Social norms are constantly shifting. Subjects that were once considered too taboo to even bring up in conversation now have their own dedicated magazines and television shows. One subject which is a core value to many people is undergoing a transition: marriage and divorce.
What some people are calling “grey divorce” is becoming more common across the nation. Married couples with a few, or maybe more than a few, grey streaks in their hair are choosing to divorce more than ever.
What is causing divorce among older people?
No matter how old you may be, you are still a person, and people sometimes change. It could be argued that instances of grey divorce are rising because older people feel that it is a less shameful subject. It is becoming more accepted to say that nobody wants to be trapped in an unwanted marriage, regardless of age.
There are several reasons older people choose to dissolve their marriages, including:
They drifted apart– People’s interests change over time. Years or decades spent busy with work, raising children or pursuing solo hobbies can lead to weak communication. Many people find that they simply do not know their partner after their children have moved out and retirement has arrived.
Somebody‘s outlook has changed – People’s personalities also change over time. The person you once knew as a fun, outgoing goofball may now be grumpy and closed off. Mediation or counseling may help the issue, but sometimes people change and it is better to move on to find what you need.
It is time to improve oneself– Sparks of inspiration can strike without warning, especially as you get older. The number of older folks deciding to go out more, get fit, dress nicer and generally act the age they feel rather than the age they are is rising. When your partner is disinterested, or even against, such a change, it can be very damaging to a person’s motivation and marriage.
Future adventures await – Individuals may retire as soon as their early 60s, which is not that old by most standards. Average life expectancy has hit a high in the US, clocking in at 81 years. That means ten, twenty or more years of travel, personal projects, new hobbies and experiences. These years can be difficult to seize with an unmotivated spouse.
Money problems – Money is a problem for many married couples no matter what their age. Careless spending habits become even more problematic after retirement comes and the familiar salary ends. This may be resolved by counseling, but at a certain point a person’s bottom line is critical later in life.
Divorce is never easy but approaching it with dignity and the attitude of a mature adult can make a major difference. The stigma of grey divorce is lessening each year. If your spouse is keeping you from doing and achieving the things you want, do not be afraid to advocate for yourself and seize your best years.