Divorce rates have been increasing among married couples in their 50s and older. The divorce rate for these older couples has increased over the last several decades. Often called a gray divorce, there are unique challenges, considerations and factors that contribute to these situations.
Gray divorces have a few common causes.
Empty nest discoveries
One challenge of the empty nest is suddenly finding yourself alone with your spouse with no children demanding your time. This sudden shift in the household dynamic often reveals fractures in the relationship that were not apparent previously. Without children in the house as a focal point, you might find that your marriage became more about the kids than yourselves and it is time to go your separate ways.
Differing perspectives on intimacy
Intimacy issues contribute to many gray divorces. As you age, hormone levels change and the desire for intimacy often declines. This change often happens at different rates for couples, leaving one spouse struggling to have their needs met while the other may feel pressured. This creates strain in the relationship and may lead to divorce.
Most people consider infidelity as a leading cause of divorce between younger married couples, but it is very common in gray divorce as well. Infidelity happens for many reasons with older couples, including empowerment, physical fulfillment and even self-esteem issues.
Understanding some common causes of gray divorce makes it easier to assess your situation and decide if divorce is the right path for you. With life expectancies increasing, there is no better time to embrace the future that makes you happy.