Marriage generally starts as an intention to honor a lifelong commitment to one’s spouse. However, statistics show that many couples end up filing for divorce. Historically, younger couples had higher divorce rates. But, in recent years, a growing number of couples over the age of 50 are getting divorced. This trend is known as the “gray divorce revolution.”
Since the early 1990s, the divorce rate for people over 50 has doubled. It is anticipated that the rate will quadruple by 2030. This begs the question: What is causing couples to get divorced after being married for 20 or more years?
Reasons for the spike in gray divorces
As time passes, sometimes a couple naturally drifts apart. However, sometimes life’s problems can interfere with a once-healthy marriage. For instance, it is challenging to rekindle the passion that once existed in a marriage when there is tension present. A few factors that might cause tension in a long-term marriage include:
- Conflicts over money. Marriage issues may arise if one partner is a spender and the other is a saver.
- Alcohol or drug addiction. One spouse may feel they’ve had enough if the marriage has been damaged by the other’s drug or alcohol use.
- Empty nest syndrome. It’s possible that one or both partners were waiting for the kids to grow up and go out on their own. Now that they’ve done so, the couple decides to file for divorce.
- Mental or physical abuse. One partner chooses to stop being the target of the other’s verbal or physical abuse.
- Depression or general unhappiness. One may become dissatisfied with the marriage over time and decide that they simply don’t want to be married any longer.
You shouldn’t go through a gray divorce alone, as it can be a highly emotional process. If you’re facing divorce later in life, consider seeking legal guidance to better ensure that your interests are protected as you move forward.