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Gray Divorce: Is it a real thing?

There is a trend that is reflecting an increase in divorce, split or separation of older couples who have been married a long time.  It’s name comes from the color of hair that older people often have.  

Why have gray divorces been increasing?  The following are some factors that have been reported as to why people leave after raising children and establishing their careers.

Financial matters.  Couples who struggle with debt due to poor life choices, or medical issues can be disappointed in one another for their money management.  When life gets to a point where a couple should be able to slow down and enjoy their hard-earned money, the lack of planning prevents this freedom.

Growing apart.  Couples often engage in activities that are friend based.  Often, one spouse will be very involved with friends and forget to include their spouse in their free time.  When the children are grown, the unified front that they had while raising their children, turns to isolation through hobbies and other activities.

Addiction.  Baby boomers, people over 50, have been known to have addictions to pain medication, alcohol and/or gambling.  Many marriages fall apart when an individual puts their habit above the needs of their families.  Dependencies, such as gambling place financial strains on the marriage, especially if they use the “nest egg” they had saved up for retirement.

Does it have to be?  Can a couple learn to appreciate each other more, find common ground, bridge the chasm?  Yes, with work a couple can re-frame their lives and look for a bright future of integrity, not despair.

Brenda Whitfield M.Ed. LPC-S RPT-S

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