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older couples are divorcing more

Gray Divorce: Why Older Couples Are Divorcing More?

older couples are divorcing more

 

The term “gray divorce” was first used to refer to those who are getting a divorce after 40 or more years of marriage and is a reference to the gray hair you likely have after so many years.

However, recently the term has been more often used to describe the latest rise in divorce rates among baby boomers. These individuals are currently between the ages of 55 and 75 and have likely been married for 20 to 50 years.

While divorce rates have declined overall in the United States, the rate of divorce in those over the age of 50 has doubled.

If you are one of these individuals and are looking for a divorce lawyer, we suggest finding an experienced family law attorney to speak with. This will ensure you are getting the best legal counsel to help you get through your divorce as quickly and easily as possible.

Why Older Couples are Divorcing More?

There are a wide variety of reasons that there has been an increase in divorce in baby boomers. Here are some of the reasons why they would want a divorce:

  • Delayed divorce: Often couples choose to remain married until their children are old enough to be on their own or can further understand and be less affected by the divorce.
  • They’re now empty nesters: Older couples often find that once their adult children are all officially moved out, there isn’t enough holding the marriage together.
  • Retirement: When one or both of the individuals start retirement, there are a lot of lifestyle changes and can cause issues within the marriage.
  • Longer life expectancies: With life expectancies being higher than in the past, the idea of remaining in an unfulfilling and unhappy relationship forever is causing more couples to turn to divorce.
  • Women being more economically stable: With women being more financially stable today, women are no longer in need of a marriage to be able to support themselves.
  • The stigma of divorce is dissipating: Especially within religion, the stigma and negativity surrounding divorce are not as prevalent as it was in the past.
  • Prevalence of online dating: The ease of online dating has given hope to baby boomers that they can more easily find a new and better relationship.

What Happens After the Divorce:

Sometimes getting a divorce later in life can be very unnerving and a lot of questions will leave you feeling uncertain and confused about what to do next.

  • Where will I live?  You will likely move out of your home you shared with your soon-to-be-ex and maybe consider finding an apartment, a condo, or a small house. Maybe consider moving in with a friend or family member if you want some company. Just make sure that you end up living in an area that you are comfortable and happy.
  • Who do you turn to?  Don’t be afraid to turn to any friends or family to talk to or just spend time with.  Use this opportunity to connect with anyone you may not have seen in a while and have been meaning to see.
  • Splitting of assets: Speak with a divorce lawyer to discuss the best option when splitting your assets such as social security, 401(k), and pensions.
  • Child custody: With gray divorce, it is more likely that your kids are grown and moved out; meaning child custody or child support won’t play a factor in the divorce. If your kids are still young though, keep in mind that sometimes child support to help pay for the child’s college is required and can impact your retirement savings.

How a Divorce Lawyer Can Help You:

We suggest speaking with a divorce lawyer to ensure that you are receiving the best help in getting through your divorce at any age.  They can assist and provide you with high-quality and attentive legal counsel. They’ll make sure you get the best and most informed help when it comes to your divorce.

The post Gray Divorce: Why Older Couples Are Divorcing More? appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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divorced couples therapist

Confessions Of a Divorced Couples Therapist

divorced couples therapist

 

I was having a conversation with a friend recently, and she shared with me news that a mutual acquaintance of ours was in the process of a “messy divorce.” I don’t know them well. Certainly not well enough to know what their struggles are, or have been.

However, she shared a very detailed account of their relationship. She shared who did what, how each responded, etc. As I listened, I thought to myself; this is not my business. Only this couple really knows the truth of what is happening (and even they may not be perceiving it correctly!).

I knew that what I was hearing was:

  • not my business;
  • probably not the whole story, or entirely accurate;
  • going to be different, depending on whether partner A or partner B told it;
  • the source of a lot of pain for this couple; and
  • not going to benefit anyone for me to know their business.

So, I said, “It sounds like their family is hurting, and I am sure they both have a story that makes their choices make sense. I am certainly not one to judge!”

Two years ago, I could have just as easily been the topic of this conversation, and likely was for some people. Two years ago, I got divorced.

Divorce is a juicy subject.

I understand the compelling desire to talk about what’s going on in another’s marriage. My mom, who was a part of this conversation with my friend and me, chimed in with the comment, “I think a lot of people get anxious about their marriages when they hear about someone else divorcing.” Out makes sense that by hypothesizing about how “wrong” someone else has behaved, and how it “ruined” their relationship, we seek affirmation that we are not like them and that our marriage is safe.

Confessions Of a Divorced Couples Therapist

I have wanted to write a newsletter on this topic for some time now. However, each time I thought about sitting down to my computer to write this newsletter, I heard a knock on my door. So I would get up, walk down the hall, open the door and in stormed Fear. Fear would say to me, “If you share this information, the world will think you are a failure, and who would want to work with you if they knew you were divorced?”

A divorced relationship therapist. Fear convinced me this is an oxymoron, that these two concepts were contradictory. Helping couples make their relationships work, while meanwhile being divorced. Fear told me that I was like a car mechanic with an automobile that wouldn’t run, or a financial investor filing for bankruptcy, or a realtor with her own house on the market for a year and counting.

Fear was convincing and persistent, and I let her plant her seeds of shame, and then I watered them with my silence. Each time she came knocking at my door, I invited her in. Fear convinced me I was a failure.

Finally, I did what I would advise others to do in a situation like this. I got myself a Coach. Ironically, it never occurred to me to ask her if she has ever divorced. That didn’t matter to me, (isn’t that interesting, I thought to myself). We met regularly, and she challenged me to question what Fear was telling me. She gently nudged me to find my voice, my deepest truth, the part of me that is real. Imagine that, this coaching stuff works!

You cannot force self-awareness. That is the power of having a coach or therapist to assist you. A good coach offers you a nonjudgmental, objective, and safe space to sort through the details of your situation. Fortunately, I had a good coach.

As time passed, Fear continued to visit. I stopped inviting her in, but I still opened the door, said, “hello,” and offered her a seat on my porch. Until one day, I went to my door and standing beside Fear; I noticed Freedom.

Freedom said, “Can you see me?”

And I said, “Yes, why do you ask?”

She replied, “Because I’ve been here all along, waiting for you to notice me.”

Freedom said, “I am here to remind you that you always have a choice. You can continue to focus on Fear. I will not take her away from you. She will always be available to you.” “However,” she said, “You also have the choice to turn your attention toward me. We will both always be here. It is up to you to decide which voice you will choose to hear.”

As I listened to Freedom, I began to feel lighter in spirit, and a sense of peace wash over me.

Freedom explained to me, “Fear has encouraged you to judge and berate yourself for the failure of your relationship.” She continued, “I am not here to convince you that you didn’t fail. I am here to help you see your truth.” She asked me, “Can you be at peace with your divorce?” And, she asked me, “What have you learned from this failure?” Freedom then inquired, “What good has come from feeling ashamed, and from believing you have failed?” And lastly, she wondered, “Can you fail at something without being a failure?”

I sat with these questions for a long while. Months and months. Over time, I noticed that Fear was no longer in sight. When I opened my door, I no longer saw her on my porch. Nor was she in my driveway, or down the street. Occasionally, I would think I saw her drive by, but she doesn’t stop and linger anymore.

What I know today is that that divorcing was simply the right choice for me.

I should have divorced. I needed to divorce. And, I did divorce. It has become that simple (not to be confused with easy or painless) for me. By staying, I would have failed myself. I had a choice. Fail my marriage, or fail myself? I choose to fail my marriage. (And, unfortunately, in the process I failed myself in some ways, too). It’s just that today, I accept my failures. I choose to learn from my failures.

I made a decision that was right for me. It took me two years to accept that it doesn’t matter who judges me as long as I cease to judge myself.

I wonder if Fear has been knocking on your door? If so, be sure to keep an eye out for Freedom. She is much, much better company.

The post Confessions Of a Divorced Couples Therapist appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Financial Infidelity is On The Rise: Why Couples Keep Financial Secrets

Financial Infidelity is On The Rise: Why Couples Keep Financial Secrets

Do you keep financial secrets from your spouse? If you do, you’re not the only one. Many Americans keep money secrets from their spouses. Learn more here.

The post Financial Infidelity is On The Rise: Why Couples Keep Financial Secrets appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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marital compatability

Marital Compatibility: What Couples Get Wrong About Marriage

marital compatability

 

Emily Cowen, a musical artist I enjoy sings, “Even though we just met, these feelings are so beautiful, you and me were meant to be together.” And that is where “love” songs get love wrong. You’ve just met, the feelings are beautiful so, goodness gracious, you must be meant to be together.

Wrong!

Long-lasting marriages and relationships aren’t based on beautiful feelings. They strive because of compatibility and the unique differences both genders bring to the relationship and how well each can resolve a conflict.

A bit about marital compatibility

Let’s look at the role compatibility plays in lasting marriages.

Initial compatibility, the butterflies and raging hormonal attraction is not a good indicator of how successful a marriage will be. That immediate chemical attraction felt with someone new isn’t concerned with the other person’s value system, personality characteristics or those other beliefs and personality traits that bond a couple together for the long-term.

Attraction and butterflies are important if a marriage is going to stand the test of time, but what is more important is a couple’s common plan for what direction the marriage will take and what role each will play in the marriage.

What does marital compatibility look like?

Friendship: Are you friends with your spouse?  Is there a sincere likeness and level of comfort? Successful couples enjoy spending time with each other. It is this friendship that can be the foundation for solving problems as they arise in the marriage.

Role expectations in the marriage: This isn’t only about how household responsibilities will be handled. It’s also about how spouses treat each other. Very few conversations about role expectations come up when in the throws a brand new relationship. Roles will form naturally as time goes on or the couple will define what role they will play in the relationship. If you aren’t happy with the role you play, there isn’t much hope for the marriage.

My son’s new wife isn’t a domestic goddess. She teaches nursing at a local university and is working on her Ph.D. She is more interested in cerebral pursuits than what art is hung on the walls or, cleaning the kitchen. My son, on the other hand, loves his career but also loves to cook and keep the house tidy. I tease my new daughter-in-law and tell her she has a “fine wife.”

Before marrying they discussed who would do what and they now not only enjoy each other intimately, they are both quite comfortable with how the household is run and the role each plays in the decision making process. It’s an equation for success!

Emotional honesty: Successful spouses trust each other, they feel safe being vulnerable and when discussing their feelings. There is an emotional give and take. When one spouse is in need, the other is there for them and vice versa.

Sexual expectations: Setting these expectations is not only about how frequently a couple will be intimate. It is important, very important that they both be on the same page about sexual frequency but there are other aspects of a sexual relationship that need to be defined. Not everyone is on board with experiencing every sexual act known to man. Defining what you are and aren’t comfortable with sexually is imperative, right out of the gate. Couples who have similar sexual expectations experience more bonding with each other which sets them up for long-term success as a couple.

Shared goals: Mutually committing to and following a path you both agree on is something successful couples do. Do you want children, how will they be raised if you do? What is more important, spending money on furthering education or saving money for a down-payment on a house? Common shared goals and values are things that are the foundation for a strong marriage.

Most successful marriages come about because both partners came into the relationship with similar belief systems and values that match. This makes it easier for two people to reach agreements on issues such as sexual intimacy, gender roles and to be easily emotionally open with each other.

This isn’t to say that a solid marriage is made up of only couples with good qualities. Two people who avoid conflict, have hot-blooded temperaments and prefer to go with the flow can also make marriage work, as long as they are both on the same page.

The post Marital Compatibility: What Couples Get Wrong About Marriage appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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