Grey divorces are on the rise and have many of us wondering why. Couples who are over the age of 50 are suddenly packing up and parting ways, moving onto a new chapter of their life. But, it hasn’t always been that way. In the past 25 years, the divorce rate for those who are 50 or older has nearly doubled, according to a Pew Research study.
What’s changed? Here are a few reasons that some couples say they decided to call it quits later in life.
Over the years, couples can drift apart and it can seem like an uphill battle just to get on the same page. They may not be able to relate to one another like they used to. The changes in communication styles and expectations can quickly put distance between the couple and leave one or both feeling like their needs aren’t being met.
Some older divorcees say that financial issues were a large reason behind the divorce. One spouse may have been overspending, possibly even dipping into the retirement accounts to fuel their hidden addiction. Others say that they uncovered secret bank accounts or undisclosed debt. The lack of transparency and financial infidelity made spouses question what else their partner could be hiding.
As people age, their personality, interests, goals, and values can change. The characteristics that the spouses fell in love with in the beginning may no longer exist. Older divorcees say they felt like they were living with a stranger. For example, one person may have valued quality time together while the other enjoyed being left alone. Either way, even older couples can become unhappy in the relationship for the same reasons as younger divorcees.
The bottom line is that no matter the age if a person is unhappy in a marriage they shouldn’t feel obligated to stay. There are ways to bounce back from a grey divorce and begin moving on. Taking the first step can be the hardest, but putting mental well-being above all else may make it worthwhile in the end.