Why Couples Divorce: Factors that Lead to Divorce Later in Life

While a number of marriages have resulted in happy and long-lasting relationships, there are others that have ended in divorce. In fact, more than half of all marriages in the United States don’t make it ‘until death do us part,’ according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even more surprising, a significant number of people choose to separate after decades of marriage. Why do couples divorce? Is there a commonality in this gray divorce phenomenon?

According to researchers from Bowling Green State University, there is a trend causing older couples to file for divorce. Otherwise referred to as gray divorce, at least one in four divorces happen to couples who are over the age of 50. The divorce rate in this age bracket has doubled within a 20-year period and is expected to continue growing at a rapid rate.

The increased divorce rate may be attributed to people living longer lives. Once people retire, they still have several decades of life to live, and may find that they don’t have as much in common with their spouse as they used to. Rather than live out the remainder of their lives in an unhappy relationship, people may choose to divorce and move on. Furthermore, couples may find that once their kids leave home, they no longer have anything holding them together.

In addition to these factors, independent women who have reentered the workforce may feel empowered to leave a bad relationship and live on their own. Filing for divorce later in life comes with certain financial issues that people must consider as well. When it comes to why couples divorce, there are a variety of reasons, even among gray divorces.


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