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Baby Boomers and Divorce

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Article by M.C. Kelby

Recently, several high profile married couples have made the news because of their separations or divorces.

Within the last year, Tipper and Al Gore, Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and his wife of 40 years all announced their separations.

According to CBS News, baby boomers have a 35 percent divorce rate.

After years of marriage, why are so many baby boomers abandoning their marriages?

Well, maybe the question should be why do people abandon their marriage after years of marriage?

Happiness seems to be the main sticking point.

According to a CNN article, Xenia Montenegro, the author of "The Divorce Experience: A Study of Divorce at Midlife and Beyond," said some couples wait for their children to grow up and leave the home before separating and "have their me time."

CNN reported, "the Office for National Statistics states the rate of divorce is dropping in every age group, except the over-60s."

As we walk through different chapters in our life, our priorities change. What we want in our 20’s is different from what we want in our 30’s. And, what we want in our 30’s is very different from what we want 40’s and so on.

For me, some things become less important. At this time in my life, I could care less about the latest handbag, fashion trend or flashy car.

Right now, what matters most to me is the happiness and ultimately health of my family. But at the same time, my happiness is key. As my husband says, "If my wife is happy, everyone is happy and we have a happy home." He is such a wise man (or a smart aleck).

Personally, I know several couples who continue to be married but lead separate lives. Many do not divorce for financial reasons but also for their young children.

I knew of one celebrity couple who lived separately in separate houses. They even had relationships outside of their spouses.

However, in public, they were a couple. The main reason for this illusion was financial.

A divorce would have ruined their "public image" as the perfect couple and their endorsement deals would disappear.

Add a Comment1 Comments

More Boomers are divorcing and it's for a variety of reasons -- health (medicaid divorce), empty nest, or a change in the perception of divorce. Boomers have been a generation of change, so this doesn't really surprise me. CBS had a good segment about "gray divorce" a few weeks ago: http://www.weinbergerlawgroup.com/blog/newjersey-law-divorce-separation/study-divorce-rates-now-doubled-for-older-couples/

May 27, 2013 - 8:01am
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