Relationship Breakdown in Retirement

“Silver splitters”, as defined by Bill and Melinda Gates marital split, is on the rise. The reasons for over 60’s deciding to end their often long marriages, are many and varied. Facing lengthy retirement years and realising you do not relish spending them with your spouse; or seeing friends or colleagues who are happily single and enjoying their freedom can make you look long and hard at your own relationship.

Even if you have an amicable separation it is nevertheless an often painful time for at least one partner. Everything that has been a stable part of your life for 30 years or more has fallen apart. Not only has your life changed, but so has your children and extended family’s life changed. Your kids may be in their 30’s or 40’s and find it unbelievable that the family they have always known as solid, is no longer.

There is a lot you can do to help yourself cope with the changes brought about by separation.

Don’t play the blame game. People change and sometimes they grow apart and want different things. Staying miserably together is not a healthy way to spend your life at any age. It takes two to tango, own your part in where your relationship is right now.

Talk to one another and more importantly listen to how one another feels. Share with each other, rather than taking all your pain, anger or frustration to someone else. Relatives and friends are bound to take your side and that may make you feel temporarily better, but no-one can sort out the breakdown apart from the two people it concerns.

Be honest about how you are feeling but own those feelings. Being sad is normal, but don’t wallow in self-pity. Use the situation to focus on yourself and on your own future too.

Resist the temptation to jump onto a dating site to find solace in meeting someone new. After separation and divorce, much like after bereavement, you need time to readjust and being on your own. You may have to dig deep into emotional reserves, but you will come out the other side stronger as a result. You may ultimately decide you want to find love again, but keep in mind someone else your age comes with their own emotional baggage just as you do.

Avoid the temptation to numb painful feelings by a habit which could turn into an addiction. Be that, food, alcohol, smoking, gambling or sex. You will only end up with a double whammy to sort out down the road. Pain and sadness don’t last forever, and you will be happy again, even if you find that hard to believe at the time your marriage breaks up.

Coaching can be very beneficial in helping you work out your goals for the next stage in your life, which may be very different now to ones you had expected.

Let’s have a chat about ways that I can help you. Call me today on 07748030236 for a Free, confidential 30 minute chat.

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