Cost of Living & Finances
In our company’s research, we discovered that finances are in the top three issues of most concern to women after a midlife divorce. It’s less true for the younger boomers, but many of the over 50 women are less financially self-sufficient than younger women.
In my situation, My first husband and I got married in college. I worked to help support us while my husband was in medical school until our children were born. I was especially vulnerable after our divorce 33 years later. I was unprepared to financially support myself like I would have been if I had been following my own career path.
Most women after a 50+ divorce are financially at risk. About 25 percent live below the poverty level. Most women, among other things, want to find someone who can at least help pay the bills.
At the same time, many of the 50+ men are looking for a younger woman. Many older men are drawn to women below them on the economic scale. That’s why in my work every day with women going through midlife divorce, I hear so much about successful men running off with their massage therapist, their administrative assistant, a waitress or a nurse.
Most marriages and remarriages after 50 years of age aren’t based solely on the finances, but women, especially, will usually cross off a future partner who will not be able to support himself or help financially in the new marriage.
Second Marriage After 50
When I was first divorced at 53, I thought I would never be really happy again. It took me a long time to get myself back. I was lost under layers of sadness, anger, bitterness and fear, and it took me longer than I wanted to feel normal again.
In my 10+ years of doing midlife divorce recovery work, I have discovered that the after 50 couples who create happy second marriages are those who take the time to do the grief work and healing work that is necessary after the end of a marriage. Don’t rush it. Be kind to yourself and be patient with the process.
Living Together vs. Marriage After 50
It is definitely a trend among young people to live together before, or instead of, getting married. Some older people do that, too, even though most research shows that people who live together before marriage are more likely to divorce than couples who do not.
Unmarried couples living together are almost always having sex before marriage and that can dramatically change the relationship. It takes it to a deeper level, especially for women. If you are living with someone as opposed to just dating, It is more traumatic and complicated to end that relationship, but it’s still easier than splitting up after marriage.
Some older couples, who because of their religious tradition, feel as if they cannot remarry after divorce. Regardless of your situation, the question of whether to live together or get married is one question that you need to settle in your own mind before you even start dating.
Sometimes we are so hungry for sex and for the companionship and other intimacies of a relationship that we make decisions based on that, rather than looking carefully at the whole person we are dating.
PS – I read somewhere that middle-aged men are the least careful of all male demographics to NOT practice safe sex! Just saying!
How Long To Date Before Marriage After 50?
Read more about Dating After 50
My rules are: Do not date until you have done the grieving and healing you need to do after the end of your first marriage. A counselor told me to expect one year of healing for every 5-7 years of marriage. I said, “I don’t have that long! I might be dead by then.” Another said one month of healing for every year of marriage. That got me down to about 3 years.
Those long time frames are what encouraged me to develop a program that can take women through a structured program of healing that can be completed in one calendar year or even faster if you’re dedicated to the process.
Dr. Laura Schlessinger, author and relationship advisor, always said three years is the minimum time to date before marraige. For me, it was more like a year and a half or two years. I would err on the side of taking your time rather than jumping in too soon. Going through a 2nd or 3rd divorce, is something to avoid at all costs!