Statistically speaking, couples find the seventh to eighth years of their marriage as the most challenging. This is when there is no trace left of the honeymoon phase and when family issues like raising kids and finances become more overwhelming. Some couples weather through it and form a stronger bond, but some reach their last string by then and eventually decide to get a divorce.
Less common, though, is a long-running couple of twenty or more years who decides to end it one day to the utter shock of the people in their circle. They are the same people who thought they’re everything younger married couples wanted to be. Sometimes, it’s being labeled the ideal stuck-like-two-peas-in-a-pod couple that drives them to think that their marriage isn’t as great as people perceive it to be.
What drives a long-running couple to divorce?
One can never tell whether staying married to a person for life is plausible until he tries it for himself. That is why a person that’s a mere observer of long-running married couples should not be so quick to point fingers at who might be at fault or conclude what could have caused the partnership to break apart. After all, marriage is a lifelong commitment with responsibilities outside oneself associated with it.
On the other hand, a person in the so-called decade-long bond will know just how much of a struggle it is to keep the marriage running. But, some eventually arrive at a tipping point when they realize the marriage is no longer worth fighting for. Here are common reasons:
Pent-up Unaddressed Issues
To work problems out like a synchronized team is imperative in any relationship, especially marriages. Ideally, couples should maintain healthy communication so that one half knows issues the other half may be enduring at the moment. But, those who don’t effectively communicate have an increased chance of having misunderstandings, hence, lead them to fall apart.
Mental Health Issues
Not many people realize the importance of getting over past trauma or mental struggles before getting into relationships. Some of them get married, and chances are that the mental stress rubs on to the partner. That is why psychiatrists now, more than ever, are promoting the good at receiving therapy, even couple therapy, for its ability to enhance someone’s relationship with himself and the surrounding people.
Overwhelming Empty Feeling
Perhaps the hallmark reason for getting divorced despite being married for a long time is realizing that there isn’t much left of the relationship anymore after fulfilling filial duties such as raising the kids and sending them to school. When the grownup children each already lead a life of their own, this is usually when nest syndrome kicks in.
For so long, the children kept the parents stick together through thick and thin, but this bond almost ultimately disappears once the children live separately. In addition, while some may have laid out individual goals for the latter part of their life, some find that they have no other aspirations outside of the marriage. In the end, the differing visions lead them to fall apart.
Postponing the Divorce
Many couples may have realized years down their marriage how much they’re incompatible with each other or how one’s infidelity got caught. But, they decide to hold it out in consideration of their children’s welfare. Also, they postpone the long and tedious divorce process for their careers, steadily reaching their prime.
What to expect when getting a divorce later on in life?
Many people who decided to divorce later on in their married life know the difficulty of breaking out from having always been a half of a whole and being defined for their role as a husband or a wife. Aside from this challenge, experts in divorce mediation usually advise them to prepare themselves for these changes mentally:
One of the two has to leave their married home after the divorce. Regardless of who stays or leaves, it is implied that possessions have to be distinguished according to whose is what, or sell off these assets and divide the profit accordingly. Still, some divorced couples agree to remain under the same roof provided they follow mutually agreed-on rules while cohabiting.
Divorce sets you up for a financially independent life ahead. That said, and if you’re already old, landing a job to sustain your needs may prove to be difficult. Finances wouldn’t be as hard to manage, though, if you are eligible to receive Social Security or you’ve previously invested in a retirement plan.
Anyone who has had to take the difficult decision of divorcing is freeing themselves of a big burden. It takes a lot of adjustment to the newfound single life. Still, they should make the most of the fresh start they are endowed with.