50 and Divorced

Referred to as the “Gray” or “Silver” divorce, the number of divorcees in their 50s is on the rise. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 17 percent of people age 50+ were either divorced or separated as of 2011. A 2014 Bowling Green State University study indicates that more than 1 in 4 people who are in divorced are 5o years of age or older.

According to these studies, our baby boomer generation doesn’t hold the same beliefs in the sanctity of marriage as our parents did. Baby boomers want to have it all–follow their hears, so to speak, and with new medical procedures, we can look younger longer. While part of the baby boomer generation, if you have read my story, I didn’t get divorced because I “wanted it all” or was a restless baby boomer. I divorced because of addiction and abuse.

But, the repercussions of divorce in your 50s are numerous, especially for women. Financial hardships being the most obvious. I, for example, am divorced and still have a child to put through college. I don’t envision being able to retire at age 65. Many lose their support systems–couple friends that they have had most of their married lives are no longer there. Many end up feeling lonely with no one to call should they need company, support or physical help.

It’s important as women that we find a strong support network. Just the other day, my back went out on me, and I literally had to crawl to my bed. The fact that I was alone was scary, and my son joked that he was going to have to get me “life alert”. I didn’t find that any too humorous.

But the realities are there. Being single in your 50s, you don’t have the same resources as single women in their 20s or 30s. Our health will begin to fail, and we don’t have as long to build a retirement nest egg. Keeping yourself healthy by exercising and eating right is essential, and keeping your mind young and your business skills fresh, particularly in the area of technology, is also essential.



How Vain are You?

While I take a short reprieve from telling you my life story and how I got to where I am today, I wanted to talk about all those things that people start to do as they get older to help them look younger. Botox? Liposuction? Dying your hair? Facelift? Dental implants? Cabinets full of anti-aging creams?

Truthfully, I haven’t done any of these. First of all, I’ve been blessed with some pretty good genes. I have no gray hair (seriously, none) and wrinkles on my face are slim to none. I’m not exaggerating here, either. Most people I meet think I’m in my mid-to-late 40s. The fact that I’ve raised a teenage daughter during my 50s has also kept me young and “hip”, particularly with social media. Not only do I Facebook, but I Instagram and Snapchat.

But, I do have one feature that has plagued me most of my adult life. Apparently my mother took some type of medication when she was pregnant with me so that she would not miscarry. Remember, she was 45 years old and also had three prior miscarriages. That being said, apparently the medication caused a darkening of my teeth from the inside out, something that no white strips or polishing will ever correct. My teeth are not yellow, just a very light shade of gray. When I was younger, well, quite frankly, I don’t think teeth whitening was a thing, and so it really wasn’t an issue for me. But, as time went on, teeth starting getting whiter, and mine continued to not only stay dark, but also started to shift.

In my late-30s, I investigated what it would take to have a perfect mouth. First, I would have to get braces, have approximately six teeth pulled in the process and then have the braces on for two years. Twenty years ago, this would have cost me $7,000. Then I would have to have veneers made for my teeth to make them be white–another $7,000–for a total of $14,000. I resigned myself to say, I’m not that vain.

Sometimes I wonder if this has contributed to my overall lack of self esteem. When I meet people for the first time, I often wonder, “Are they looking at my teeth? Do they wonder why I don’t get them whitened?” I’ve contemplated going through the process to fix them now, twenty years later, because I think, with a perfect smile, well, maybe I could land a hot date with a 30-something! Other times, I think that the pain (teeth being pulled, tightening of braces) and the cost–well, is it really worth it at this point in my life? Will a perfect smile make me feel better about myself, make me feel more youthful and add enjoyment and pleasure to my later years in life? Is there a price tag that you can place on that? Is it really vanity, or just wanting to feel good about yourself?

So for you, maybe it’s not your smile, but you might be struggling with something else–gray hair, wrinkles, cellulite, whatever. Expensive procedures to help slow down the aging process or change what isn’t quite right–is it about vanity? Or, is it a means of sanity for the last quarter of your life?


How Did I Get Here?

Have you ever woke up one morning and thought, “How in the world did I get here?” Here we are, in our 50s–well, I’m actually pushing 60 (3 years and counting), and is life everything you imagined and more?

For some of you, life may be great. Amazing (or close to amazing) husband, loving marriage, successful children, grandchildren, mortgage is paid off or about to be…wow! Life is grand. Sure, you’ve had your ups and downs, but for the most part, you’ve been “blessed”. Which, by the way, I detest the phrase, “I’m so blessed.” Really? And the rest of us haven’t been?

Then for some of us (and I include myself in this category), life did not turn out how we fantasized it would be back when we were in our youth. I always thought I’d find Mr. Right, be happily married and ready for retirement, traveling the country, and maybe even the world, with my husband. My children would be grown, successful, and I would have in-laws that I adored and grandchildren galore.

So, I have one of the things I listed above–successful children. Or, at least one is. (“I’ve been blessed.”–UGH!) My other child is just ready to begin college, but has high aspirations and the potential to be a successful musician one day. (Yes, musicians can be successful, but that’s a discussion for another time.) Everything else–notta. I suppose I can also say I’ve been reasonably healthy, which I am very thankful for, so I don’t want to sound like my whole life has been a crap hole.

So, how did I get here? This is where I go into the psychoanalysis of me and why I made the not-so-good choices in my life. For whatever reason, I, like many women, suffer from extremely low self esteem. Why? I’m not sure (subject for another blog). As far as I can tell, my parents adored me. My parents were farmers, and they didn’t have much time to spend with me. To add to the lack of attention that I felt, my parents were quite old when I was born. My mother was 45, and my father was 51–pretty unheard of in the 1950s. Having much older siblings, I grew up as an only child.

I was fairly shy among strangers, although very outgoing among friends–often the life of the party. But, among the opposite sex, I had very low self esteem, believing that I wasn’t attractive. Part of this could have been the fact that every one of my high school friends had a boyfriend and was married within two years after high school graduation. Or, maybe I really wasn’t attractive….(see, I still believe it was me). I was the only one who went on to a 4-year university and obtained my Bachelors’ degree. Truthfully, I would have been happier to stay in my small town, marry a farmer and raise children.

So, at the ripe old age of 21, I thought I was an old maid. I was getting ready to graduate from college and no boyfriend or any prospects of marriage. Good lord, what would I do when I graduated? So, one night, I met a gentleman (well, not really a gentleman), who was interested enough in me to call me after a night of 25-cent beers, and continued to call me, until finally he whisked me off to a jewelry store three months later to pick out a ring. Wow! He must love me, I thought, and I had little to no regard as to how I felt or even who he was, but I can tell you, I wasn’t feeling love, and I didn’t know anything about him.

So why would I marry him, you ask? Please tell me that there aren’t others out there who didn’t do the same thing? You’re well-educated, smart, successful, but maybe no common sense, rose-colored glasses? Maybe didn’t believe you could do better? Yes, that was me. For better or for worse, I married a man that I didn’t love, a man who was addicted to alcohol, drugs and gambling. A man who had been married 3 times before me (yup…you read right…I was wife #4). For 13 years I stayed in this relationship, because for better or for worse, it’s what I chose, I believed it was all the better I could do and so I needed to live with it.

And later this week, the rest of the story….


If you have arrived at this site, it’s probably because of one or two reasons…

  1. You are a woman, and/or
  2. You are at least 50 years of age.

If so, you are at the right place. Now, let me introduce myself….

  • My “pen” name is Marti Lynn Lewis
  • I am 57 years old
  • Married at age 22
  • Had one child (boy) at the age of 28
  • Divorced at age 35
  • Remarried at age 37
  • Had one child (girl) at the age of 39
  • Divorced at age 53
  • Soon to be empty nester
  • Not in a relationship = single
  • Always wanted to be a writer (who doesn’t)
  • Tired of talking to myself and writing depressing entries in my journal
  • Now sharing my depressing journal entries with others 

So, if you’re single, married, empty nester, no children, grandchildren, whatever your circumstances are, the only requirement to enjoy this site is that you are a woman and are over the age of 50. Be prepared to laugh, cry and reflect on what your life has been and all the wonderful possibilities your life still has for the future. Hopefully we will learn some things along the way as well, like how to take care of yourself (eat right, exercise), travel tips, financial advice, dating in your 50s, care taking and so much more. I want to make every day of the rest of my life the best that it can be. Won’t you join me? (P.S. Article suggestions and comments are always welcome!)