Modern Divorce Style
In the future marriage vows could possibility include an additional phrase to go with the existing promises? Something like: “Do you take your partner, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; for the period you have chosen with an option to renew?”
With the average life expectancy in the USA in 2012 rising to 78.8 years, a record high, more and more couples are finding themselves at the 20 to 30 year itch. Both spouses are no longer happy and do not want to spend the remainder of their years in an unsatisfying, unhappy marriage. Is it even reasonable given the life expectancy now to expect one marriage to last a lifetime?
The statics for couple’s marriages that end after 20 – 30 years is staggering.
The U.S. divorce rate, despite remaining flat overall, has doubled for people 50 and older in the past two decades, according to a study by the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University.
Often these long term marriages end with a whimper instead of a bang. Both parties agree ending the marriage is the best thing for them, having realized that they have grown apart over the years. The kids are grown. The stigma that used to accompany divorce is all but gone. Women make their own money and are no longer force to stay in a loveless relationship. Sure many of these marriages end for the usual reasons; infidelity being a big one, but infidelity is usually more a symptom of a problem that already exists in the marriage.
Modern couples are not following the example of previous generations who just stayed married because that is what you were supposed to do. These couples are not willing to wait it out till death do them part. There seems to be a movement to reinvent divorce. This is not to say there are no hurt feelings, but a willingness to agree that the marriage is over. Couples are choosing their own way of “consciously uncoupling,” following the example of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s divorce. Their marriage ended mutually in a somewhat kinder and gentler manner. It is a modern take on divorce, with a twist.
So if you have been married for a long time and think you have too much time invested into the marriage to get divorced, think again. You are unhappy and you know your spouse is unhappy. If you have tried everything you can think of to save your marriage, do not get trapped into thinking divorce is not an option. It can be. Your spouse may surprise you if you ask them how they would feel about divorcing.
You still have a lot of living to do. Why not be happy doing it?