Divorce over 50 ….




Love makes the world go around looking for a divorce lawyer.

Quote from Henny Youngman’s 999 Funniest One-Liners, Wing Books, 1994.


While Googling for articles about midlife divorce, I came across a 2004 article published by AARP .  The article, entitled “A House Divided,” is authored by Elizabeth Enright, a freelance journalist who writes on family issues. Here are some brief facts.

First, Enright noted that divorce over 50 is on the rise, based on an AARP survey  that consisted of 1,147 men and women, ages 40 to 79, who had been through a divorce in their 40s, 50s, or 60s.

Second, the study revealed that both men and women emerged far more healthier after their mid-life divorce than they had expected or dared to hope for.

Third, and even more interesting to me, is the fact that the majority of midlife divorces are initiated by women. In the survey, 66% of women reported that they asked for the divorce, while only 41% of the men initiated the divorce.

While reading the article, I came across a paragraph that related directly to my situation. The author noted that while “marital discontent festers for years,” baby boomers are quicker to decide to divorce compared with women born before the boomers.  (I am in this pre-boomer category.) The reason given is that more women in their 50s are independent, because they have careers that allow them to leave a bad marriage sooner.

The article deals with many issues, such as: delaying divorce because of the kids, who takes the blame, and getting back into the dating game.  The survey did find that more than 75% of women in their 50s were in a serious relationship within two years after their divorce. (81% for men)

The bottom line for me was this statement: “For all the pain of midlife divorce, it tends to leave a normal, healthy, and optimistic man or woman in its wake.”

To read the complete article, please go to http://www.aarpmagazine.org/family/Articles/ and type in A House Divided in the SEARCH box.


Ellen Sue’s comments:

I found this article to be not only interesting, but enlightening. I often felt guilty because I initiated our separation, although my husband eventually asked for the divorce after we reunited for  a few months. Now I see I was in good company.

The first few years after my divorce were difficult for me emotionally and financially, but once I was able to find work that I liked and pay my bills, I found that I was a happy person and decided that there were worse things that NOT being married. (Since I was single for 13 years, I never really expected to remarry.)  Then along came Alan and I found myself at 65 contemplating remarriage. As the article stated, the fear of never finding love again is largely unfounded.

So my final thoughts are to keep up your spirits, single or otherwise, and call on family and friends to help you over the humps.

I would like to end these thoughts with Louise Hay’s Dedication* in her book, You Can Heal Your Life. My friend Jo recommended I add a spiritual element to my blog, and this book is my first choice, so you will probably see me refer to it often.

*”May this offering help you find the place within where you know your own self-worth, the part of you that is pure love and self-acceptance.”


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