So-called “gray divorce” is on the upswing. A gray divorce is when a couple decides to go their separate ways after twenty years or more of marriage. When Al and Tipper Gore separated in 2010 after 40 years of marriage, many people were surprised. But in 2010, one in four divorces occurred among people aged 50 and older according to the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
The reasons why couples divorce after a long marriage depend on each couple and their individual issues, but common culprits include:
- Growing apart: Either partner in a marriage can become dissatisfied. However, dissatisfaction is more likely to occur when one person feels that they have given up too much of themselves to contribute to the union, and gotten little in return—for example when a woman sets aside her career to prioritize raising her children.
- Age difference: When starting a new relationship, a large age gap can seem exciting and even taboo for some people. However after the initial novelty wears off, couples may discover they have little in common. People hitting certain ages may go through the cliché “mid life crisis” and desire something new.
- Boredom: Sometimes, people just get bored with one another and become complacent in the marriage.
- Financial stressors: Just as couples can grow to be sexually incompatible, they can also grow to be financially incompatible, with one partner saving while the other spends. This can put untold stress on a relationship.
- Sexual incompatibility: This can become more pronounced as couples age and go through age-related hormonal changes.
There are steps you can take as a couple to keep your marriage happy and healthy as you age together:
- Prioritize your relationship: Know the purpose you serve as a couple, and work hard to protect the relationship—in public and in private.
- Take care of your appearance: Letting yourself go sends a message that you don’t care about your spouse anymore. Going on a diet and joining a gym can show your spouse that you still want them to find you attractive.
- Shoulder blame: If things have become boring, take responsibility and try to create a renewed sense of excitement. Take a spontaneous vacation or embark on a new hobby or interest together.
- Communicate about your sex life: It is important to keep the lines of communication open to prevent frustration and disappointment over intimacy issues.
- Communicate about everything: This is the only way to work out your problems as a couple.
Baltimore Divorce Lawyers at the Law Offices of Allyson B. Goldscher, LLC Help Couples Who Are Separating After a Long Marriage
If you have been married for many years, there are certain issues that will be unique to your divorce and your new life moving forward. The experienced Baltimore divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Allyson B. Goldscher, LLC have extensive experience helping clients navigate through a divorce after a long marriage. To discuss your situation, contact us at 410-602-9522 or contact us online.