Divorce, no matter at what age it occurs, is one of the most painful, stressful events anyone can go through.
Couples who divorce later in life deal with challenges they would not have had to face in their younger years. Still, is a happy ending possible?
A little background
The rate of divorce for people over 50 years of age has doubled since 1990. One reason for the increase is that Baby Boomers began turning 50 in 1996 and do not show any reluctance to divorce and move on. Many older couples who were not happy in their marriages stayed together for the sake of their children but turned to divorce when they became empty-nesters. More affluent couples stayed together because they stood to lose too much if they divorced. In their later years, however, the yearning for greater happiness overcame financial concerns.
A less impulsive decision
Friends and family members are often startled and dismayed when an older couple announces plans for divorce. However, the decision to part rarely occurs on a whim. Older couples do not have years ahead of them in which to begin new careers or pursue dreams they might have had when they were younger. For some, there is also a fear of being alone. Nevertheless, divorce becomes a matter of taking action because of long-held feelings of resentment or unhappiness and, after the age of 50, time is a factor.
A happy ending
Regardless of the challenges, many older couples push trepidation aside believing that a new chapter in their lives will be brighter and more fulfilling. Studies show that older couples may enjoy better health and happiness once the divorce is behind them. For those who choose gray divorce, positive outcomes are possible.