119: Let's Talk About Divorce in the Empty Nest: Does the Empty Nest Cause Divorce?
Hello, my ah-mazing empty nest friend,
This topic seems to be either a big part of your life or is a taboo topic in what I've witnessed. I haven't run into many humans in my age range that comfortably discuss divorce - except for a fab podcaster I mention in this episode. Even when a divorce doesn't personally impact someone, the discomfort is almost always visible when divorce is mentioned in a conversation.
Somehow, this is surprising in 2020, despite the level of surprises in 2020.
Divorce is a word. We choose how much power we allow the WORD to have in our life. If you are in the process of a divorce, outside of the financial and legal implications (I can't speak to those), you do have the opportunity to move forward in a way that will serve you well - or not.
Your Empty Nest Coach
"Life is a beautiful mess. Make it YOUR beautiful mess and create a masterpiece going forward. You get to decide who you’ll be. Don’t think for a moment that you are defined by divorce. You are more than divorce. You are amazing you, who happened to have experienced a divorce."
Take a listen or read the full transcript at the bottom of this post.
⇓⇓⇓ More goodies below, too! Scroll down ⇓, so you don't miss anything! ⇓⇓⇓
The podcast episode in which I talk about the "d" word - divorce #GrayDivorce #GreyDivorce #EmptyNestDivorce #EmptyNest #Podcast #EmptyNestMom #EmptyNestSyndrome
This Episode is Brought To You By
What You Will Learn in this Episode
- To Consider Love in a Divorce
- To Remember to Choose Thoughts that Provide You with A Positive Energy in Your Life
- Acceptance Allows You To Move Forward
Episode Questions for You To Consider
- Have you ever considered divorce?
- What do you make divorce mean for yourself or others?
💚 Send audio feedback to Coach Christine now: voicemail/text to 920-LIFEWIN (920-543-3946).
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- The Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast Trailer
- Series 1: Empty Nest Prep - starts at episode #3
- Series 2: The CEO of Your Life - starts at episode #64
- Series 3 (this one): The CEO Toolbox - starts at episode #88
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Episode 119 of the Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast
Christine: Hi, it’s Coach Christine. This is my podcast, it’s the Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast and this is episode number 119. If you are new here, know that I tend to use terms I’ve introduced in prior episodes. Should you feel a bit lost, use my show notes for best places to begin. In this episode, Let's Talk About Divorce in the Empty Nest: Does the Empty Nest Cause Divorce?
I work with mothers of high school students and beyond, who are in the trenches with sad and possibly, overwhelming thoughts about what their life will look like when their baby heads to college and begins to leave the nest. My clients’ big question is what will I do with my time? Is this you? I’ve been there, and I get it. Empowering you to write the next jaw-dropping, amazing chapter in your life is my passion. I am energized by leading you in the process of exploration and am thrilled when you unlock the power that lies within you. This podcast is my gift to you.
Hello, my future empty nest friend and Conscious Effective Olympian, or CEO, of your life! Are you feeling like the superhero of your life yet? I sure hope so. No one should feel like anything other than the leading character of your own life, and why not be a superhero? Show notes for this episode have links to anything I discuss that is linkable, and of course, you’ll find all sorts of fun stuff, and ways to work with me on my website: YourEmptyNestCoach.com. If you enjoy this episode, I invite you to subscribe to this podcast, and to consider joining the GPS Support Flock. What is that? I’m so glad you asked; take a listen.
Thanks! Thank you! It’s time to thank our sponsor. This episode is sponsored by my membership community, The GPS Support Flock; Your Flight to Success in the Empty Nest. If you are ready to find the GPS of your life, sign up to receive an immediate and free download of my PDF, "How to Find Yourself in the Empty Nest," our GPS Life Principles document. You will also have the opportunity to learn about our community. See the link in this episode's show notes or fly on over to my website, YourEmptyNestCoach.com. Click the GPS Support Flock button. See you soon!
I had an earlier episode about does the empty nest cause anxiety and the concept is similar to this. The empty nest gifts us with new opportunities to look at parts of our life that we may have easily been ignoring, or too busy to notice. I can’t imagine it’s often the actual event of entering the empty nest is what causes a divorce. What happens is the empty nest shines a light on things that are already there, uncovers them in a way. A divorce that happens after a long-term marriage, 20 or more years, has garnered the name gray divorce. You know me, I like to do an internet search to find what comes up and you know what I found?
Financial Planners and Divorce Attorneys have claimed many of the top spots, so when you search things online be sure to check who has authored the articles. The other topic that, interestingly enough, earned more than five spots of the search results were articles about Jennifer Grey divorcing Clark Gregg after 19 years of marriage. Now my guess is Jennifer’s last name of Grey plays into that, with it also being a gray marriage. But still is this what people find first when they begin to look for help in this area? Wow.
I spent a solid 20 minutes laughing over the images I found on one site. Their idea of what 50 years and older looks like was clearly more like 85 or 90 years old. I mean, I’m 49. Is this what you think 50- or 60-, or even 70-year old looks like? Please, rethink this. Maybe it needs to have a different name. I’m sure there are people who have been married 20 years, getting a divorce, that are younger than 50. What about mature divorce? What do you think? Well, I’m kind of straying here. Let’s get back to our topic.
I did find a paper at Bowling Green State University. In it, it states, “... the divorce rate for couples aged 50 and older has doubled since 1990, and it has more than doubled for married individuals aged 65 and older. An older college graduate, even one in a first marriage, faces essentially the same risk of divorce as the older high school graduate. And, Brown and Lin, authors, point out, more than 55 percent of gray divorces involve couples who were married for more than 20 years.” I share this with you not to freak you out, if you are married, but let’s be real, it’s something that happens to marriages, and if it may happen to you, if it is happening to you, I want you to know that you aren’t alone.
If you get to the empty nest and begin to consider divorce, whether you’re considering it, whether your partner is considering it, or you’re both considering it, if you are the CEO of your life, the Conscious Effective Olympian, you’ll be able to sort through your thought-deliveries out enough to look at your partner and know that you want to love them for who they are. That’s your job, nothing else. Their job is not to make you happy. I mean, it’s painful to think about, but if you want them to be happy, and they want a divorce, you want them to do what will make them happy. Let’s jump for a moment and imagine that you had always planned for your child to go to a local college, or to live 30 minutes from you, and one day they announce that they are moving 400 miles away for the perfect opportunity, whether it’s college or work. Of course, there is a level of heart-brokenness because you weren’t expecting this, but when you see it makes sense for them, you get on board, even if it’s reluctantly at first. Why? Because you love them and you know this is the right thing for them.
Okay, now, imagine your partner, who you love dearly, announces they aren’t happy. That they want a divorce and they give you their reasons why. I would imagine you’d be heart-broken, but their reasons are their reasons. You can make them mean whatever you want to. They may choose statements that blame you. You have the option to accept those in your mind or not. They may simply say they aren’t happy and don’t want to try anymore. If they don’t want to try, do you want to force you both to be in this relationship?
Things to think about. And since I don’t know your particular circumstances, I’ll leave it there, but be careful that you are cognizant of the thought-deliveries that you allow in your mind going forward. Make sure that once you process through your emotions, that you choose thought-deliveries that put you in a positive energy moving forward in your life. I also want to remind you that it is important, if the divorce is happening or has happened, to accept it. When you resist what is, you never get to move forward. When you resist it, you continue to force yourself into reliving the divorce feelings over and over and over. I’d much rather see you accept it, spend time mourning the loss, go through the anger, figuring out how to navigate this with your children, because I don’t care how old they are, they will be impacted, and move forward. This is your life. What do you want your story to be as you move forward?
Please also gift yourself with grace and an abundance of patience, because if you are in the midst of an empty nest transition and a divorce, you have two losses at once. It is a lot. Know you are strong enough to handle it, but you have to gift yourself with grace and time to process it all. You have options, you always do. You can blame your ex. How does that make you feel? You are the person you get to be moving forward, so get to know yourself. Let’s figure out who you are in the future and look to them for guidance. More than likely they’ll put the way you are feeling in this moment in perspective, and remind you that you are worth being with someone who wants to be married to you, or remind you that if you are the one who made the decision, that you get to live the life you want.
The better you get to know yourself now through this journey, the better your years ahead will be. Honor your true self. Find out who you are outside of the marriage. This is all information I would share with anyone, whether it’s divorce, or whether it’s loss of a child or a parent, there are no guarantees in life. There’s no guarantee I’m going to wake up tomorrow morning. There’s no guarantee that my house is still going to be standing 10 years from now. There’s no guarantee that my husband and I will both have our jobs in two weeks. There’s no guarantee that we’re going to be married till our dying days, or one of our dying days. There’s no guarantee that we won’t be homeless in our future. There’s no guarantee that we will stay healthy for the next 10, 20, 30, 40 years.
My beautiful friend, there are things we cannot control and when you get to a point where you are able to accept the lousy things, painful things, as well as the amazing things, this is where you start to become the Conscious Effective Olympian, the CEO of your life. Life is a beautiful mess. Make it your beautiful mess and create a masterpiece going forward. You get to decide who you’ll be. Don’t think for a moment that you are defined by divorce. You are more than being divorced. You are amazing you, you happened to have experienced a divorce. Sure, people may treat you differently. That’s about them, not you. And you’ll figure out who your real circle is. It could be devastating or a beautiful gift. The thought about it is up to you.
In the end, this is all CEO of your life stuff. It will allow you to have power in your life moving forward. I want you to be the CEO of your life. As I said before, be the superhero of your own life. Write your own story that is freaking amazing, divorce or no divorce, you’ve got this my friend. All this being said, I hope it helps. But to be transparent, I am not divorced, as I discussed, you know, there’s no guarantees. But I want to share with you a resource, the Doing Divorce Right podcast with Jennifer Hurvits. If you have the “D” word in your vocabulary, definitely check it out. You can download her episodes wherever you listen to podcasts. You can find her on instagram @doingdivorceright. She always makes me laugh there. Yes, I follow her and I’m married. Gasp! Jennifer also has a Facebook group, offers a free 30-minute coaching consultant call and so much more. Head to her website for all the details, and of course, you’ll find links in my shownotes. I would love for you to check out her resources, and definitely, let her know I sent you. I’m always here to help you no matter the situation, empty nester or not, divorce or not. I truly believe that diversity in experiences and perspectives makes us stronger. So please don’t ever think for a moment that because I’m not divorced, you wouldn’t be welcome in my online spaces, or because I have one child and you have five, that we’ll never understand each other. Maybe not right away, but we’ll make each other stronger, I guarantee it.
I also want to leave you with this. I feel like someone needs to hear this. If you’re in a place where you weren’t the one who wanted the divorce, I want you to know that there are married women who wish they were. They want the freedom. They’ve told me. So, divorced or married, the grass is always greener on the other side. Your thoughts about the grass that you have has more to do with your life than the actual grass. Take your power back by accepting and moving forward. Let's show this world what you are made of. Divorce is a word, let’s not give it a power to control your life. It doesn’t need to mean failure, it can mean a new beginning. You get to choose.
I couldn’t possibly address legal, financial and other impacts of your life in a divorce in this episode, so I think starting with Jennifer’s podcast will be a great start and branch out from there. If you find other resources that are worth sharing with others, please let me know. Divorced or not, you are always welcome in the GPS Support FLock.
The questions I have for you in this episode are, one, have you ever considered divorce? You don’t have to answer that outloud. But seriously, and if you’re afraid to even think about it, explore why. Number two, what do you make divorce mean for yourself and others? As always, I provide content to make you think, my empty nest friend. My hope is that I am able to provide you with thoughts that positively impact your life. My next episode’s title is: How to Avoid Empty Nest Syndrome. If you enjoyed this podcast don’t forget to share it with others, it is the best way to allow it to reach a wider audience, and subscribe, too, it’s free. Thanks! And, divorce or not, my empty nest friend, you are amazing!
Still listening? Not thinking about divorce at all but want to see where your partner lands? Do some research on divorce on the internet. I had about ten tabs up, and then explained to my husband the why. I think having the courage to share that you’re visiting the sites, and seeing what comes out of it is always worth experiencing. Think about it. Considering divorce is powerful. Knowing you both choose not to get a divorce, feels a lot better than always wondering if maybe you are. And what are the reasons why you choose not to? Are those reasons you can live with moving forward? Accepting what is, rather than hiding from it, will always make you stronger, even if you need to work through painful emotions to get there. Have courage.