Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Gray Divorce Revolution

I came across this article today and was shocked to learn that there is actually a term for my pain. The Gray Divorce Revolution. The fact that there even is a term for this shows that it is becoming a sad trend.

Apparently a study was conducted and found that the divorce rate amongst adults ages 50 years and older has doubled since 1990. Now, 1 in 4 divorces are amongst people over the age of 50. The articles I read attribute this alarming trend to people over 50 being much more active than they once were. Women aren't dependent upon their husbands for financial stability anymore. People are living longer and when they aren't happy at age 50, they want to find something (or someone) that will make them happy.

This is really upsetting to me. Couples build lives with one another, have kids, grow their families and for what? It's unsettling to me that people could be so discontent as to throw away lives they have spent 20+ years building.

As someone who has barely been married two years, I recognize that I don't understand the struggles couples face after a certain amount of years together. The highs and the lows of having children, building a career, etc. But what kind of a marriage would I have if I started out expecting it to fail? I'm not okay with these statistics and I don't think anyone should be. In fact, these stats should make people uncomfortable. Uncomfortable enough to strive for a different life for themselves. Uncomfortable enough to put the work into their marriages and into spending time with one another. These stats are serious and cannot be explained away by saying that people are more active and want to find something new. To me, that's simply selfishness talking.

I'll admit this post is a bit of a rant, but I'm truly sad to see what is happening to marriages in America (in particular long-term ones) and even more saddened by the fact that I've been a witness to this. I'm now apart of a new club called ACOD's and it turns out, this club is not exclusive. More and more people in their 20's and 30's are watching their parents' marriages fall apart. They're being thrust into a life they never could have expected after living one way for so many years.

This Gray Divorce Revolution is not okay and I think more people need to speak out about it. We need to take a stand for the sacredness of marriage, which is being seriously threatened right now.

Got something to add? Leave a comment below or email me at


Serenity said...

I completely agree that we should be uneasy about a trend in this area of life!! As a once-in-a-while unusual situation, maybe , but as a trend , NO!

I am in my 40's and have through my blog
unfortunately "met" others like me, who were in their 40s and even 50's when their parents divorced. It is painful no matter what age you and and no matter what the circumstances I have concluded.

Let's keep the discussion going and find ways to challenge this disturbing trend!
thanks for your contribution to it!

MVroom said...

Thanks, Serenity! I'm glad we're out there speaking about it, even if it is painful.

Rachel said...

I also completely agree that this is not ok. I have been married 10 years now, my parents are just divorcing after 40 years of marriage. OK I haven't got the length of experience that they have but just the fact of their divorce is causing me to experience a whole new range of things in my own marriage. My husband and I don't agree on everything but I expect to have to work at compromising. From what I can gather one of my parents (based on what that parent has themselves said to me), doesn't seem to understand the idea of compromise and is only interested in their own personal happiness.

It shocks me that this parent is prepared to walk away the sacredness of marriage after all this time.

paige said...

i think you're asking the right questions. My parents are divorcing after over 40 years of marriage (i've been married for 16) & it has been a terrible blow... Love your blog :)

MVroom said...

Rachel and Paige -- thanks so much for your comments. Sorry to hear you both are going through the same thing, but glad you can relate.

Anonymous said...

I am 40 year marriage veteran and I regretfully find myself in this situation. I recently discovered for the last 10 years that my spouse has depleted our retirement fund to the tune of $176,000......when confronted with the situation, he just said that it is gone....I was busy taking care of the marriage, the house, the kids, working full time and more while he was stashing our money.....Bottom line is that he has planned his retirement, while I am left holding the bag.....I was blindsided......and now I am poor and alone....


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