The rise in divorce amongst the over fifties is now well known. A generation ago it was almost unheard off. What has changed in our society to make it almost common place.
The answers are not hard to find but you may need help with dealing with them. We have lost the ability to compromise and accommodate each other in our relationships. We are no longer prepared to work at our relationships, to see them as a continuing and vital negotiation of give and take.
We feel that if we are not happy then we are not prepared (and probably don’t know how) to discover why and then work together to understand the problem and fix it. We head for the Divorce Courts and a vindication of our belief that he/she is totally at fault and hence the relationship must be ended.
Divorce itself has become more equitable and so the increased financial viability of divorce has made it a more attractive option. Divorce is probably the most traumatic and emotionally distressing event in anybody’s (not forgetting the children’s) life so trying to avoid it is never going to be a bad idea.
So what are the danger signs of the runaway truck of divorce coming down your road? There are a number of key signs:
Moving from lovers to being just friends
This is a very common transformation in many marriages. A couple who has been together for a while moves out of the "in love" phase over time and their relationship becomes more of an intimate friendship.
If the sight of your partner undressing after a relaxed dinner together does nothing for you then maybe you are on your way to being just friends. Sexual attraction is so important and good sex can be a cornerstone of a satisfying relationship.
But if that’s true for one of you this can result in the other being attracted to explore sex with someone else. Now you are really in dangerous territory. Fixing your sex life by whatever means both of you are happy with is totally vital. Rekindling lust and desire will turn friends back into lovers and a friendship into a vibrant and satisfying relationship.
Embarking on one of life’s biggest changes - retirement
Most couples have been used to working all day in the absence of their partner so it can be a real shock when they retire and are now at risk of spending twenty four hours a day in each other’s company.
This dramatic adjustment can be too difficult to handle especially if the foundations of the relationship are not too secure. Opting out of the marriage can appear to be a good idea. Fixing the problem by altering your life to make this change would be a better one.
The end of the domestic family unit
Once the kids grow up begin to leave independent lives many couples realise they no longer have anything in common any longer besides the kids and decide to move on. The children were the glue and once the glue was gone it all fell apart.
The best way to avoid falling off the divorce cliff is to anticipate these potential problems and get help with dealing with them. Don’t wait until the situation is really serious. The sooner these difficulties are dealt with the easier it will be to remedy the situation and get the relationship back to where it ought to be.