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The Rising Divorce Rate - Why Are Divorce Rates Increasing Among Older Couples?

February 25, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 133

Older people are now fitter and more aware of their potential for a good quality of life than ever before. Tolerating a lifelong, unhappy marriage is not the automatic prospect that it once was. Let's have a look at some of the reasons why divorce rates are increasing among older couples:

- The stigma of divorce has abated to a large extent. Yes the couple's children, family and friends may be upset, distressed and sad to see the end of a long marriage but divorce is far more accepted and acceptable these days. And people in the main appreciate that it is better to get divorced than to continue in an unhappy marriage. Society and many religions are more lenient about divorce and appreciate that ending an unhappy marriage is often the best decision for all concerned.

- People live longer and have far more potential to start again. The expectation of a quality of life for older people is good. They are more informed about looking after their diet, their exercise regime and the importance of keeping themselves mentally and physically active. This in turn leads to better health and a longer life expectancy. Many facilities are available for older people, often at a subsidised cost. Ready access to these facilities provide the opportunity to go out, meet new people, start interesting activities and not feel tied to an unhappy home life.

- Once children have left home many couples come to realise that they have been so immersed in earning money, raising their family and keeping everything afloat that they have lost both their individual identity and their sense of being part of a couple. Over time they may have grown apart, become disenchanted with each other, perhaps not even like each other any more. Fundamental changes may have occurred in attitude, outlook or values that have been ignored or largely glossed over by the need to keep family and home together. Once that requirement ends there may be nothing left holding the marriage together.

- At one time there was only one breadwinner in many families. It was customary for a woman to stop working once she married or at least once she had children. The family finances rested mainly with the husband so there was little flexibility in the family budget for a couple to split. It was, in the main, financially impossible for a couple to separate their assets and set up two separate homes. These days men and women have equal opportunity to work and be self-sufficient, often throughout their marriage. A woman is not as tied financially to her man, which frees both parties in a divorce to become more independent and build a new home after they split.

As people live longer, healthier lives there is the potential to start a new life in their later years. Duty done, family raised, at this time the suppressed hopes, dreams and desires of earlier years may well be revisited. Sometimes this may entail starting again, and sometimes on one's own. There are plenty of years still left to live and it's important to live them fully and well.

Susan Leigh is a Counsellor and Hypnotherapist who works with stressed individuals to promote confidence and self belief, with couples in crisis to improve communications and understanding and with business clients to support the health and motivation levels of individuals and teams.

Further help, advice and articles are available on this and other related topics.

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