It makes sense to assume that older married couples are more likely to last. However, research shows that the divorce rate for couples ages 50 and older is rising at an alarming rate. These marital splits, commonly known as gray divorces, have almost doubled since the 1990s.
So, why are older adults in the U.S. calling it quits even more than millennials? Here are some reasons for late-life divorce:
1. Pursuit of independence
Many baby boomers decide to end their marriages because of their desire to become more independent. Studies indicate that older adults tend to develop a dissatisfaction with their relationships as the years go by and want to explore their own individuality instead.
2. Financial issues
Finances can be problematic for any marriage, but especially for baby boomers. Money difficulties and spending habits can cause a marriage to break apart. Some financial strain may be partially due to college funds, child expenses and big purchases during a mid-life crisis.
3. Sexual incompatibility
Sex can be a major issue as couples grow older. Hormonal changes that occur with age may result in significant changes in sex drive. If a difference in desire becomes too much, the marriage may struggle.
4. Constant arguments
As couples grow older, they may not find their partners as attractive and endearing, bickering about small and big issues alike. If arguing becomes incessant, it may cause a marriage to wither.
5. Lack of communication
Some older couples tend to drift apart over the years, and communication is the foundation of a healthy marriage. When people stop talking to one another in consistent and positive ways, the marriage will likely run into trouble.
While the overall divorce rate is dropping, baby boomers are still ending their marriages at higher rates. Understanding the reasons for gray divorces may give you some insight into your own relationship.