Grey divorce: What is it and how can it be avoided?
Grey divorce is an increasingly prevalent phenomenon that involves couples proceeding with divorce in their later years. Whether you’re living with a spouse through retirement or supporting an older couple who might be struggling, it’s always worth knowing how you might prevent the stress, strain, and separation of divorce.
Divorce and tradition: What’s changed?
Historically, divorce has been uncommon and even shunned in some societies. But in the UK, it’s now much more accessible, so it’s more common too. Women’s rights for employment and financial independence have played a part in shaping the new trends surrounding divorce.
In those aged over 65, marriage, civil partnership, and divorce rates are on the rise.
There are several factors driving this change, but for many couples, it’s simply down to the fact that the legal and figurative meanings behind marriage have changed. In the event of serious relationship breakdown or affairs, many older couples choose to seek the advice of a family solicitor before proceeding with divorce.
How can grey divorce be prevented?
Accepting life’s changes
It’s important to remember what made you fall in love with a person. When you’ve been through so many different experiences and changes in your life, however, accepting your current situation might feel difficult.
Accepting change and trying to see the qualities that first attracted you to the person could save your relationship. It’s never too late to revisit your favourite places together in your golden years – and you could learn something new about each other in the process.
Renewing your vows
Keep the spark alive by remembering your wedding vows. With celebrity couples like Jamie Oliver and his wife Jools renewing their vows, there’s never a reason not to celebrate your connection with your spouse after your life changes.
You could return to where you got married or choose to recreate the ceremony in a romantic location close to your hearts.
After retirement, you’ll both have a lot of fee time. Even though this gives both of you plenty of opportunities to try new hobbies and find new interests, it also means you could occasionally feel frustrated or fed up.
Even if you’re not feeling positive, it’s important not to take your mood out on your partner. Be curious and sensitive towards your partner and their interests and try to devote some of your spare time to understanding each other even more.
Keeping some healthy boundaries in place will be beneficial for both of you. After spending some time apart, you won’t get tired of each other quite as easily and you’ll be more likely to look forward to your next reunion too.
If your partner asks for some space, try not to take it personally or get too offended. Sometimes, this can be the most productive way to deal with an issue, an argument, or simply to take a break form your daily routines together.
Having something to look forward to
Keep the romance alive by planning to do something new every once in a while. Whether that’s travelling to a country you’ve never visited before or taking cooking classes, there are several ways to improve the quality of the time you spend together.
Being able to make new memories well into your retirement is certain to boost the quality and longevity of your relationship.
In some situations, divorce can be unavoidable. But while some couples might be drawn apart by fantasies of another life, focusing on the one you’ve built can be the most fulfilling and rewarding option possible.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash