to your new life, learn new skills, like cooking, and not starve to death, in the dark, because the other person used to pay the bills.
You’ll spend more time with friends
You might not have been the best of friends during your marriage, but you have the chance to make up for all the lost time. Your friends are still out there, eager to spend time with you again.
Getting divorced in your forties means you’ll have plenty of time to hang out with your friends, the ones that stuck by you even when phone calls and outings grew rarer.
You’ll be less stressed
A bad partner can make their mark on practically every aspect of your life. Luckily, once that bad partner and relationship become a thing of the past, you can finally start living your stress-free life.
According to a study published in the BMJ, the psychological distress caused by a bad marriage can increase the risk of serious illnesses such as depression and cancer.
You can explore other types of relationships
Just because you believed in forever after and things didn’t work out, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get back in the dating pool all over again.
It might seem difficult at first, but it will give you the opportunity to discover other types of relationships and decide what works best for you. You might discover that marriage is no longer for you and that you like casual dating or an open relationship more.
You can be sure it wasn’t a rash decision
In you’re 20s or 30s, you’re emotional and impulsive when making decisions, including the decision to break up with someone. In your forties, you’re more mature and don’t decide things on impulse.
Your decisions, especially the ones involving a divorce, are rarely a spur of the moment thing. When you decide to divorce in your 40s, it’s after you’ve given it a lot of thought.
You and your ex can remain friends
When it comes to divorce, fury is as inevitable as flatware is to marriage, especially when it happens in your twenties. Divorcing when you’re younger might not bring out the best in you.
More often than not, partners are angry and resentful and would like nothing more than to trash and hurt the former love of their life. On the other hand, at 40, you know it’s important to stay civil and get through with the divorce as clean and as fast as possible.
Avoiding a nasty divorce and keeping things civil can make co-parenting a lot easier and will not make you run for the hills if you see your ex on the street or meet at a mutual friend’s party.
Related: 12 Signs You Have Post Divorce Depression