6 Tips On Talking To Your Adult Kids About Your 'Gray' Divorce

Why do some couples choose to divorce later in life?

6 Tips On Talking To Your Adult Kids About Your Gray Divorce getty

You probably never thought you'd be involved in a "gray divorce" — the end of a marriage for couples in a much older demographic.

There are many reasons for divorce, but the most common ones usually involve money, lack of intimacy, and general incompatibility.

Divorce, in general, is never an easy topic to discuss with family because the ramifications can create undesired consequences.

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Discussing the reasons for divorcing with your grown children after many years of marriage can be difficult.

Why do couples choose a "gray divorce"?

Religious and other social obligations often keep a marriage together, but these areas only change once a moment of clarity comes around.

The sense of exhaustion in a marriage that has had better days changes the perspective of the most devout and social — but not that important — interactions.

The need to move on becomes stronger than keeping old habits.

Another primary reason there are "gray" or "silver" divorces is the issue of spending the rest of your life with some peace of mind.


This point generates different reactions from adult children, but if this is a decision you've made as a senior, you need to stick with it. Some children will not accept it, others will choose sides, and there are those who believe that it's about time and will ultimately be a good thing.

The marriage experience may also be not what they were expecting.

Marriage can be uplifting, a major challenge, or somewhere in-between. When a union is not fulfilling, it can be emotionally and physically draining. 

Many people remain in destructive relationships for reasons such as children, finances, and image. They endure the hardships of a difficult situation and cope the best that they can for many years.


But when you reach a certain age, some of these reasons are no longer relevant. When the opportunity to "escape" arises, or the obstacles that your marriage and spouse represent have ended, there can be an urge for liberation.

This decision is not easy and not to be taken lightly, but the benefits of being alone or having the opportunity to find some joy in life are appealing.

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Marriage is an institution designed to be a life-long commitment, and no one should enter this type of union without that intention.

A silver marriage is one that has endured a lot of obstacles. 

Many of those obstacles have been overcome as a unit. When the fruits of the efforts of that union are no longer valuable, it's time for many couples to depart and seek a better life.


Unfortunately, there may also be some consequences, such as backlash from your adult children. But when you decide to leave a long-term marriage after some careful consideration, it might be the healthiest choice to make.

Being miserable for many years and feeling unappreciated is not part of the vow you took when you said, "I do."

If you don't take control of your remaining years of life, then no one is going to make you happy.

You're not a bad person for wanting to be happy. Feeling guilty is natural, and adult children may engage in behavior that causes you to feel this way.

And this is just one of the many issues you'll face once you have started the divorce process.


Here are 6 ways to help your adult kids understand your "gray divorce."

1. You and your spouse are on different paths now. 

Explain that you're a different person than the one who married your partner at this stage in life.

2. It's time to focus on new goals. 

You've faithfully honored your obligations to your family, and believe now is the time to achieve new goals that you're unable to do in your current situation.

3. The marriage has not been fulfilling to you.

Now, you want the opportunity to grow personally. You've outgrown your ex spouse and the marriage.

4. You want to enjoy your later years with little or no conflict.

There's little or no intimacy in the marriage and hopes of a compatible relationship are over.


5. You believe your partner will be alright without you.

You have faith in your spouse to find alternatives for your role in their life.

6. You'll both be financially OK.

You believe you and your spouse will be financially OK with this decision.

Marriage and the life you have had is one that you have grown accustomed to, but you may be miserable in it.


Divorce will bring you new challenges, but the prospect of a better life is appealing. Time and experience often bring wisdom and understanding.

If you're a senior deciding to divorce, then you're a person who's choosing to stand up for yourself. It may be the most difficult decision of your life.

You're asking others and your children to accept you for who you are and not just you are accepting others. It's a declaration of independence proclaiming you deserve peace and happiness.

You've been a martyr long enough!

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John Cappello has been a practicing psychic medium for over 25 years. For more information about his work or to book a consultation go to his website.