Sometimes called silver or gray divorce, such separation is growing as the stigma of divorce is lifting even among older people. According to the National Center for Family and Marriage Research, those over 50 were twice as likely to divorce in 2014 as in 1990. Over 65, the increase went up even more.
Several reasons: 1) More senior folk are often in second marriages where the divorce rate is already higher than for the first. That can often be attributed to the difficulties of trying to blend families or to increased financial challenges. 2) Life expectancy has increased.
Pepper Schwartz, sociology professor and the love, sex, and relationship ambassador for AARP says: Now let’s say you are 50 or 60. You could go 30 more years. A lot of marriages are not horrible, but they’re no longer satisfying or loving. They may not be ugly, but you say to yourself, ‘Do I really want 30 more years of this?’
Maybe the biggest reason is the world has changed for women. They initiate about 60% of divorces after age 40. Schwartz goes on, Women have higher expectations for their emotional life.
By the time a majority of couples get to their mid to late 50’s, there is no longer the issue of staying together for the kids. Even though adult children continue, as they always have, to want their parents to stay together, many of today’s 50/60 somethings are less concerned about indulging their children’s fantasies than having their own lives work.
Contemporary women, and many men, are seeking a more satisfying relationship, or they are okay on their own. Considering how the world is aging, this is a good thing.