The Epidemic of Gray Divorces

By

The Epidemic of Gray Divorces
More and more couples are divorcing after the age of 50.

This guest article from PsychCentral was written by Linda Bloom LCSW and Charlie Bloom MSW.

Barbara and Jack got married twenty-four years ago. Barbara is fifty-one and Jack is fifty-two. Their oldest daughter is in college and their younger daughter, a high school senior. Over the years Barbara and Jack have drifted apart, avoiding each other in an attempt to keep the bickering to a minimum. Barbara’s numerous efforts to bring about more emotional closeness have been mostly unsuccessful. In her frustration, she has turned to her sister and women friends to meet her needs for connection. Jack has grown bitter due to Barbara’s repeated rejections of his sexual overtures. He diverts his pent up energy into sports. Despite their parallel lives, the tension in their home is high.

When Barbara contemplates her future, she can't imagine spending the rest of her life feeling this unhappy. After months of deliberation, she concludes that she will be better off living alone than continuing to experience the anger, resentment and boredom that she anticipates will characterize her remaining years. Shortly after her birthday in March, she informs Jack that she wants a divorce. He offers little resistance to the idea and they put their house on the market. Six weeks later they are living in separate households. Barbara and Jack have become another in an increasing number of examples of a phenomenon that has become know as "Gray divorce".

"Gray divorce" is the term used to refer to those who divorce after the age of fifty. In 2009 this included over 600,000 people. And the numbers are growing while divorce rate of nearly all other age groups is falling. According the Wall Street Journal’s March 3, 2012 edition, this group has doubled in the past twenty years. In 1990 only one in ten of all divorces involved people over fifty. In 2009 it was one in four. Keep reading...

More how to save your marriage advice from YourTango

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

John M. Grohol

Psychologist

Dr. John Grohol is a mental health expert and founder of Psych Central. He has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues, and the intersection of technology and psychology since 1992.

Location: Newburyport, MA
Credentials: PsyD
Website: PsychCentral
Other Articles/News by John M. Grohol:

Navigating Through Life's Transitions

By

This guest article from Psych Central was written by Linda Bloom LCSW and Charlie Bloom MSW. Webster defines "transition" as a passage or process of changing from one form to another. It has been said that we live in a time of transition, of rapid change. Things in our fast paced society don't show signs of slowing down any time soon. ... Read more

The Crazy Reasons People Say Yes To Sex Are Shocking

By

This guest article from Psych Central was written by Eve Eschner Hogan. Why people have sex doesn't seem like it should be a mystery, but a study at the University of Texas asked that very question. We might assume that "it feels good," "I wanted to show my love" or "I wanted to get pregnant" were among the top contenders ... Read more

8 Pieces Of Common Advice That Will Derail Your Relationship

By

This guest article from Psych Central was written by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. When you're tying the knot, friends and family may share a few nuggets of advice for living happily ever after. If later you're going through a difficult time in your marriage, they may again be quick to share their input. You might even seek their guidance, hoping a ... Read more

See More

GET MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS IN YOUR INBOX!

Sign up for our daily email and get the stories everyone is talking about.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

FROM AROUND THE WEB