Most people understand that divorce rates in the U.S. remain high and that divorce presents many difficult challenges. Statistics about divorce by age, locality and other factors can provide interesting insights.
Floridians, who tend to skew older than residents of other states, might wonder why older couples in increasing numbers decide divorce makes sense.
A big list of reasons
An article in Psychology Today points to several possible reasons older couples divorce: a focus on personal happiness, an increased life expectancy, a greater social acceptance of divorce and more women in the workforce. These trends began in the 1960s and 1970s and continue today.
Older couples face many of the same pressures as younger couples, but in recent decades they seem more willing to finalize a divorce. Factors such as relationship dissatisfaction, financial problems, infidelity, substance abuse and empty nest syndrome can cause a marriage to reach the breaking point. Spouses who feel unfulfilled in marriage may decide that they want to increase the happiness of their remaining years.
A search for happiness
Some evidence points to the desire for greater happiness as the main reason older couples divorce. One or both spouses refuse to settle on a life that falls short in many aspects. These individuals see the possibility of more contentment, joy and satisfaction in a different arrangement.
Societal factors also play a role in this increase in divorce from older couples. If attitudes toward divorce remained punitive and held a greater degree of stigma, individuals might decide to remain in an unhappy marriage. When looked at in this light, divorce could provide the catalyst for a new and better lifestyle.