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Old 07-17-2016, 06:45 AM   #21
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I have a friend who is going through this. After 20+ years of marriage, his wife announced shes unhappy and wanted a divorce. In her case, several family deaths may have triggered her feelings. Both her parents died of heart related issues within the same week. Six months later her brother died of a heart attack. Not long after that, she made her divorce announcement.
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:54 AM   #22
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Although the husband is also very depressed by this situation. I have a feeling if the worst happens, the. divorce he does not want occurs he will in time bounce back. He is honest, hardworking and loyal. He always did his best as a father and husband, and there was never any abuse or unfaithfulness. He does have qualities, I think, that many women would appreciate. I have this feeling that in time , he will be alright, but I worry that she may regret her decision later. I had a turning-50 slump myself, where I was depressed. I got over it (with the help of a prescription) and it is behind me. It was a temporary thing.
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Old 07-17-2016, 07:09 AM   #23
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If all of her new friends are counseling her to leave maybe she is communicating some aspects of her life that you are not cognizant of. Could be she doesn't want to leave because of depression but is depressed by her realization that her life with her husband is currently toxic.
Donheff - We as a group will never know if that's the case. I can only relay what I know happened in my case, and have since heard at least a dozen times over. If anyone reading this is giving the advice above ("be brave, strong and LEAVE"), I encourage them to stop. Leave it to professionals. At the end of the day, a leopard doesn't "change his spots", so if the guy in question is an ass, he will likely never have a good relationship.

Fiddler - While the advice to just hold on is relatively good, it's also best to remember that 1 person cannot improve or save a relationship. More importantly, one person can't change how another person thinks or feels, only themselves. Looking back, I spent way too much time trying to do that, and it caused me much more despair and grief than I had to have. Would I do it again? Maybe, I at least know now that I did all I could.
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Old 07-17-2016, 07:33 AM   #24
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My parents divorced when they were in their early to mid fifties. Both have remarried.

DF wasn't happy in his marriage and went through a really rough patch for a while afterwards. I think he's stabilizing now, almost ten years later. Although he wasn't happy he felt forced into a divorce .. long story there.

DM strangely enough was perfectly happy, and was shocked in finding out DF wasn't. Couldn't understand why either. He tabled the divorce item, and once the cat was out of the bag there was not turning back.

So in a sense I believe regret is there in that neither of them wanted to end the marriage, but once the unwinding started it was no longer possible to stop it. Lots of unresolved emotions still there. They haven't spoken since, and both have very different perspective on what happened and totally wrong perceptions on the other persons thoughts.

Both are however also in a good place with their new partner I think.

My biggest takeaway (since confirmed in other experiences) is that there can be an enormous disconnect between what one person in the relation experiences and feels vs. the other one.

With regards to a social circle influencing a marriage, of course that happens. Specifically in my parents case, DF built up a social circle where it was accepted practice to entertain a mistress and discuss it quite openly amongst 'the men'. So there you are in an unhappy marriage, and you see your buddies frolicking around having their cake and eating it too.
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:04 AM   #25
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With regards to a social circle influencing a marriage, of course that happens. Specifically in my parents case, DF built up a social circle where it was accepted practice to entertain a mistress and discuss it quite openly amongst 'the men'. So there you are in an unhappy marriage, and you see your buddies frolicking around having their cake and eating it too.
Yes, of course it happens. Like a lot of things happen. Doesn't mean it should.
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:26 AM   #26
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I know this is generic tripe: I believe sometimes one should, sometimes one shouldn't. It's extremely hard to know which is which, as inaction is also a choice (and usually preferred in my view).

It works both ways. I've talked someone close to me through a rough patch because I believed his decision making was temporarily impaired (developed feelings for another person).

I have also encouraged my sister in the other direction because I truly believed it was better for the parties involved, and was asked to give input.

Was it wrong to do so? I don't know. I do feel it can be irresponsible not to give some direction in some cases.

In the case of my father, did it push him in a certain direction? I think so. Was that wrong? I don't know. He was miserable and thought he found a way out by example of his social circle. That then caused a lot of unintended consequences, and now I believe he is somewhat ok and improving. Same thing with my mother.
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:31 AM   #27
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I know this is generic tripe: I believe sometimes one should, sometimes one shouldn't. It's extremely hard to know which is which, as inaction is also a choice (and usually preferred in my view).

It works both ways. I've talked someone close to me through a rough patch because I believed his decision making was temporarily impaired (developed feelings for another person).

I have also encouraged my sister in the other direction because I truly believed it was better for the parties involved, and was asked to give input.

Was it wrong to do so? I don't know. I do feel it can be irresponsible not to give some direction in some cases.

In the case of my father, did it push him in a certain direction? I think so. Was that wrong? I don't know. He was miserable and thought he found a way out by example of his social circle. That then caused a lot of unintended consequences, and now I believe he is somewhat ok and improving. Same thing with my mother.
To each his own. When coming from genuine caring and love, maybe. Just have to be very careful I think. That's not the type of "advice" I was referring to. Also, sometimes the best "advice".... is just listening.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:18 AM   #28
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I have been married to my DH for nine years. We both had marriages that ended while in our 50's. Both of our spouses decided they were bored....wanted more....needed to find themselves....and found other lovers in secret while still married. They left us before we knew what really was going on. The similarities in events is what brought my DH and I together at first, but we moved on quickly and are happier than we ever dreamed possible.


We don't know where DH's x-wife is and how she is doing...and don't care. My x-husband married his lover and died four years later of brain cancer. This makes me so sad. I loved him very much and only wished him the best, and I'm sorry he had such a brief time to design his new life.


People change over time and become unhappy because they are bored and think life should be more exciting. I believe that mid-life crisis is real and effects people differently. For some, the realization that it is our nature to die creates pressure to do something different, I think.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:47 AM   #29
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I think that it is impossible to really know/understand what goes on in any marriage. What others see is often just an illusion.

Could be that as we grow older and more financially independent the option of divorce becomes more attainable to those who previously remained in a marriage that did not work or in one where at one of the partners did not want it to work or would not work at it.

The whole marriage business is a mystery to me. We have been happily married for 43 years. My spouse married outside of her faith (evangelical) amidst threats that it was wrong, would not work, and a boor of a pastor who seem more interested in whether were intended to have children and if we did would bring them up in his faith (I would not and was not shy at saying so).

Oddly enough our marriage has worked. I think that it grew much stronger because of our differences and our willingness to accept other viewpoints. But the majority of DW's family members who dutifully married 'inside' their faiths are now divorced/remarried. This has always surprised me given their traditional conservative way of life and emphasis on so called family values. In the same way that the increase in grey divorce has surprised me a little. There is none so strange as folk themselves.
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Old 07-17-2016, 11:11 AM   #30
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My parents came very close to getting a divorce in their 50's. I think financial reasons (on my dads side) and fear of being deemed a failure (on my mom's side) kept them together. Even though I was grown and out of the house - I was aware they had separate bedrooms for a few years and were largely leading separate lives.

That said - they made an effort to reconnect at some point - found common interests again, rekindled an old interest (theater - they'd met working on plays together in college). Somehow they managed to find a way to reconnect/rekindle/fall back in love.

The lesson I learned from this is that marriage DOES require work sometimes... and short of physical abuse, chronic cheating, or other extreme things... It's worth saving. I've never been comfortable with the "I've fallen out of love" reason for divorce.... Life is full of ebbs and flows...

Maybe it's because I was older (38) when I got married.... I have no illusions that life is better single.... it's just lonelier.
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Old 07-17-2016, 11:45 AM   #31
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My view about single vs married is the saddest things are a single person longing to be married and a married person longing to be single. Other than that, I see the pluses and minuses to both.

I think it is difficult to gauge how happy/unhappy people are. Have a brother who was married over 40 years, but divorced fairly recently. His ex was the one who filed. On the outside, for years, he'd mention how happy he was, but not until during and after the divorce did I know that things were on the rocks.

With that said, I'll be attending a wedding for a nephew in about 2 months. He and his future bride look like a great couple together. I'm really happy for them.
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Old 07-17-2016, 12:44 PM   #32
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Before they were a couple that did EVERTHING together.
And, IMHO, there's the problem. Doing EVERYTHING together is not a good thing.

DW and I have been married 46 years and have lived in the same area all that time. We come from large, extended families we're in close touch with and that, coupled with our tendency to hang onto old friends from high school and college, from the neighborhood, etc., means we are still close to many couples we've known for decades.

Our observation is that those most likely to end up in late life divorce situations, and there have been several, are those who were the most "clingy" and dependent on one another throughout life. And, OTOH, those couples who led the most independent lives seem to be the ones sticking together.

I'm sure there are exceptions, but those are our general observations......
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Old 07-17-2016, 02:02 PM   #33
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Maybe it's because I was older (38) when I got married.... I have no illusions that life is better single.... it's just lonelier.
From the perspective of someone who married the wrong person (I wisely ended it quickly), being married to the wrong person is much lonelier than being single.
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Old 07-17-2016, 02:21 PM   #34
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The insight I want is NOT about this particular couple whom I wish well. It is a broader question...there is now a huge increase in grey divorce. Have most of them found the grass really is greener on the other side?

I will say about this couple. the wife is struggling with depression, and is uncharistically disengaged from her kids (she only talks to them when they call her) when before she was devoted and engaged. I am connected with her with social media and she posts "inspirational posts" about living life with passion, not comprimising, yada yada.
Before they were a couple that did EVERTHING together, and celebrated annivesarys birthdays with special gifts and experiences. Now she is so different. He hasn't changed much (except the weight loss) and he remains devoted in that he wants help her through the crisis and be there for her. but she refuses help (like suggestions to see a doctor).

I see this bombardment on social media messages to "do what makes you happy" etc...and it is not that some of these nuggets of "wisdom" aren't valid...but I think it skews a person expectations, especially those who are in crisis and vulnerable.

If one assumes a mid-life crisis is a temporary thing, then there are many people making decisions duirng that time that have permanent consequences. I think ERD 50 is right too.
Is it true about grey divorces being up or are you just more aware as YOU grey?

Things like mental illness happen (a lot). You can both try but sometimes that illness forces the divorce by one or the other. It's the sad reality.

Beyond mental illness couples should do things to develop their relationship. Travel together, care for each other, send flowers for no reason, do something different on occasion, etc.... It's not 50/50 it's give 100% to your spouse!
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Old 07-17-2016, 02:42 PM   #35
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From the perspective of someone who married the wrong person (I wisely ended it quickly), being married to the wrong person is much lonelier than being single.
You can be single and not lonely, or single and lonely, or married to the wrong person and lonely...being lonely is not defined by whether or not you live with someone.
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:48 PM   #36
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You can be single and not lonely, or single and lonely, or married to the wrong person and lonely...being lonely is not defined by whether or not you live with someone.
+100

Some of the happiest people I know are single, and some of the unhappiest are married. Marriage is not a "cure" for loneliness, and single life is not by definition depressing and empty, despite conventional "wisdom" which often communicates otherwise.
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Old 07-17-2016, 07:51 PM   #37
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On a related note ...

"I support gay marriage. I believe they have a right to be as miserable as the rest of us." - Kinky Friedman
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:20 PM   #38
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This is a great thread. So many interesting perspectives. Lots to think about.


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Old 07-17-2016, 09:29 PM   #39
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Over the past few years I've become very comfortable with being alone a fair amount of the day. In fact, I crave it. But that is a result of 30 years of being with people at work all day long.

I enjoy DH's company very much. But I also am way more content with being by myself than I was 20 years ago.

I see all of us on our own paths in life and the more we support each other on this journey the richer our experiences will be,


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Old 07-18-2016, 05:02 AM   #40
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I think why I feel so concerned that this may turn out to be a grey divorce that is regretted later is because I had a post-50 midlife crisis, and it is behind me now. It did not manifest itself with a marriage separation, my husband was kind and supportive and I got through it.

The new social group she is hanging with are definitely the Live Life today and party type. A few of them are the Ashley Madison types---Life's short--Have an affair. And some of them have.

She is doing things so out of character..like going to these marathon drinking parties and driving home drunk. Something as a responsible mother and community member she NEVER did.

Usually it is teenagers you worry about the peer group they are hanging with.
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