All kinds of divorce are stressful and emotional taxing. However, this is particularly true for couples in a long-term marriage. In addition to emotional turmoil, they also have to deal with financial difficulty, loss of friendships, and troubled holidays. Even so, divorce among older adults has skyrocketed in the past couple of years.
Possible Reasons For Divorce in Older Adults:
In today’s modern world, there is no denying that women have much more economic opportunities than they used to. This means that they are less likely to depend on their spouse for financial support. As a result, women are more independent, and they would not tolerate an unhappy marriage for economic benefits.
Decreased social stigma.
Today, the perception that marriage should last forever and that divorce is frowned upon has been dwindling. This makes divorce in both young adults and old adults more feasible.
Longer life expectancy.
Middle-age adults nowadays believe that there are still years ahead of them, which is why they choose to put an end to an unhappy marriage and start to look for someone new.
Many married couples have invested too much of their time and efforts in their children, causing them to forget about their own relationship. Thus, soon after their children leave home, they have become strangers to one another.
Increased health problems.
The older you get, the more health problems you experience. Spouses who do not want to be a caregiver to their partners are likely to look for an escape by getting a divorce.
In sum, there are many possible reasons and factors that may contribute to late-life divorce. Many older couples simply have grown apart, and instead of enduring a miserable marriage, they decide to spend the last couple years of their lives with themselves or searching for someone new. That being said, there are still challenges of divorce after a long-term marriage for women as well.
Potential Consequences of Late-Life Divorce For Women:
Women tend to struggle the most with the emotional side of divorce. In fact, it could take them over three years or longer just to get over these emotional challenges that come with a divorce after a long-term marriage.
Divorced women are more likely to face financial challenges and have fewer financial resources than men. That being said, it is much easier for women to be financially independent now than it was before, especially if they have been employed at a good rate of pay.
Loss of Friendships
After a divorce, the friendships that you had during your marriage are usually lost as well. Women who are older also have a harder time making new friends.
Post-Divorce Identity Struggles
It is much more challenging to create a new identity after divorce as so much of the self has been associated with the former spouse.
Divorce is one of the major life events that can contribute to the onset of depression. However, it has been suggested that the risk of depression is higher for divorced men than women.
Divorced women are less likely to date than divorced men, especially when they are older adults. Moreover, divorced adults nowadays tend to live with their new significant other rather than getting married again.
Relationships With Children
It is reasonable to assume that divorce after a long-term marriage will not impact grown-up children as much as when they were younger. However, research suggests that parent-child relationships can be negatively affected by their parents’ later-life divorce. In addition, it is suggested that adult children can struggle to accept new romantic partners of their divorced parents, thus negatively affecting parent-child relationships as a result. It should also be mentioned that younger siblings and girls are more likely to struggle than others. All of these impacted relationships may make it more challenging for the family to enjoy the holidays and family gatherings.
Considering these consequences, it is a good idea for couples who have been in a marriage for a long time to try to work things out and avoid divorce. There are educational programs that can help couples to resolve their prevailing problems and revitalize their relationships, allowing them to consider the possibilities of a brighter future as a couple. That being said, every relationship is different, and unfortunately, divorce may be inevitable in some cases.
If you’re looking for a divorce attorney in Genesee County, we are here to help. Get in touch today for a free consultation.