“I was almost 40 when I got remarried.
Getting married again was not a part of the plan. As a matter of fact, I had no plan at all.
All I wanted was to be on my own and just — be. After years of unhappiness in my previous marriage, solitude felt good to me.
I felt good about myself and where I was in my life. I felt settled and grounded.
In my late thirties, I had a thriving career, a healthy, well-adjusted child, and plenty of things to look forward to. I was unconcerned with finding love and even less so about my age.
This didn’t seem to be the case with my divorced friends. There was a clear trend among them: they felt they were too old for love. Past a certain age. Certain age being 40 years old.
I remember a friend of mine proclaiming: ‘Forties is IT!’
‘Who wants an old woman like me?’ complained this 43-year-old gorgeous, successful, smart woman.
And for the first time, it came into my awareness.
My heart sank. ‘It’s true,’ I thought, ‘not much left after 40.’
Fear took over. I found proof in my divorced friends. I recalled memories of my childhood and all the women I knew who never got remarried. Women who gave up on themselves. Who gave up on love.
It was around that time I met a younger man. A single, never married, life-loving, love-enthusiastic man.
A man who didn’t seem to care about my age at all. Who never brought it to my attention, never mentioned it.
And here I was, getting doubtful. Convinced it was just a matter of time before this relationship falls apart. Certain he would wake up one day and in horror realize how old I am and run as fast as he can.
‘You are better off with a younger one,’ I’d say jokingly. I was trying to sound unconcerned and detached but this was fear speaking for me.
I was holding him back. He could have a great life with someone younger. Someone less bitter. Someone without all the emotional crap piled up over the years. A woman unencumbered by past marriages and ex-husbands. Someone free and open to love.
I was none of those things.
‘He’s going to leave one day soon,’ I kept thinking. And I replayed it, over and over and over again.
I intentionally created situations that were meant to push him away. I would get angry, jealous. I would show up as mean, hurtful.
I was rejecting him before he had a chance to reject me.
He never did. Never budged.
He stayed resolute in his love for me.
So resolute, as a matter of fact, he decided I was actually THE person for him.
We have just celebrated our third wedding anniversary.
We didn’t do much —we were busy taking care of our 5-month-old son.
Yep, I did that too. I had a baby at 42.
This was not the plan either back in my early divorced days.
I have since given up on using my age to hold me back. Everything I didn’t think I would do past this age, I have done.
As women, we have allowed society to tell us when our lives stop being worth living to the fullest.
We have this obsession with time and age. The expiration date to happiness. THE END. 40?! Done! Nothing left for us. That’s it! Go hoard cats. Die alone. You’re finished. Spinster.
I mean, clearly, bullsh*t.
I have since met many, many women whose lives only began after 40. So many women who experienced true, meaningful love and connection for the first time in their 40s.
Your age does not determine how your life goes. You do.
How do you feel when you think: ‘OMG! I am running out of time?!’
I bet rushed.
‘It’s too late for me.’
I bet depressed. Or completely frozen in fear.
Neither really helpful in opening up to the possibility of having the life or love you want.
Instead of the intense focus on age, focus on the belief it is coming. Believe it is possible.
Focus on becoming the person ready for when it does show up.
It doesn’t really matter if it happens at 35 versus 38.
You are not behind and it is not too late.
It will come in due time.
Until then, your life is waiting to be lived. Go live it. Fully. Time is just a number. And oh, that friend of mine from the beginning? Happily remarried — at 47.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Biljana Vishnagara, LCSW and life coach from Jacksonville, FL. You can follow their journey on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more stories about life after divorce here:
‘My husband cheated on me while in the process of trying for a baby. I asked him to leave and ended the marriage. My life turned upside down.’: Woman’s extreme physical, mental health transformation after divorce
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