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Life after 50: For some, it includes divorce

If you're part of the baby boomer generation, you may recall a popular song from long ago entitled, "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" by rhythm and blues icon, Paul Simon. In fact, if you were to survey everyone in Texas who has navigated the divorce process, you may find there are also 50 (or more) reasons people tend to end their marriages. The number 50 is also key when talking about gray divorce, which is a rising trend where people age 50 or older end their marriages in court.

If someone were to ask you to write a list of the specific reasons you decided to divorce, could you do it? Some people are able to while others can't really place their fingers on exact causes, only that their marriages slowly declined and ultimately fizzled altogether. You may be somewhere in between with certain issues impacting your decision to call it quits.

Issues that often lead to late in life divorce

You and your spouse may have raised several children together. Perhaps you've already celebrated your silver or even golden wedding anniversary. That does not necessarily mean you are free from the risk of divorce. Current data shows the opposite, that people your age are getting divorced more and more often. The following list shows several reasons often cited as causal factors in gray divorce:

  • The mere fact that people tend to live longer nowadays has a bearing on marriage longevity. The longer you live, the longer you're married, unless of course, you divorce. For some spouses, those extra years prove too stressful to stay together.
  • Some spouses say they simply drifted apart as they got older. Without shared interests or young children to focus on, life may get boring or feel unfruitful to the point that people see no reason left to stay together.
  • Many households include married couples of 30, 40 or 50 or more years but also include adult children who have moved back home, sometimes bringing their own children with them. This type of situation can place undue stress on a marriage.
  • Older people are no strangers to infidelity. Rather than a slow extinguishing of a romantic flame over time, some spouses experience a single, cataclysmic event, such as an extra marital affair, that the offended spouse resolves by filing for divorce.

Hopefully, you're in good health and can take steps to move toward a new, happy future. Divorce is seldom easy but it needn't ruin your life, especially if you have a strong support system available to help you.

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