Starting over at 51 and afraid

Was married for almost 20 years and now divorced and don’t even know how to start over.  My ex husband was demanding and jealous so I devoted my entire life and all my time to him, my children and home.  Now he’s gone, the kids are grown and I’m all alone and don’t even know which direction to go


Hello my fellow "ginger"!  I want to echo much of what the folks below have said so beautifully've got a whole new life ahead of you!  If you're in the early stages of this transition, it will feel daunting and uncertain, but oh what wonders can await you on the other side!  I "started over" at 49 and was really spinning in circles for the first year.  It wasn't until I realized that the direction was mine to choose based on my likes and my passions.  It's quite liberating!  And yes, people will tell you "Oh, you'll find somebody else, etc.".  Well, yes you may if you choose to do so.  Or you may choose not to pursue another relationship and just focus on you.  That's okay too!   Stay social, engage in friendships, reach out to others when you get lonely, and discover you again (or maybe discover you for the first time!).  We're all here to help, so don't hesitate to reach out!  You got this girlfriend! 👍

Periodic Contributor

I read your post and I can so relate!  


I started over at 47 with a special needs son ( it's been 13 years for me).  I tried dating for a while but didn't have any luck.  So I choose to invest the time in myself and I have had so much fun!  There are days that I spend at home watching movies, cooking, reading, doing crafts and others that I'm out and about.  I have found a comfortable mixture of both and I'm very happy with it.  


Have a fun and safe weekend.



Super Contributor

I passed that milestone a long time ago.  My next biggie will be 80 and I have 6 years to go.


Someday you will have grandchildren I hope to keep you company. Only in America are Mother's forgotten. Instead of being the center of the family, alot are pushed to the side. It hurts like hell. No doubt. I hope you find solice in church groups, singles groups, friends, part time or full time work. Just go find your new life. You will meet someone who deserves you. ♥️

Regular Contributor

Gingerjem. I'm new to the Community and I just saw your post.  


51?  You are young and have your hold life ahead of you. Get to know yourself, have some fun. Get up and do a dance, you are free.  Free to do whatever, whenever, however and with whoever. Don't waste this precious time.  There must be something you have always wanted to do. Get about the business of doing it.


I have spent most of my life making sure everyone was good but me.  I was told by someone that I was doing sacrifice and not service.  


I am pushing 70 now and it has taken me all this time to finally get it. You are not alone.  Yes, it will be lonely sometimes but even couples feel loneliness from time to time.


The beauty of it can go in any direction you want to.  Pick one, pick two or three, just pick and go.  You still have time to change your mind or direction when ever you want to if you don't like the one you picked. .


I was in an abusive relationship, more than one to be exact. Now I'm trying to play catch up. 


Message me anytime if you need a ear.  Sometimes we just have to talk through it to get past it.  


Now, I'm not saying it's going to be easy, but it will be a new experience and journey.  Enjoy it. 

Gold Conversationalist

Hi Gingerjem; hope you're doing well, staying safe and sane. If I may, You start over one day at a time one step at a time. It's easier said than done but take this time to find yourself. Do want you have always wanted to do for yourself. In time you'll know when you're ready to move forward.

AARP Expert

Hi Gingerjem,

A whole new world for you. You can do whatever you want. No more catering to a demanding, jealous man. Or seeing after children. They are still young though, right? Or they were part of a family you had before the 20 year marriage? In any case, you don't have to guard over them and instruct them, mother them and clean up after them. So, wow. You have decades ahead of you to shape to your own pleasures, preferences, tastes. 


Before kids and a husband laid out your daily plans, day in and day out, what did you want to be when you grew up? I'm 60. I moved out to the Oregon Outback, a high desert rural wasteland, i live in the middle of no where. I moved here when i was 56. I'd lived in an urban area with terrible traffic for all 56 of those years. I'd always wanted to live in the country. And now i do. I always wanted to knit and sell some of what i made. And now i do. I wanted to be a psychotherapist since i was 17. Since i moved here, that's what i've been doing.


It's amazing what you can do after the kids have flown the coop. You and i both survived divorce. We can spend all day Saturday in our jammies. Make coffee as strong as we like it, and heavy whipping cream in it if we want. Who's to say no? NOBODY.


I certainly do not mean to make light of the "good grief now what" feeling of free floating anxiety. What i want to affirm in you, Gingerjem, is that you have already accomplished so much. And now it's your turn to DO YOU.


I for one want to hear what adventures you have next. Keep writing. There are lots of categories to share within. I'll find you. I can't wait!



Honored Social Butterfly

Two suggestions:


Speak to your children, they may be a source of assistance, comfort, and direction. After all, you supplied them with the same as they grew up.

Speak to a counselor.

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