May is Older Americans Month, a term I hate because after all, what is an Older American? It is supposed to refer to the elders of our communities, which I guess I’d be considered, but I certainly don’t feel that I am!
Similarly, Gray Divorce, the growing trend since 1990 of couples past age 50 who call it quits, refers to older adults who decide to break up once they’ve gone gray. Again, not the best term, though it does roll off the tongue.
Regardless of the terminology, though, Gray Divorce is a growing trend that is predicted to explode by 2030! We support more and more Gray Divorce clients, who are by definition older Americans, and I find there are some similarities among these cases.
First, people reach a certain point in their lives, or their relationships, when they feel confident enough to know what they want and buck societal expectations to go for it.
Maybe they wanted to leave earlier, but worried they’d field criticism, judgment or abandonment by friends or family. Then they get to a point where they realize that no one’s opinion matters other than their own.
Also, there are some couples who enjoyed a respectable marriage – 20 or 30 years, perhaps – and simply outgrew the relationship or each other. There is nothing to lament! It’s OK to move on at midlife.
Especially because we are all living longer these days and may have many careers – why wouldn’t the same evolution happen with our personal pursuits?
Finally, many couples wait until their children are grown to call it quits. They may think that it will be easier on their kids once they’re out of the house – but I have news for you. It is NEVER easy on the children when a couple divorces. Sorry to say – even fully grown adults with kids of their own will experience emotions and have opinions if their parents break up.
And if you’d like to discuss how this might apply to you, click here to set up a consultative call.