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Starting my life over from scratch at age 51 - Is it worth it?

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Anna123 posted 10/19/2020 07:35 AM

BINGO: Next time, grab a bottle top type opener and start gently lifting the edges bit by bit around the top until it releases the seal. It takes getting the right spot----

OP. I LOVE my new little place that is not in the higher end neighborhoods like where I used to live. (which my ex insisted on that we really couldn't afford properly).

I love that my new place is mine and I LOVE not looking and listening and wondering about my ex. On paper it is awful loosing that idea of that lovely home you worked for, but the reality is not a big deal after you adjust. As long as you find a place that feels safe. I used QuickBooks to lock down exactly where I stood financially over time. Working seemed so awful at first but it ended up being a source of new goals and relationships that build me up.

If you stay it has to be because of him and your relationship, not your living circumstance in my opinion. You deserve half of everything don't forget as well.

tushnurse posted 10/19/2020 08:27 AM

VoL I have to admit I haven't read everyone else's responses, but I do want to tell you the story of my MIL because it echo's you very closely.

My MIL left her H (several A's, and extremely controlling) when both of her boys were out of the house. She filed for D. She was able to live rent free in a house sitting situation for a brief period, but then had to find an apartment, and financially it was tough. He didn't give her a dime, and she was never "allowed" to work a real job. She made her spending money doing side work, either sewing, or doing stained glass art. She had opened her own store about a year prior to her leaving. She wasn't turning a real profit yet, but was holding her own. She had partnered w/ a JuCo to teach classes that kept some steady $$ flowing, but again just enough to give her gas money, and she too was living on ramen, tuna, and choosing dog food for her dogs or food for herself some days.

But she did it. She got more than she thought she would in the Divorce, and strangely enough she met a man while teaching her courses that had had a terrible first marriage with an abusive spouse. They eventually fell in love, and married, and this man treated her like a goddess. He was amazing, and he was the BEST grandfather to my kids out of all 3 of them. He had health issues, and passed a couple of years ago from cancer. She is now alone, and financially sound, and I promise you she would not have changed anything she did to D , except maybe to have done it sooner.

Where there is a will there is a way, and if this is too much, and a dealbreaker at least honor yourself enough to find a life that you can be happy in.

Phoenix1 posted 10/19/2020 15:16 PM

I'm in the over 50 crowd, got screwed in the divorce, and screwed even further after finding out all the other financial shenanigans he pulled over the years while we were married. Even with that, I do NOT regret it at all. It has just required a change of plans on my part, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. The price of freedom from a soul sucking parasite is priceless.

HalfTime2017 posted 10/19/2020 15:19 PM

Vol- I know change is scary, I went thru it myself. I built up a great life for my family, and the injustice of this whole situation really sucks. How do you pick yourself up and move forward when the hand you're dealt is just shitty 2s and 3s. Well, even 2s and 3s can turn into pairs or straights. you can even get a flush.

Point being, change is scary, and no one wants to be here, but you'll get thru it. It won't be as bad as you think. You will adjust and things will improve. Living a life of a lie and with a cheater is not worth it. Your health is much more valuable than your money. Don't waste any more of your time and health on a cheater. Its just not worth it.

Queen posted 10/21/2020 07:44 AM

I was in my late 40s when we separated in 2015 and I recall thinking, "Great! You used me up and are leaving me when there's nothing left of me?". I just turned 52 and am so excited about my future. My life is so much better without him and let me tell you....I loved him with my entire heart and soul. I couldn't imagine a future that didn't include him.

Dating was so much fun! Decorating my home to my own standards without consulting a man was so comforting. I read a lot, learned a lot about myself and made small strides on little goals that I set for myself. I got a great new job that I would never have imagined I'd get. It doesn't pay a lot but it's enough for now. These days I'm setting big goals because maybe I'll live to be 100! Maybe I won't. But I know that however much time I have left won't be spent with someone who thought it was ok to lie to me. No one who treats me like dirt will have the advantages and pleasures of my company.

katmandude54 posted 10/21/2020 11:32 AM

I'm 65 (66 in less than 2 weeks). She left me four years ago with a teen-aged daughter and a $600,000 house (That SHE wanted and had DADDY help pay for)she stopped helping to pay for and in an unenviable position, heading into retirement age with no way to pay for the house. So, four years later, JUST filed for divorce, house was foreclosed last year leaving me with a huge tax bill she refused to help pay. Now, she is living with her boyfriend (STILL MARRIED TO HIS WIFE!), they just built a new home, I'm in an apartment with my daughter with my 25-yr old son moved back in too STBXW doesn't want to pay child support because it "might" impact her car lease (her words to me). She wants me to wait 18 months. I told her, we're gonna work it out, it's happening now, no more waiting, no more "shackled" to her no more hostage to her whims. If she doesn't like the terms (she threatened to take my pension and SS), guess what? I'll hit her for the whole kit and caboodle, spousal and child support, she makes way more than I do. Screw the waiting, screw the no money in retirement possibility and screw the woman who has seen her daughter ONCE since March. I'm done.

Gottagetthrough posted 10/21/2020 15:36 PM

I have no advice but I can empathize. Wh and I have been married 20 years. We got married right out of college, and both went to grad school together. I worked and had free tuition as a graduate assistant. He took out tons of loans. I had fellowships and prizes, and was in the honor society. He was not as decorated a student (although he wasnít bad)

Then I got pregnant. Became a stay at home
Mom. Wouldnít change it for the world, but it gets me to see HIM with the career when damnit Iím smarter and worked harder.

Finally. After school, then 15 years in a state job that held prestige but was not a great money maker, heís branched out. (Due to OW2 being a coworker... he quit)

Heís starting to make some money. Money where we will be much more comfortable and not living paycheck to paycheck. Money where we will be able to take nice vacations.

It really gets me and heís even said, ďYouíre leaving now? After 20 years when I didnít make money, now that Iím just starting to make money? Lol!!! You canít get alimony on my future earnings, since itís not what your accustomed to. Youíre accustomed to my pidly paycheck ď

It is definitely a consideration, at least for me, in leaving.

I will say, when we were separated 3 years, I had a crappy apartment but was happy, as it was MY apartment. And he and his bullshit were at OW1 house.

BearlyBreathing posted 10/21/2020 19:59 PM

I was 49 at DDAY, 50 when we split. I AM fortunate that my XWH was more than fair in splitting funds, but it is scary. I took a lower paying but lower stress/hours job while I am in graduate school to propel me to a better job.

100% worth it. Not easy, very scary, but 100% worth it for me.

Def read the fear v reality thread and see a divorce lawyer to understand your true financial picture. Knowledge erases fear.

squid posted 10/23/2020 08:27 AM

I'm going to be 53 in a few weeks. I'm also coming up on the 2 year antiversary of my divorce. I was "lucky" in that I was able to negotiate for a limited alimony which will expire in about a year and a half. Still pisses me off that I have to pay it. And, yes, it hurts financially. Same with having to give away half of my retirement. Now I have to find ways to build it up again.

VictimofLies, you've definitely been heard.

As others suggest, find some new hobbies. Or revisit old ones. It's YOUR life now to live. No more trying to live by someone else's standard.

Me, I keep adding to my bucketlist travel destinations and planning to get me there.

VictimofLies posted 10/24/2020 12:11 PM

Thank you all so much. It's so helpful to hear there is still life after 50.

One of my other big concerns is that I have lupus (diagnosed this past January), and I'm afraid of eventually becoming unable to work and support myself and my medical bills. I guess I'll just have to cross that bridge when I come to it.

hcsv posted 10/24/2020 16:26 PM

Maybe look at it this way. Stress can cause Lupus flare-ups. Maybe getting out of infidelity will reduce the stress enough that the Lupus will be under control for a very long time.

VictimofLies posted 10/24/2020 19:27 PM

hcsv that's a good point. It will probably more stressful at first, but once I adjust to my new normal the Lupus may calm down.

I'm still not 100% sure I'm going to D, but every day I seem to be a little bit closer to it.

WornDown posted 10/25/2020 19:11 PM

Didn't read the responses...just wanted to give my opinion.

I got separated/divorced when I was ~45. Prior to that I was unemployed for a year; I exhausted my 401k savings; worked at Lowe's; did odd-jobs. The Ex? couldn't get a job that she felt "was appropriate for her." Remember, I have a PhD in chemistry.

When I got divorced, I left the house with just book and tools. Nothing from the family home. I had a single plate and utensils. The dresser I had when I was a kid and a mattress. That's it.

So, yeah...I started my life over at 45.

Was it worth it? Absolutely.

The ability to get away from that toxic person was worth the thousands of dollars I had to spend on basics: kitchen utensils, a table, furniture, linens.

countrydirt posted 10/27/2020 06:58 AM

I'll be 57 in about a month. Divorce will be final about a month after that. My only regret is that I didn't make the decision nearly 5 years ago, but I thought I could love her back.

I'm discovering that there is a whole world out there, with fun and friends and peace. My retirement will look completely different, but you know what? That's okay. I'm not guaranteed anything in life, so I'm trying to get out and make the best life I can, for however long that will be.

tushnurse posted 10/27/2020 07:42 AM

One of my other big concerns is that I have lupus (diagnosed this past January), and I'm afraid of eventually becoming unable to work and support myself and my medical bills. I guess I'll just have to cross that bridge when I come to it.

Stress and anxiety are about the worst thing in the world for this disease.

PLEASE make sure you are making yourself a priority and that you are seeing and keeping your appointments with your Rheum. As someone who has a weird form of RA, it is essential for you to be your own advocate. Medications make these stupid autoimmune diseases manageable, but it really falls to us to make sure we stay healthy and minimize our stress. That means a LOT of self care.

NorCalLost posted 10/27/2020 09:29 AM

I am in my early 50s and I was betrayed by two husbands. The first one just got remarried in a house he and I built together many years ago. The second one is living in our home with his girlfriend of two-and-a-half years and her children. Neither one of them ended up with OW, although I hear that my second ex still attempts contact with OW, even though he is living with someone and parenting that person's kids.

Like others on this thread, I sometimes feel lonely and that it's unfair that after devoting my entire adult life to another human being, I am now alone without a partner.

However, I was able to buy a teeny tiny house in the Deep South and do not have a mortgage. I still have some sizeable debt that keeps me up at night, but I'm working multiple freelance jobs to knock it down. Freelance, because at the behest of my first husband, I spent two decades at home. It's hard to market yourself when your marketable skills are 20 years old.

I fall into a pit sometimes, but I agree it's important to stay positive and to focus on the blessings, because we all have them. No one is micromanaging me anymore, or betraying me, or saying and doing hurtful things to me. No one is telling me they'd be 'settling' if they stayed with me. No one is telling me that I can't have a cat.

Hang in there. There is still so much to be thankful for, not the least of which is the freedom to live an open, honest life on your terms.

EvenKeel posted 10/27/2020 10:21 AM

We are about to put our house on the market so I need to make a decision.
Vol - You seem like you are really on the fence right now, do you have to put your house on the market? Or can you take some more time to sort out what you want?

WH thinks everything is fine again because I haven't brought it up in a long time
Do you have resources to help you work through this? IE are you in IC?

The only regret I have is I didn't leave sooner. I spent way too many years trying (and trying). It was tough when I decided. I had a FT job and went back to FT college at the same time in an accelerated program (combined with two kiddos at the time that I had full custody for) plus the house, etc. It was a crazy time.

However, I do not regret my decision (ONCE I FINALLY MADE IT.).

I also have some permanent health issues as well so I understand what you are saying.

This is only a choice you can make. You must do what you feel is best for you. That is why I encourage you to get into some counseling to help you. If you decide to stay, then you want to make the best of your relationship. If you decide you can not repair the M, then you want to make sure you have all the resources you can to help you transition to your new beginning.

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