I recently read an article, ‘Gray Divorce’: Over 50, and Splitting Up, (www.npr.org/2012/03/08/148235385/gray-divorce-over-50-and-splitting-up) about the doubling of the divorce rate among those over 50 in the past 20 years while the American rate of divorce among other age classifications has declined. What is the reason for the increase in the rate of divorce of those over 50 and what can be do to prevent it?
The two sociologists who have researched this issue claim the economy, history of relationships, and the role of women and men in general have contributed to the increased divorce rate in those over 50. Two more factors include the fact that remarriages are more likely to end in divorce and the fact that divorce has become more accepted in the United States. Further, the institution of marriage as a lifelong norm has been weakened – and people seek fulfillment through their marriages. If an individual is not finding fulfillment, then they will end their marriage. Another reason that was noted was that people tend to grow apart over time and they tend to drift apart, and then decide to divorce because "they are just too different."
So, what can be done, if anything, to prevent a divorce at any age? I am certainly not a psychologist or sociologist, but in my personal and professional experience, there certainly has to be a commitment from both parties, a lack of selfishness, and an effort to work on your marriage each day by spending time together and supporting each other. It takes a lot to make a marriage work, and only those in the marriage know if it is worth it to them to continue in the marriage.