People of all ages divorce, but a unique set of challenges and hurdles face those with four decades of life experience. It isn't necessarily harder for people to come out of a divorce successful after the age of 40, and there are challenges that younger people face that the over 40 group doesn't. But it is important to understand what challenges are unique for this age group in order to successfully navigate the divorce process.
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Often times, a divorcee in his or her 40s has to learn and adapt to new roles and behaviors that they have not done for many years. Good or bad, often times the men in a relationship are seen as the bread winners and the women are seen as the housekeepers. This is changing and evolving as our society grows, but for many relationships that started 20, 30 or even 40 years ago, these statuses were very relevant- even if they may not be in most relationships today.
Women who are recently divorced, and over 40, face a certain hurdles that are much more common for women than men. For instance:
Starting a Career
A number of women over the age of 40 have not had a traditional employment job in many years. It is common for women of this age to have quit their job when the children were born. Instead of working a traditional job, often times the women have undertaken the full time job of parenting (which often includes excessive overtime and a serious lack of vacation and sick days).
A tip for women looking for careers is to start at their local community colleges. There are career options available that are easier than others to start later in life, and that don't require a four year degree.
For men, one of the main challenges can be the opposite of this.
Taking Care of the House
Many men may not have done the laundry or cooked for themselves since they have been married. Too often the difficulty of housekeeping is overlooked. It can be a major struggle for a man to come to the realization that he is going to have to get the stains out of his shirts and cook his own dinner.
Cooking and cleaning will get easier as you do them. Your first meal might not be the best you've ever had, but the more you cook, the better you'll be. The key is to hang in there and practice and let it get better.
If you're thinking about divorce and unsure how to proceed, a divorce attorney might be able to help you. Connecting with a local attorney can be the first step toward moving on with your life.