A rising number of people across Tennessee and the nation are divorcing later on in life, suggesting that monogamy and long-term marriage is becoming less common. The number of people navigating divorce as older adults has also more than doubled since 1990, raising questions about why so many people are pulling the plug on their marriages after spending so much of their lives together.
According to Psychology Today, the overall divorce rate in America declined between 2000 and 2020. However, the number of “gray” divorces, or divorces involving older adults, rose sharply within this time. Why are more older adults making the decision to divorce so late in life?
They have tired of unsatisfying marriages
Studies show that the average married individual tolerates a loveless or sexless marriage for six years before making the decision to pull the plug on the union. Many older adults also tire of having their partners fail to meet their emotional needs for decades and think they may be able to find happiness with someone else while there is still time.
They have experienced betrayal
Many older adults also decide to end their marriages after experiencing some type of betrayal from their partners. Sometimes, the betrayal may prove sexual in nature. In other instances, one party in a marriage might feel betrayed in an emotional sense because his or her partner neglects or denies that party’s needs, wants and wishes.
When married couples split later in life, their priorities are often different than when younger couples part ways. For example, older adults who divorce may feel especially concerned with setting aside enough for retirement.