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What can we learn from serial celebrity break-ups, billionaire bust-ups, misbehaving spouses, pants-on challenged politicos and the ever-shifting landscape of divorce law? Question is, "What CAN'T we learn"? With latte in hand and clicky finger at the ready, dive in for the best in divorce news, views, gossip, and buzz – assembled below for your reading pleasure.

At a time when divorce rates are falling, it turns out that people over 60 are divorcing at an alarming rate. What are some of the reasons for dumping a spouse after 40 or 50 years?

In a study by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) people aged 40-79, it was found that 66 percent of the women instigated divorce actions. Some said they could no longer endure drug or alcohol addiction. Others divorced because of physical and emotional abuse or for infidelity.

Researchers claim retirement is a strain on marriage, just as the empty nest may start the process of thinking about divorce. In Japan, women called retired husbands a nuisance. Some women can't stand their spouse home all day. In the U.K., gray divorce is becoming an epidemic. In Italy, married couples 55 and over seeking legal separation rose by three and a half percent, and those filing for divorce grew by three percent from 2000-2004.

U.S. census figures reveal divorce rates for those over 65 have doubled since 1980. Divorces in this age bracket grew to eight percent of all divorces. Older couples experiencing problems are less likely to seek professional counseling because they often consider it a stigma. Women from traditional backgrounds are rebelling late in marriages which subsume or suppress their individuality. They are often disappointed that an equal union, which is expected to provide personal fulfillment, has not been a reality.

It appears that older people are learning from younger generations that it's better to be happy and alone than miserable and married. While they are looking forward to a longer and healthier life, they may be seeking new partners or entering into new marriages. But if they do not find a new partner, who will they rely on if they become ill or incapacitated?

The divorces of people in this age range have very real emotional and practical impacts on their children and grandchildren. Divorce can cause division among family members with divided loyalties. In some cases it creates "no-win situations" for their adult children. Tomorrow, I'll discuss the impact of senior divorces on the immediate and extended family in a second article. Watch for it.



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2 comments

  • Comment Link RoseH Saturday, 14 July 2012 22:36 posted by RoseH

    Regarding Elder divorce



    I have often times found it pays to take care of YOU...keep yourself educated and informed, eating healthy and right, take care of your needs, be smart about spending, be plugged into a support system that loves you, and learn to accept life at it's fullest.



    You must be mindful of what you can and can't do physically....know when to ask for help AND find it intelligently. Keep good records and know where to find things you need...Use the proper tools to accomodate your needs at home and in public places. If you have a good doctor you can keep in contact with this helps you thrive and plugged in to staying healthy.



    I believe I have to remember the young woman I was before getting married and know the world can offer whatever I care to choose. I'm handicapped and an elder lady. To strive for these simple things you mention is no more than seeking your place of peace...right? Do you know peace? If Jesus is your Lord you know "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13

  • Comment Link Jillian Friday, 08 October 2010 19:16 posted by Jillian

    I am over 70 and getting a divorce from my second husband. Has anyone else experienced this? I have a full life outside of marriage as my husband did not care to be involved with me after a few years of marriage. However, I am somewhat frail and wonder if other elderly women have actually done this without health repercussions. I only want some peace and quiet for myself and to live alone.