As I explained in A long term commitment to selling divorce, the media has been selling “gray divorce” as empowerment to boomer women for nearly a decade, using a highly misleading narrative. Fortunately few women (statistically) are actually taken in by this message; despite the hype late life divorce is statistically rare, as most women intuitively understand the reality of Rollo’s Chart.
But limited success hasn’t discouraged those who are selling gray divorce, and even limited success still can translate to large numbers of men, women, and children being harmed. For an example of the constant barrage selling gray divorce to boomer women, see the 2010 article in the Denver Post Women getting feet under them after “gray divorce”. As the title suggests, the article is about the empowerment late life divorce offers to women. The poster child for the article is then 52 year old Mandy Walker, who is shown standing confidently next to a step-stool, the very picture of divorce empowerment.
Not surprisingly, the text of the article is selling the same message as the headline and the image. Older women are ditching their boring loyal dudes and opting for an empowering new life! This is an exciting new trend!
Women in long-standing marriages tend to want to move on more…
Unlike their mothers and grandmothers, who may have stayed married out of economic dependency, boomer wives are more likely to be financially independent, having carved out successful careers.
…when boomer women aren’t happy in a relationship, they seek change for fulfillment…
More so than men, women begin to look back on their lives and think about what their interests and passions were before marriage…
The article then quotes Mandy Walker, the confident woman with the step-stool:
The biggest thing was knowing I was approaching 50 and thinking I didn’t want to live the rest of my life married to someone I no longer loved…
Over the years, you give up a part of your life for your children, a part for your husband and a part for your work…
You are left wondering, ‘Where is the part that’s left for me?’
The article explains that divorce empowered Walker to follow her dream of being a writer. Walker went back to school to get a masters degree in journalism. Now Walker writes… about divorce.
Given that seven years have passed since Walker posed as the poster child for gray divorce, I thought I would see what living the dream looks like. While her short stint writing about divorce for Huffington Post seems to have ended in 2013, Walker still hosts a blog called Since My Divorce where she continues to write about divorce. The blog is heavily monitized* with advertisements and guest posts from divorce related service providers and links to the full range of divorce related services Walker herself sells.
My goal is to support you through the end of your relationship and beyond, with compassion and without judgment, while sharing tons of valuable insights and practical guidance.
One of her offerings is a free course to help women decide if they should divorce their husbands, titled Is Divorce The Answer?
Every marriage has its ups and downs, right?
So how do you know when you’ve crossed that invisible line, when you’ve reached the point of no return, when your relationship is truly beyond repair?
If after taking her free course you decide that divorce is the answer, Walker will then assist you with paid coaching time, or for those on a budget My Divorce Pal, an online self paced program Walker sells for $167.
But what about after the divorce? What does Walker offer divorcées who have completed their empowering gray (or otherwise) divorce and have come out on the other side? Walker has them covered on her site as well, with articles like the current guest post, How To Overcome Unfairness In Divorce:
It happens to the best of us. We navigate divorce, trying our hardest to be logical and rise about the drama and pettiness of our former partners, but every once in a while, the feeling hits.
Fairness. Unfairness. The feeling like we’ve been screwed over during divorce.
The guest post is written by fellow Divorce Coach Martha Bodyfelt who, like Walker, has her own website and offers her own services:
Martha Bodyfelt is a CDC Certified Divorce Coach® whose website “Surviving Your Split” helps readers gain clarity and get their confidence back so they can move on with their lives. For your free Divorce Goddess Recovery guide, stop by http://survivingyoursplit.com/ or say hello at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bodyfelt elaborates, knowing precisely what her audience has experienced after the intoxicating promise of empowerment has faded and reality has finally set in:
You know exactly what I’m talking about. Do any of the following sound like things you have said or thought?
“It’s not fair that my ex has already moved on and I’m stuck here with nothing.”
“It’s not fair that he’s out having a great time with his new girlfriend while I’m here heartbroken.”
“It’s not fair that my adult children are going to be in my ex’s wedding, and they don’t understand what I’m going through.
“It’s not fair that they’re taking the kids to Disneyland and I don’t even have money for a haircut.”
“It’s not fair that I will have to work for another 10 years instead of retiring next year.”
Many of us have stewed in the injustice of it all, thinking that our ex should be punished…
*The blog also appears to be a ghost town, with almost no reader comments on recent articles. For the articles I found that did have reader comments, roughly half of the comments were made by the author or host.