Whoever made such a statement must have come up the wrong side of it. It’s no wonder people hold such obstructed views of life beyond forty. I was caught off guard when I read a recent article by Leo Stoller who reported that a recent study shows women 40 and over are better off to remain in bad marriages than to divorce. Regardless of a couple’s reasons for divorce, Stoller’s perspective limits choices and discourages divorce or separation as viable options. I was in an unhappy marriage once and let me tell you, it is a lonely place to be.
The article’s far-fetched divorce statistics states: (1) Women 40 and over will gain an average of twenty-three pounds after divorce (Humph! When I divorced, I shedded the 225-pound-dud and a few pounds of my own!) (2) Out of 5,679 women studied, only 9 percent remarried. (3) Women in divorce situations can expect to live alone for the rest of their lives and settle for pets as their companions and friends.
Stoller says one need only scroll through “any neighborhood in any city and observe ‘all’ of the middle-aged women walking dogs to confirm this fact.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I hate to nullify these fictitious, far-fetched, and unrealistic claims (actually I take pleasure in doing so), but going to any neighborhood in any city scoping out middle-aged women walking dogs proves nothing. How does this say, “I’m over forty, divorced, can’t get remarried, so I’ll settle for my dog!”? I guess Stoller didn’t take into account happily married over 40 women who simply enjoys walking their dog, or the “middle-aged woman” who walks her dog to keep fit. Stoller closes his article with a quote from Susan Sarandon: “Women over forty are invisible to men.” Oh, say it ain’t so!
Stoller’s argument is neither neutral nor objective. He seems to have a closed-minded opinion of women 40 and over and was far short of inspiring. Who convinced him that women over forty are limited in companionship to that from a K-9?
Healthy women over forty live fulfilled lives. Women do bounce back from drastic lifestyle changes after forty. Divorce and women is not synonymous with old maid. Women don’t have to fall into potential ruts. For example, women and weight loss has long been a sore spot, but it isn’t a point of no return if women gain a few pounds beyond forty.
There are actions that help avoid “after 40 ruts:”
1. Avoid letting your circle of friends go stale. Refresh your social circle often by making and socializing with friends who hold different views. It makes for interesting dialog.
2. Exercise and stay active. Exercising keeps the body toned and fit. It increases energy, stamina, and body confidence. Determine the healthy weight for women of your height and work toward your goal.
3. Say goodbye to frumpy, dumpy, and grumpy. Are you long overdue for a wardrobe and attitude overhaul? Think textiles, patterns, colors, and NEW! When you look better, you feel better, and others notice you.
4. Turn on the charm and have a little fun. Nothing keeps women over forty feeling younger, sexier, and vibrant than a healthy dose of flirtatious compliments. Complimenting others makes them feel good and they take notice of you.
Undoubtedly, remaining positive is important to combatting over forty ruts. Your perspective and outlook are key to staying fabulous after forty and enjoying all that life still has in store for you!