Why Seniors Are Seeking Divorces
Ideally, marriage is a lifetime commitment—and once you’ve been married to your spouse for multiple decades, it often comes as a shock when one partner wants a divorce. Senior or “gray” divorce has been on the rise in recent years.
Here’s why more seniors are seeking divorce:
- Cultural norms have shifted:Decades ago, divorce was seen as far more shameful than it is today. As our cultural norms have shifted, more people are open to the possibility that marriage is not the be-all, end-all they once believed.
- We’re living longer lives:It’s not unusual for people to live well into their 80s and 90s today. Many people have a realization at 60 that they might not want to spend two or three more decades married to their spouse if they’re already unhappy.
- Women no longer need a spouse:Women who were married before they were allowed to have their own bank accounts (1960s) and credit cards (1974) often married because they needed a spouse to survive. This is simply not the case anymore, although a gender pay gap still exists.
- Empty nests: Once the children grow up and leave the home, some spouses find they no longer enjoy each other’s company—or have anything in common.
- The desire to live separately:Sometimes the appeal of living on your own is enough to make divorce—or at least separation—very appealing.
- Falling out of love or meeting someone new:Sometimes people simply fall out of love. With the prevalence of the internet and online dating, it’s easier than ever to meet someone new. This can be empowering for seniors in unhappy, long-term marriages.
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