While most people in New York City intend to keep their marriage vows “until death do us part,” the fact of the matter is that not every marriage is meant to last. Sometimes a divorce comes quickly following a marriage, but it is becoming increasingly common for couples over age 50 who have been married for decades to decide to divorce, in what is known as a “gray divorce.” The following are some reasons behind the uptick in gray divorces.
Changes in marital roles
It is common for any couple entering a marriage to have expectations about what the union will do for them. For example, the gender roles that may have been in place decades ago are no longer as relevant. Rather than a husband being the provider while the wife takes care of the home, couples these days want a companion who is an equal, a friend and a confidant. If an older couple finds that their spouse is not meeting their personal need for passion, self-discovery or personal growth, they may decide to divorce.
These days, people are living longer than ever before. For example, if a person lives to age 65, they can expect to keep on living another two decades. This is a long time to stay in a marriage that is no longer healthy or fulfilling. For this reason, older couples may decide to divorce, so they can live out their remaining years as a single individual or in a happier union.
Empty nest syndrome
Many parents stay married “for the kids,” even if the parents are unhappy. Other times couples may just be so focused on raising their children that they do not focus on nurturing their relationship with one another. In either case, once the kids are gone, couples may find that they have nothing in common or are simply unsatisfied with their marriage, leading to divorce.
Ultimately, some couples just grow apart
Whether it is due to changing expectations, an increased lifespan or empty nest syndrome, ultimately some couples just find that after the years go by that they have simply grown apart and they want to divorce. There is no reason to stay in an unhappy marriage, even if you have been married for decades. Those in New York City over age 50 seeking a divorce may first want to contact an attorney, as a gray divorce can present complex legal challenges that should not be handled alone.