Many people may think of divorce as something that happens in the earlier part of a person’s life or after just a few years of marriage. In fact, Florida couples who have been married for decades also may split up. The divorce rate of couples over 50 is twice as high as it was in 1990. This is often referred to as “gray divorce.”
Why long marriages end
There are several reasons why these marriages may end. With people living longer and healthier lives, they may not be as willing to remain in an unhappy marriage as earlier generations might have. The culture has also changed, giving people more freedom to express their dissatisfaction to friends, family members and therapists and sometimes make the decision to divorce.
Moving on as an older adult
Some couples decide that they want to stay together until their children are grown and split up as soon as they are out of the home. Others find that once their children move out, they have grown apart. Some might picture a future in which they find a partner who is better suited to them, or remarrying might not be in their plans at all. Some people feel that while they were once well matched with the person they married, this is no longer the case.
In a “gray divorce,” there may be several concerns that a younger couple may not have. For example, older adults might be near retirement age or already retired, meaning that they cannot as easily recover from any financial setbacks that may accompany divorce. Furthermore, even though child custody and support may no longer be an issue, a divorce may affect adult children emotionally. Parents may also want to create a plan for continuing to support any children still in college.