Going through a divorce can be tough, but you don’t have to do it alone. Here’s how you can prepare for a happy and secure future
‘It’s really important not to criticise each other in front of the children’
PROTECT YOUR EMOTIONS
Regardless of who makes the decision to end your marriage, you will both have complex emotional feelings to deal with. “If you can, sit down with your partner and agree your shared priorities, including how much you’ll tell people about your situation. You’ll have some really difficult conversations because the emotions are so raw,“says Helene Bradley-Ritt of coaching company Boudica & Eir (www.boudicaeir.com). “But if you feel yourself getting wound up, take a deep breath and try to focus on your desired outcome and future.” Telling your friends and family, particularly your children (however old they are!) can be very tough. “It helps to agree about what you’ll say to them and stick to it,” says Helene. “It’s really important not to criticise each other in front of them – to protect their wellbeing and your dignity.” Once you make the break it’s vital to ensure you have a good support network. Your circle of friends and your social life will change after divorce, so make an active effort to stay in touch with your old friends and be open to making new ones. Try to make sure there are people around you who will listen and be impartial. It’s much easier to be honest with people who won’t take sides.
These days, fewer people are choosing to stay in unhappy marriages. ‘’The divorce rate for people over 50 has been increasing steadily over the past three decades,’’ says divorce lawyer Jeetesh Patel, from Hodge Jones & Allen (www.hja.net). Although divorce can be painful, and complicated greater work opportunities and longer life expectancy mean many women recognise this as a time of life when they can seek personal fulfillment after years of putting their families first. But ending your relationship after decades together comes with its own set of challenges, so we asked the experts for their advice on achieving the best outcome.