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Top Causes of Grey Divorces

For several decades, the rate of divorce among people ages 50 and older has been on the rise in the U.S., Japan, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and India, among other countries. In fact, adults between the ages of 55 and 64 have the highest divorce rate among adults over age 20. So what gives? Why are older people who have been married for many years suddenly deciding to divorce? The experts at Simple Divorce explain what’s behind the grey divorce phenomenon.

Growing Apart
People change as they get older and sometimes, they just aren’t compatible with each other anymore. This is particularly true for people who marry at a young age because they haven’t had time yet to really know themselves as a person. When interests and life goals change, it can cause distance between two people that often leads to wanting different things out of life and those things frequently no longer involve the other person. 

Empty Nest
In some cases, two people only stay married for the sake of their children. When those children grow up and leave the house, the couple discovers they no longer have anything in common. Perhaps their children’s activities and lives were the only thing they shared and once the kids left, they realized they were virtual strangers. Arguments that were kept under wraps when the children were home may come to the forefront and this new life may cause tension in a marriage that results in divorce.

Less Stigma
When many older people of today initially got married, there was an attitude that you stayed married for life, even if you discovered that marriage to that person wasn’t something you really wanted. Now, though, the stigma of divorce is much less and older couples who were trying to stick it out realize they don’t want to live that way anymore. They are no longer worried about what other people will think if they get a divorce, so they take the plunge.

It’s easy to fall into a routine when you live with someone for a long time and in some instances, older people who have been in a routine for too long suddenly decide they want more unpredictability and adventure in their lives. If their partner isn’t on the same page with bucking the routine, it can cause a major rift in the relationship that can’t be repaired.

Financial Differences
Financial reasons are behind a great many divorces, and older people aren’t immune from this struggle. While people who have been married for a long time have probably worked through any financial differences they had, newly married older couples can have the same financial problems as younger married couples. They may not agree on how much to save, how much to spend, or what to spend their money on. When two people view money in very different ways, it’s challenging to reconcile those differences in a way that allows a marriage to flourish. As a result, these couples often split up.

Just because a couple has been married for decades doesn’t mean they can’t ever get a divorce. There’s no reason to stay married if you no longer want to be. Older couples are embracing this idea and choosing to start over later in life.

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