After three and a half decades of laughter, losses, tears, and adventures, circumstances can lead a couple to call it quits and go their separate paths.
But what happens when that thread unravels after 35 years of married commitment, and the bond that once felt unbreakable begins to fray?
Beyond the headlines and the stereotypes lies a compelling narrative of resilience, self-discovery, and the indomitable spirit of human beings refusing to let the sands of time bury their desires for change and personal growth.
Let us dive in and explore the hidden chapters of a gray divorce and the complexities that come along when breaking a 35-year-old union.
Reasons Why Couples Divorce After Decades Of Marriage
Couples who divorce after decades of being together go through gray divorce, a common phenomenon in the last decade. The reasons for divorcing vary from team to couple. However, some primary factors contribute to divorce after 35 years of marriage. The factors include:
Having an affair does not respect age limits. It can occur at any stage in marriage and is one of the primary reasons a couple can divorce after a three-decade marriage. Infidelity is hurtful and breaks trust; some couples cannot recover from it. Also, an affair reveals some other relationship problems that can lead married couples to opt for divorce.
Unresolved Relationship Problems
The piling of relationship problems over the decades can build resentment, causing couples who have been married for a long time to divorce. Teams need regular discussions about their issues and conflicts to prevent piling up and resentment.
After 35 years of marriage, the children are probably grown up, and the couple is left alone just like they started. Being alone again can feel strange when the lives of a couple have been previously entangled with that of the children. Sometimes, it becomes hard to regain the relationship between the spouses when the children become independent.
Financial issues or differences are one of the primary causes of divorce for couples that have been married for 35 years. Retirement, for example, can cause financial strains and lead teams to have constant arguments and disagreements, leading to divorce.
Emotional And Physical Disconnection
Physical and emotional connection are fundamental for marriage. Even for seniors, there must be a physical connection, such as making love. When partners are no longer meeting the emotional and physical needs of one another, this can bring a disconnect that can lead to divorce.
Some couples take 35 years to realize that they are not incompatible. Relationship coach Benjamin Zulu says that if couples get married before they recognize their lives’ direction, it can lead to incompatibility as the teams discover contrasting paths.
Once the kids leave the nest or after decades of feeling lost, some individuals opt to rediscover themselves and start over with nothing. The desire for self-discovery can lead to one partner feeling left up and cause the elderly couple to grow apart, leading to divorce.
Going Through Divorce After 35 Years Of Marriage
After 35 years of marriage, divorces can take a toll on partners. Divorce is challenging at any stage of marriage, and an individual needs to seek support and plan on how to live by themselves after a long period of being married to someone. Here are some critical tips to consider:
Divorce can be emotionally draining, and an individual needs support from trustworthy people. Reach out to friends, family members, or a therapist who can provide emotional support and a listening ear during this time.
Consult a Divorce Attorney
After gathering emotional support, consult with an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through the legal process, explain your rights, and help you understand the complexities of property division, alimony, child custody, and other relevant issues. Being legally aware of divorce issues after a long-term marriage is essential.
Get Ready With Financial Documents
Divorce proceedings involve critical financial documents, and it is essential to keep them ready. Collect all relevant financial documents, including bank statements, tax returns, retirement account statements, property deeds, and other financial records to help with divorce proceedings.
Mediation is a great way to go through the divorce process softly. If both you and your spouse are open to it, mediation can be an option to work through the divorce issues with the help of a neutral third party. It can be more amicable and cost-effective than a litigated divorce.
Work with your attorney to understand the best way for property division, depending on the longevity and state of your marriage. Remember all the considerations and understand the state’s law regarding property division during divorce.
Developing a financial plan after divorce is essential if your spouse is your primary breadwinner. Work with an expert to create a manageable budget that can cover all your needs without the help of your spouse. Financial planning can provide comfort in knowing you will be secure without your spouse.
Closure And Healing
Divorce after a long-term marriage can be painful and requires time to heal. Note that going through a divorce is grief and can take an individual a long time to recover. It is essential to indulge in self-care and therapy to overcome the challenging time without developing resentment.