Why do aging adults seek divorce after decades of marriage? Why do happy marriages end up in separation? The answer to these questions might not be as simple as one may think.
To make an intimate relationship takes a lot of work and effort, but sometimes couples begin to lose conviction as soon as they enter a committed relationship. As a result, marriages end up in a divorce; after decades of living together with their spouse.
So, what are the reasons why particular couples that have spent the majority of their lives together end up calling it quits after 30 or 40 years of marriage? Isn’t it a little late to end a marriage?
Surprisingly, not in this day and age.
Separating from a partner after decades of marriage has become quite popular in recent times. Divorce among seniors is now denoted by one term: “Gray Divorce.” Additionally, recent research by the Pew Research Institute reports that the number of gray divorces has doubled in the past ten years.
But why is it happening? What are the reasons seniors seek divorce after so many years of living together? Here are the reasons:
People Now Have a Longer Life Expectancy Rate
Suppose a 60-year-old individual finds themselves stuck in an unhappy marriage with their partner for another few decades. In that case, one starts to think it might not be worth suffering in an already finished relationship. The older a person becomes, the more they think about the value of every day in their lives. And soon, they begin to realize that they may have a couple of decades left and they are risking missing out on the happiness they deserve.
So, instead of continuing to lead miserable lives, the elderly prefer to take the risk of walking out of a decades-long marriage. If you do a little research, you’ll find that many aging adults want to live the last years of their lives in peace and happiness. That’s why this sentiment is becoming exceedingly popular among seniors who are exhausted of their partner for one or multiple reasons.
People Fall Out of Love
No matter where you are or who you are, life changes everyone. We all grow. Things that might have interested you in your early years of life may no longer be of any interest to you at the age of 60. And your spouse could be one of them. Many times, couples who are in similar occupations or grow new interests together (music, travel, sports, food) have a better chance of staying together.
On the other hand, couples that begin to grow apart while still living under the same roof but live separate lives personally and professionally can fall out of love sooner or later. And when they get ahead in their lives, the probability of them being financially, mentally, and emotionally capable is only natural. Also, the Cost of Divorce (in UK) is not as high as it used to be. So, couples trapped in a loveless marriage have another great reason to live a happy rest of their lives.
Opposites Don’t Attract
Even though we tend to enjoy our private company more as we age, opposites often have different ways of thinking. Over time these differences become incompatibilities – in reality, they become more pronounced. And besides, as people grow old, they don’t have the patience to deal with all the drama that often results from “opposite” values, ideas, and customs. Arguments become more and more tiring, and people grow weary.
Now it Has Become More Culturally Accepted.
Over the past 30 years, the norms and commitments regarding marriage have significantly changed. Nowadays, it has been seen that couples don’t even opt for a marriage certificate, and no one interferes if people are in a live-in relationship. And for this reason, people don’t even think about getting married until they have kids. Consequently, couples feel every day living together until their relationships start showing signs of conflict. This group of people feels no guilt over moving out of a relationship. And when it comes to seniors, they are no exceptions since moving out is the only way to get their life and happiness back.
When Marriage Had No Love in the First Place
And the marriage was for convenience, money, or to follow the path paved by societal norms. And if the idea for staying in a loveless marriage is to become a caregiver for a partner who might be suffering from a chronic illness is undesirable and daunting. Plus, it is not uncommon for an individual to live 5 to 10 years longer with incurable dementia or even cancer with advancing technology.
If an individual was not wholly devoted to their partner in the first place, they often feel burdened by this possibility and conclude that this abnormal life chance could ruin their remaining years. Consequently, opting for divorce is the only way to face this fear.
The Thrill And Freedom of Living Separately
While many settle down on filing a divorce, they may also agree to live apart. Keeping investments, pension plans, real estate, health insurance policies, assets, and medical plans intact may seem prudent, but that doesn’t mean a couple couldn’t get an actual divorce.
Some people might have married at an early stage of their lives and have never got a chance to enjoy their own company, solitude, and the tranquility of living alone. Therefore, freedom is often the reason why many seniors decide to end a marriage.
Being a Lonely Spouse Can Be a Crucial Factor
The probability is a divorcing couple might have children early in their lives. Once the children get out of the picture, the couple starts becoming more focused on each other. That means the flaws and problems of their partners are not only more visible but also more unbearable. Those issues could range from arguments over the temperature of the thermostat to how much they are spending.
To Sum it Up
There could be many other reasons why adults suck divorce when they are so much ahead in their lives that are not listed above, like adultery or the need to get away from a controlling spouse. Still, the reasons mentioned above are the most frequent for a “Gray divorce.”