The high divorce rates in the United States are often the stuff of studies and fodder for blog posts. Now, there’s another term that has scientists scratching their heads: gray divorce. It refers to the dissolutions of marriage that take place after the parties reach the age of 50. And this number doubled in one generation.
Progress Removes Stigmas Associated with Gray Divorce
There used to be a time when you toughed it out. No matter how bad things got, you first stayed together for the kids and then because you were getting older. Those who dared to break out of the mold faced whispers and the loss of social circles and support networks. But the Baby Boomer generation is not a newcomer to the dissolution of marriage.
It puts them in stark contrast with their parents, who were members of the Silent Generation. Couples from that era evaluated the success or failure of their marriages based on their role adherence. Women, for example, who excelled at home making and hosting would consider themselves happy and contented. Their daughters tried to follow their examples but couldn’t replicate the (sometimes false) emotional fulfillment from this source.
Changing Roles Underscore the Desire to be True to Oneself
Early on, Baby Boomers experienced bouts of marital upheaval, which resulted in divorces and subsequent remarriages. Shattering the stigma associated with divorce, this generation also upset the stability of future relationships. Statistics show that second, as well as subsequent, remarriages tend to be less stable than first marriages. This group no longer fears divorce as a failure but accepts it as a possibility for personal growth and positive change.
A Gray Divorce is not the Great Unknown
Many Baby Boomers who contemplate ending a marriage after the age of 50 aren’t strangers to the process. They have the legal and financial savvy to deal with the processes equitably and quickly. Because Generation X is rapidly entering the fray of the gray divorce setting, too, there’s a sense of adventure now as well. With that said, many of those undergoing this change need a bit of coaching to help them get through this phase of life.
This form of assistance has nothing to do with financial or legal matters but instead, focuses on the process of transitioning. Examples of associated benefits include:
- Charting the course for a new life that may include activities you never thought you’d be able to undertake
- Finding the right balance between work, friends, family, and participating in the community
- Reinventing yourself as a chapter of the life you knew comes to a close
- Setting goals that include short-term benchmarks and long-term achievements for personal and professional growth
- Recognizing avenues of self-care that you may not have previously known or thought about
While a gray divorce can be an inherently positive step in the right direction for your life, it’s not easy. Having a coach by your side to help you make a plan and stick to it works well. Think of this professional as a mentor with a vision who can help you find your voice and capture this vision for yourself. Let our experts assist you with this transition.
You don’t need to wait for your best friend to be available to talk through your situation. A mentor is a convenient Skype contact away. In fact, you can get answers via a complimentary clarity call. SBH Coaching is only a short phone call away!