While the divorce rate across North Carolina and the rest of the nation declined between 2000 and 2020, the number of adults navigating divorce later in life is increasing. Many people between about 50 and 70 are now divorcing for the first time, and many of them are doing so for similar reasons.
Per Psychology Today, it is not infidelity that is leading to a spike in divorces among older adults. Instead, the spike is at least somewhat due to the fact that many people in marriages tolerated loveless or unfulfilling marriages for too long and no longer wish to do so.
Why gray divorces are increasing
Many older adults whose partners have failed to meet their emotional or sexual needs are now making the decision to part ways. Sometimes, married parties make the decision to split after some sort of betrayal. Other times, they grow tired of their partners neglecting their core needs and start envisioning what life might be like on their own or with a different partner. Married individuals considering splitting from their partners later in life may want to ask certain questions before making the decision to pull the plug on a marriage.
What to ask before divorcing
Married couples considering a split may want to have a tough discussion about whether their marriages are worth saving. They might want to ask themselves what they are willing to compromise on when it comes to their relationships. They may also want to ask themselves how well they understand the hopes and fears of their partners and what they might do to become better partners, themselves.
Increasingly, after having these serious conversations, older adults determine they might be happier and better off single – leading to the uptick in gray divorce.