Marriage is generally meant to be a lifelong commitment between two people. However, many couples end up getting divorced. In the past, younger couples had higher divorce rates. However, the trend has changed and now there is a growing number of couples over 50 who are getting divorced. This change is known as the “gray divorce revolution.”
The divorce rate for individuals aged 50 and above has doubled since the early 1990s. Experts expect this rate to quadruple by 2030. This startling statistic raises serious concerns about why Gen-Xers are ending their marriages, often after two decades or more.
Principal causes of gray divorce
Over time, couples can grow apart. When depression or dissatisfaction arises in a marriage, it can be difficult to reignite the spark that initially brought a couple together. Several factors can contribute to the demise of a relationship, such as:
- General dissatisfaction. As the years go by, one partner may grow dissatisfied with the marriage to the point where they simply do not want to stay together any longer.
- Empty nest syndrome. One partner (or both) may have been waiting for the children to grow up and head out on their own. Now that they’ve done so, the couple decides to file for divorce.
- Addiction to drugs or alcohol. One spouse may feel they’ve had enough if the marriage has been damaged by the other’s drug or alcohol use.
- Conflicts about money. Nothing derails a couple like differences in spending habits, especially if one partner is a spender and the other is a saver.
- One partner chooses to stop being the target of the other’s verbal or physical abuse.
Divorce at any age is stressful at best. You shouldn’t try to handle a gray divorce alone, as it can be an incredibly emotional and financially consequential process. If you’re divorcing later in life, you’ll want to seek assistance to better ensure that all of your needs are met and all of your rights are protected as you move forward.