Looking After Your Mental Health During A Later Life Divorce

Looking After Your Mental Health During A Later Life Divorce

18 May 2018

Divorce isn’t pleasant at any stage of your life, but when it happens to you during your senior years it can have a significant impact on your mental health and general wellbeing. While divorce rates across the country have dropped to just 1.9 per 1000 people, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that the number of over 55’s getting divorced has increased. Having to split your assets, explain your situation to your children and contemplate living alone is a lot to contend with, so, it’s vital you take care of your mind and consider seeking professional help once your divorce is finalized to help you deal with the end of your marriage.

Accepting it’s the end

Your divorce may have been amicable or even instigated by you, but that doesn’t mean your marriage is something you can just let go of. When you divorce in your later years, you’re likely to have spent the majority of your adult life with your former partner and they will have played a big part in your life over the years, therefore, accepting that that person is no longer by your side is something that often takes some time to come to terms with. Counselling is a beneficial way of getting the support you need during this change in your life as a professional counsellor will explore your feelings with you and help you to understand them. Acceptance and Commitment therapy may also be useful for individuals whose negative thoughts about their divorce are having a substantial impact on their quality of life.

Alleviating the transition

Things will likely feel strange as you get used to senior life without your spouse. By now, you’ll have split your finances and assets and you’ll know where you stand financially. Your children may still be coming to terms with their parents separating and, regardless of their age, they will need support in coping with the transition too. Encourage your children to attend family counselling alongside you if you can as it will ensure emotions and thoughts are voiced in a neutral setting. It will also help put your mind at ease, knowing you’ve got both family and professional support by your side.

Financial woes

Divorce is a costly expense and when you divorce someone after decades together, your financial situation can take a substantial hit and this often leaves seniors neglecting their health. If this sounds like you, ensure you make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your mental health so that they can monitor your overall health, such as your weight and blood cell count. Therapy and counselling may also help change your behaviors and assist you in making positive decisions as you move on from your divorce.

As a senior having gone through a divorce you’ll have experienced a range of different emotions over period of time. To help you accept the end of your marriage, cope during the transition period and support you now you’re on your own, it’s worth utilizing the skills and knowledge that a trained counsellor or therapist can offer, so that you can look to the future with a positive mind.

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