01 Nov How Old is Too Old to Divorce?
The modern take on marriage, separation and divorce is hard to accept for many elderly spouses who vowed to love, cherish, obey and generally put up with old ‘whatisname’ forever or until hell freezes over…! ‘In my day, when you made your bed, you lay in it forever…’ was the popular attitude taken by most Grandmothers up until around the late sixties, when baby boomers decided free love was more fun.
Making your bed and laying in it forever does have its points, however, especially if you are a baby boomer approaching seventy and you cannot be bothered to cook your own meals!
The trend in modern society is to try out the marriage bed first, by living with a partner for several years before finally agreeing to tie the knot around the sixth birthday of the fourth child of the alliance; a lifestyle that would shock most Grannies of the sixties were they still around to witness it.
Despite being able to take a free trial run, however, many baby boomers still get it horribly wrong and end up in a marital nightmare for many years before finally deciding enough is enough. The results of an unhappy alliance are, unfortunately, all too evident to family and friends who are close enough to the troubled couple to know how painful an unhappy marriage can be.
The misery of discord might often lead to one or both partners taking lovers and having short or long term affairs with other people. The eternal triangle will result in gossip; intrigue; deceit and usually end in divorce no matter how old the parties involved might be. Deeply unhappy couples sometimes continue to live under the same roof despite their differences but stubbornly refuse to be sociable or even polite over a painful and punishing period of disharmony because they feel they are too old to divorce.
But what age is too old? Sixty? Seventy? Eighty…? Some people, in spite of having numerous sexual encounters in their early years, take their marriage vows seriously enough to avoid separation and divorce well into their late sixties. Knowing the legal option is readily available is comforting but not actually of any practical help if you are stuck in a stale mate with a man or woman you cannot bear the sight of but also cannot bear to part with.
The first step to the divorce court is often arrived at after receiving a friendly shove from a well meaning friend or relative who can no longer stand to watch two lovely people living a nightmare together when they could be happy apart. Age should not be a barrier to separation or divorce for baby boomers prepared to take a responsible and sharing attitude to the legal aspects of parting amicably: stubborn conflict usually means the lawyers get the lion’s share of the finances.
For baby boomers in a long term unhappy marriage, age should not dictate how and with whom one should live.
The Psychological Article on How Old is Too Old to Divorce? is part of Boomer Yearbook’s continuing series of baby boomers psychological coaching tips and how to alleviate elderly problems. We believe knowledge is power. We’d love to hear what you think.
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