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Finding Joy After Your Midlife Divorce

How Can You Recover From Middle Age Divorce?

middle age divorceGetting over divorce during midlife can feel like a constant struggle. Learning how to reinvent ourselves, establish our independence again, and figure out what we want can be overwhelming after middle age divorce. Oftentimes, we may forget to see all the wonderful things that await us.

Learning to find joy in your life as you learn how to move on from divorce is an incredible gift that you can give to yourself. And it can be easier than ever when you ask yourself the following.

What are the things in your life you have overlooked but are worth celebrating?

We have this unfair expectation that only huge milestones in our lives are worth celebrating. But what about the daily struggles that we endure, especially during midlife?

We don’t give ourselves enough credit for the things we have accomplished, especially as we learn to move on after divorce. Every day that you take control of your life, every day that you learn a little more about managing money and re-entering the work force, every day that you get a little bit stronger and take care of yourself and put yourself first and realize that you are worthy of getting your confidence back and reclaiming your life is something you should celebrate.

So, what things will you start to celebrate? I’ve listed a few of my own!

I choose to celebrate that I am no longer in a relationship that was unhealthy for me.

I will celebrate that I am a survivor. I got through this, and now I know I can get through anything.

If you are still having trouble with trying to identify things that bring you joy, don’t worry! Finding joy in your life is the most important step to learning how to heal and move `on. It is also the easiest but most critical component of taking care of yourself as you recover for your divorce.

What is yours that nobody can take from you?

Answering this question establishes the solid foundation for celebrating what is good in your life. These answers are simpler than you think. Some of my answers, especially during the hardest times of my divorce, included:

  • Coming home to a clean house—everything just how I left it.
  • The feeling that although I am no longer married, at least I am not in a toxic, unhealthy relationship anymore.
  • Knowing that my dogs would always greet me with a wagging tail and sloppy kiss.

Those simple things are ones we usually take for granted, but when you are mindful to the love and beauty that actually surrounds you, just waiting to be acknowledged, you will see dozens of things to be happy about that are right in front of you.

When the world still seems like a disaster, or when you are angry over something that happened today, or you saw something or heard something that triggered you into feeling resentful of grief-stricken, you must do this one thing.

List five things for which you are grateful.

These things do not have to be extravagant. In fact, the simplest of things are usually the best, because they remind us that we are still alive and that we will be okay. Need some inspiration? Take a look at last night’s entry into my own notebook.

  • The gradual change of weather into spring
  • The smell of fabric softener on clean sheets
  • Hot Epsom salt bath before bed
  • My sweet dog Oliver, who always makes me laugh
  • Homemade delicious brownies

Do this exercise tonight.

I prefer doing this as I am getting ready for bed. After I finish the night rituals but still have a few minutes before I know that I am going to zonk out is when I write these things. It doesn’t really matter when you do it exactly, but I find that doing it at the end of the day is the best way to get closure on any nonsense that has gotten in my space, as well as celebrating any good things that have come my way, too.

Make it as easy as possible.

I keep a medium-sized notebook with a pen on my nightstand, next to my alarm clock. That way, I will see it every night. Get a beautiful or as simple of a notebook as you want—some people get super-fancy and call them Gratitude Journals. I just call it a lifeline to joy.

A simple habit can change your outlook.

This is not a just-one-and-done thing, however. You must make this a habit in order for it to work. Some studies show that it takes 21 days of practice to make something a habit, but you will start to notice the change in your outlook in three days of writing things down.

You may also see patterns of things for which are grateful—things that appear in your notebook regularly. It’s not a coincidence. It’s a sign that these are the things in your life that bring you joy, and these are the things you should celebrate. These are the things that, when you are angry or lonely, have the power to center you again and remind you that you have control of your life, that you are strong, and that regardless of where you have been, you will get your life and happiness back after middle age divorce.

Martha Bodyfelt

Martha Bodyfelt is a divorce coach whose whose website "Surviving Your Split," helps readers navigate their divorce with less stress and drama so they can move on with their lives. For your free gift, stop by or say hello at

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