Gray divorce, which often happens after couples have been together for decades, has become more common in recent years. If you thought that making it through the seven-year itch meant you would stay married for life, think again.
Maybe you already are. Perhaps you got married in your early twenties, started a family and raised the kids. Now they are all out of the house, starting families and careers of their own, and you and your spouse have started thinking about retirement.
You, however, want an even bigger change. You feel like it may finally be time to end this relationship and seek out something new. Why does this happen to couples in your position? Below are a few common reasons.
1. A desire to feel younger
Many people cannot stop wishing for days that have long passed them by. You may be 55, but you wish you were 25 again so that you could have the freedom and fun you enjoyed back then. In some cases, people get divorced and look for younger partners so that they can feel younger themselves.
2. Growing apart
You and your spouse may have slowly grown apart for the last decade or so. It's nothing huge, but all of the little issues keep adding up. When the kids still lived at home, that was not enough of a reason to end the relationship -- and the children were a constant distraction, anyway. Now that they are gone, you really realize that you and your spouse are not on the same page anymore.
3. Money problems
Your spouse has always spent more money than you. Now that you are getting close to retirement, you realize that he or she has wasted so much that you will not get to end your career on your terms. It's not financially possible. You may consider divorce to simplify your life and reduce your expenses, trying to make due with the financial hand you have been dealt.
4. Feeling bored
Three or four decades of marriage is a long time. You may not have kept any of your hobbies for that long. You moved on. In the same way, your marriage no longer feels as fresh and exciting as it once did. Or, perhaps your spouse doesn't want to do the things that make you feel alive. You want to travel the world, for instance, while he or she wants to relax at home. You feel like the marriage is wasting your life.
No matter why you decide to get divorced, make sure you know your legal rights. A gray divorce can involve a lot of assets and complex relationships.