You met your spouse when you were both in the eighth grade and the attraction was instant. After high school graduation, the two of you were married and have been together ever since. Now that you are both in your early 50s, things aren't going so well. You find yourself thinking about leaving your spouse and starting a new life.
This scenario and others like it are happening more and more. Couples in their 50s are divorcing after 25+ years of marriage. Researchers at Bowling Green State University in Ohio have dubbed this the “gray divorce revolution.”
Why is gray divorce on the rise?
There are several reasons why gray divorce rates are soaring:
- Unhappiness has crept into the marriage after many years of marriage.
- Empty nesters who stayed together for the sake of the kids are free now that the kids have grown up and flown the coop.
- Addiction or alcoholism has torn you and your spouse apart.
- Infidelity has crept into the marriage.
- Financial disagreements are tearing apart a once-strong marriage.
- Emotional, mental, or physical abuse keeps occurring and the victim decides that they have had enough and it is time to leave.
Deciding to divorce in your 50s is not easy. Even if you and your spouse barely speak, there is a comfort level that you both share. However, staying in a defunct marriage can be damaging to your psyche.
Should you decide to divorce your spouse, you will need support from your family and friends. Your children, even if they are grown, will most likely have a hard time with this, so don't badmouth your spouse to them. The first thing that you should do is contact an experienced legal advisor who can help you navigate through this process.