Many societal norms become outdated after a few decades, leaving room for newer traditions. For residents of Minnesota and elsewhere, this appears to apply to the older standard of staying in a marriage, no matter what. People in their senior years are seeking divorces more frequently now than they did in times past. This phenomenon, known as “gray divorce,” comes with numerous aspects that are different from divorces involving younger couples.
According to Psychology Today, the divorce rate for older couples has doubled in the past three decades. Baby Boomers, many of whom have been retired for years, seem to feel more confident in ending an unhappy marriage than their parents, who may have put up with each other throughout a lifetime, rather than call it quits. Some seniors have already been through a divorce at least once before, which often factors into subsequent divorces. Other gray divorce matters can include the following:
- Adult children may have a difficult time accepting that their parents have decided to end a long marriage.
- Property division can be more complex and involve significant assets and retirement pensions.
- Newly divorced senior citizens may worry about living on a limited income and not having someone to take care of them if they become ill or incapacitated.
Despite some setbacks, there is often a silver lining for older couples getting a divorce. Often, they get along well as friends but have drifted apart after raising their children and finding they have little in common anymore. Many become more active and social, and often find love again. After taking control of their own happiness by ending a miserable marriage, seniors may find their physical and mental health is improving.
Divorce is rarely easy, but there are numerous opportunities for hope and happiness after the end of a marriage, no matter the age of the person getting divorced.