Divorcing at 53...OMG!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-14-2013
Divorcing at 53...OMG!
Tue, 04-02-2013 - 10:16pm

My husband and I have been married for almost 13 years.  We've been happy, I thought I had my soulmate.  A few months ago he went to visit his son and ended up at his exes.  They hadn't seen each other in probably 20 years.  Since that one night, he's been talking to her (probably daily) and helping her mother with her home.  He's now telling me he wants a divorce because "he's in love with her".  I've tried to get him to save our marriage, but he insists it's over.  I feel so hurt and I don't know what to do.  I NEVER thought I'd be 53 and divorced.  Due to physical problems I can't work, I just feel lost.  Any advice?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 04-03-2013 - 9:56am

Unfortunately I think sometimes people will idealize their former mates, esp when they haven't seen them in a long time--there must have been some reason they divorced, right?  If he is determined to get divorced, there isn't much you can do, so you should see a lawyer, esp to find out if you can get alimony.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Wed, 04-03-2013 - 1:42pm

  I agree with everything Music said.  Get a lawyer.  I am exactly your age and have come to the realization that there IS no understanding men.  Period.  If they want someone else, let them go. If they think so little of you to break your heart like that and throw away years of marriage, they're not someone you want in your life anymore.  You deserve better.

I am 53 as well, divorced at 47 thinking my life was over, then lo and behold, met dh #2 when I was 48 and remarried at 51 (the one thing I said I'd NEVER do again!).  I learned that people can start over at any age, so get that lawyer and begin again!

Keep us updated.  We care.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2013
Wed, 04-03-2013 - 3:17pm

I am so sorry to hear of your situation and I can relate to the pain you have, are and will go through during the divorce process, which may or may not be inevitable. Please know and believe that it is nothing you've done or haven't done. Please take comfort in knowing that your husband is being upfront and honest with you. There are times we have to make decisions that will hurt others as we have to look out for what we want and/or need in life. I have been through a divorce and along with it the roller coaster of emotions that included shame, guilt, blame, depression, doubt, anxiety, fear and so much more. I would encourage you to find a therapist or divorce support group to offer you advice through the challenging times ahead. Your husband may be in a period of trying to reclaim his younger years and seeing his ex-wife as the path to bring back that past. Unfortunately, over the past 20+ years, both he and his ex have changed and the relationship they may have had in the past will have also changed, and not necessarily for the best. What seperated them years ago might just come back to haunt them as they try to rekindle a long burned out flame. This is not to say that you should or shouldn't remind him of this but rather to remind youself that the expression, "be careful what you wish for," may strike your husband at any time including their first fight. He may come to a "what was I thinking?" moment. Please try to play fair in the divorce. You know the good and bad about your husband, just as he knows about you. There will come an acceptance as with any greiving of loss. Again, I understand your sadness but please don't blame yourself in any way for the decision(s) of others. You may find this is not the end of your world... but the beginning of a new one. Please feel free to message me if you simply need a shoulder of support. And know that it's okay to cry when that is all you can do.

Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004
Wed, 04-03-2013 - 8:35pm


How sad your husband didn't honor his wedding vows with you and either NOT visit his EX in the first place or leave well enough alone when he was there. I suspect he's enormored of "what could have been" in the wake of visiting his son and thinks he "made a mistake" by divorcing wife #1. 

The others here have given you great advice, especially regarding seeking legal counsel. Begin immediately collecting documents such as tax returns, bank statements, retirement account information, bills, credit cards, loans, insurance policies, etc. so you can have information. Also, separate your finances by opening your own bank account and close out joint credit cards so he can't run up debts you may have to pay in a divorce.

Good luck.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2013
Thu, 04-11-2013 - 12:36pm

Let me say I feel your hurt, pain, confusion, doubt and numbness.  My husband left me at 58.  We had been married for 25 years.  It’s been a year and a half and I am only now getting over being numb. Let me share a little of my experience in hopes it helps.   My husband feared dying suddenly like his father.  He feared getting old.  I am a nurse who prepared for getting older like I prepared for any other change in life.  I didn't see my menopausal weight gain as a problem simply a process of getting older. I embraced the aging process.  This freaked my ex-husband out.  He dropped too much weight, went to the gym seven day a week.  He states now he is in the best shape of his life.  He is not he looks like a fifteen year old pre-pubescent girl. He is too thin and dating and woman my age who is also way too thin. I am still a work in progress but I am beginning to see it wasn't me but his own demons which made him run.  Sounds the same as with your husband.  When men get in their fifties they deal with their mortality for the first time and it frightens them.  I would recommend no matter how bad you feel; you need good legal representation to help get settlement that well supports you through the rest of your life.  I was in such a state of shock I gave in too much.  Your marriage is a contract and must be dissolved like business partnership.  I know you can't see that far yet, but you must hire someone to do this for you. Putting aside your love for him, he made a contract with you and must be held accountable.  It’s only fair to you.  It does get better and you do move on to a new life but it is a slow process with many setbacks.  The best advice I can give is be kind and gentle to yourself.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-20-2013
Sat, 04-20-2013 - 11:50pm

My husband of over two decades just left me for another woman.  I'm just a few days into my new reality and I can't offer you much wisdom, but I can offer you my empathy.  I'm desperately trying to look forward and not let the hurt, anger and betrayal overwhelm me.  Besides trying to read up on all the nasty little details of what I need to do to prepare and protect myself for the upcoming divorce, I am also browsing around to find activities around town that interest me.  I'm trying to build a calander of options that I hope will help me in the days ahead.  Of course, making myself go out alone to these activities is going to be difficult, but I hope I can overcome my fears and jump into building my new ME-life.  My user name, TotalNerd, I created because that is who I am at my core, but not something I could be with my husband.  He really detested much of the stuff I adored and gives me joy in life.  I've denied that part of myself for so long that in many ways I'm finding I'm eager to really explore that part of my being.  I can only hope that you can find your own small kernal of hope to nurture.  Lol, I just hope my little kernal blossoms into something amazing for me, but it's too soon to tell!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Sun, 04-21-2013 - 11:12am


I was just thinking today that one never really gets over a divorce as I have been divorced  for years and I did go on with my life..It wasnt easy and it sort of becomes your new normal... Yes it takes time and patience and whatever one needs to do to move on whether its help from outside sources or family and friends or even pets at times it is one hard blow that needs to be dealt with.... You can find ways to overcome the grief and everyone is different.. I reached out with therapy and support groups and womens services and some friends and I got by one day at a time....

As the days and weeks and years passed my life did get better but yes there were setbacks but you realize that your life just is different but that doesnt necessarily mean its not good.. I found things to do and I tried new things.. I even starting dating but that has also been a challenge.. I just got back into things I missed for so long and I tried new things .. Of course I still have bad days and good days and that is normal but I keep moving along the best I can.. I find that not being so hard on myself on most days and the freedom I feel is worth its weight in gold..

Divorce is always scary and depressing and the thought of being rejected is more than some can bare but if someone just has moved on and made their choice then the person left behind has to pick up the pieces of their life in a way that is best for them..

I also agree with getting good legal counsel and finding out all you can about divorce laws in your state.. Do not leave or get a divorce with less than you can live on.. Get your fair share and what you are entitled to.. I was  not walking away with nothing so I held on for what I believed I was entitled to and what I needed to live on.. In the end it worked out but it was not without doing my research and hiring a lawyer and going to womens services and learning all I could about divorce laws in my state....

Good Luck to All

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-15-2014
Sun, 03-16-2014 - 12:21am

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