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Old 07-18-2016, 07:01 AM   #41
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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!
As OMNI550 posted....it is fact that grey divorces are up. A lot. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog...-gray-divorces

About give 100% to your spouse. Her birthday was a few weeks ago. He had a special dinner for her and cake etc. Just because they are sleeping in separate rooms, he did not ignore the date. He made her feel loved.
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Old 07-18-2016, 07:15 AM   #42
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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.
If his wife is in an accident while driving drunk (which pretty much by definition will make it her fault), this has the potential to put your friend's financial future at risk. Regardless of the happiness aspect or midlife crisis on her part or however many happy years of marriage they had together, he really should see an attorney. If he were my friend, this action on his wife's part is about the only thing that would make me offer immediate advice to him.

Perhaps if he actively initiates the divorce she thinks she wants, it will be the wakeup call she needs. And if not, it would happen eventually anyway, so in this case he should pursue it.
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Old 07-18-2016, 08:33 AM   #43
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If his wife is in an accident while driving drunk (which pretty much by definition will make it her fault), this has the potential to put your friend's financial future at risk. Regardless of the happiness aspect or midlife crisis on her part or however many happy years of marriage they had together, he really should see an attorney. If he were my friend, this action on his wife's part is about the only thing that would make me offer immediate advice to him.

Perhaps if he actively initiates the divorce she thinks she wants, it will be the wakeup call she needs. And if not, it would happen eventually anyway, so in this case he should pursue it.
Unfortunately, I learned that it takes some time to separate the responsibility of husband and wife. I do agree that in this case, it is more probable than not that he needs to cut the emotional chord and try to get some distance. Also unfortunately, while there is a SMALL chance it will wake her up, there is likely a much LARGER chance it will drive her down that path more quickly. A sad situation for both.
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Old 07-18-2016, 08:36 AM   #44
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Perhaps the new "crowd" with which she's hanging are enablers. Or, perhaps, she chose them...
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Old 07-18-2016, 10:46 AM   #45
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Can anybody give me insight?

I just went through this four years ago, and have two friends who are currently in he process themselves. I initiated mine, but each friends' wife initiated theirs.

For me, I think I knew for a long time that it was going to happen. We had not been good for quite awhile, without boring you its details.

One friend is in the same boat, except his wife initiated the process when she thought he was going to. The other friend was taken by surprise when his wife started down this road.

We three are fortunate, in that we make decent money, and have decent amount of assets. There is enough money so that everyone can live well. I feel for those who go through this at this stage of life, but are still living paycheck to paycheck.

Why does this happen? I believe the reasons are quite varied. For me, I feel like a caricature. We were married young, had kids right away, and evolved into quite different people. It had been years since I enjoyed spending time with my ex, even though we had a great time together when we first got together. It seems that "we grew apart", then I stuck it out "for the kids" til the youngest was about to graduate HS.

While my friends' stories vary, there are some common themes.

Very small sample size, but just thought I'd share.
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Old 07-18-2016, 10:48 AM   #46
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And I want to ask... where are all of those people that were giving the advice (ie. inspirational quotes, "live your life to the fullest"...) to her so long ago.
They are giving idiotic suggestions to someone else. Social media is basically a curse, other than for heads up notices about tax changes, 401-k s, etc.

Most professional psychologists are full of it, what can one expect from the run of the mill idiots who are often in the midst of ruining their own lives?
" I'm unhappy! It must be your fault!" Hello, people are usually quite capable of making themselves unhappy with no help from others. Modern marriage expectations are so broad that there is bound to be frequent disappointment. Some couples realize that in an expensive economy, the last thing they need is to pay a chunk to an attorney, then pay 2 rents or two mortgages. etc. etc., so like civilized humans they look the other way while the spouses find love elsewhere

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Old 07-18-2016, 10:57 AM   #47
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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.
It can be good or bad but people do change. Sometimes there is some element of "mental illness" and some times it's that they have lived x number of years a certain way that just wasn't who they really were. Or like you mention some type of mid-life situation.

Not quite "gray" but we had a friend a few years ago in her 40's, super-mom/wife, do all charity woman (PTA and other charitable groups), married to great guy, and then... left him for high school boyfriend. Married high school boyfriend and has distanced herself from kids. I would guess some mental illness but who knows....

Oh ya, above all else, it's a crazy world out there!
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Old 07-18-2016, 11:19 AM   #48
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" I'm unhappy! It must be your fault!" Hello, people are usually quite capable of making themselves unhappy with no help from others...

This is a large part of what my situation was about. I had chosen to be a happy person, regardless of what was happening in any given moment. My ex had seemingly chosen the exact opposite, for years, and I chose to make a change.

I'm sure she has a different version... but we hardly communicate at all. I still choose to be happy, and it works well for me.
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Old 07-18-2016, 11:27 AM   #49
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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.
Absolutely. I feel so blessed to have gotten all of that out of my system in my forties. I am living proof the idea one must be married/partnered or the like to be happy is a myth. In fact, given current trends it may just be an illusion:

Why Couples Divorce After Decades of Marriage
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Old 07-18-2016, 11:47 AM   #50
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Two of DW's children from her first marriage, both married in their 40's with house, cars, jobs, kids, bills, etc, decided to divorce. Both families were living paycheck to paycheck and these two divorce proceedings (happening simultaneously) became train wrecks of massive proportions.

We (DW and I) became the recipients of a lot of this grief and it took a good 4 years for the kids to get by the messes they created. Both are still single, living paycheck to paycheck in lousy apartments, have pretty much ruined their relationships with their kids and are no longer in relationships with the "new loves" that got them into these messes.

Grey divorces, what messes they can create!
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Old 07-18-2016, 12:47 PM   #51
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I am living proof the idea one must be married/partnered or the like to be happy is a myth. In fact, given current trends it may just be an illusion:

Why Couples Divorce After Decades of Marriage
In spite of mounting evidence that American-style marriage only makes sense for someone who can see their way to profit from it, people keep doing it. What other long term, open-ended contract would sane people agree to? Every solvent married person is part of a divorce attorney's prospect inventory.

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Old 07-18-2016, 01:39 PM   #52
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FWIW, this is what worked for me. Your friend can take what he wishes and leave the rest:

1. Forget high priced counseling. Find a good divorce recovery group. One will learn that you can survive, prosper and find a new life w/o the other person even after 20+ years. That may be all you need to get through it, But, if necessary, use anti-depressants or anti-anxiety drugs for a limited time.

2. Don't let the person who wants the divorce pull all the strings. Protect yourself legally, financially, emotionally and socially. Don't do things out of spite or hate, but do take steps to protect yourself. And include the steps necessary to repair you life. Don't worry if some of the steps offend the departing spouse as long as they are not done for revenge or other nasty motives.

3. At the most it's 50% your fault. If one person has been unfaithful, that is 100% their fault.

4. Early on, forgiveness isn't even on the table. Later it is best to forgive and not hold grudges. Bitterness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die. But, forgiveness does not mean you have to be 'friends' or pretend you were not hurt or allow yourself to be hurt again. Be civil.

5. Get on with repairing the damage to your life and making a better life for yourself, children, etc. It's a bit trite but very true: "Living well is the best revenge".
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Old 07-19-2016, 06:34 AM   #53
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I've seen more gray divorces as well - both among my siblings and previous coworkers. A couple of financial observations - a woman I worked with - early 50's - was going through a long drawn out divorce - one day I commented about the new 401K match - and she said she stopped contributing because she was going to give half of it away. So she lost about 2 years of contributions and matching.

My brother had to split his pension - a good 35 year DB COLA - they were married for 30 years.

Those are just two examples - back to the Original question - I would say not a lot of regrets - mainly because of age - move on fast live my life have fun - seems to be the mantra
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Old 07-19-2016, 06:53 AM   #54
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I am thinking the number is higher simply because the stigma isn't as prevalent as it once was.

One of my Dad's happy hour buddies was visiting his son for Christmas and decided he was done with his marriage. He never went home and is still living with his son (happened last Christmas). He's 85 years old. Talk about a damn mess...

Sent via mobile device. Please excuse any grammatical errors.
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Old 07-19-2016, 11:34 AM   #55
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FWIW, this is what worked for me. Your friend can take what he wishes and leave the rest:

4. Early on, forgiveness isn't even on the table. Later it is best to forgive and not hold grudges. Bitterness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die. But, forgiveness does not mean you have to be 'friends' or pretend you were not hurt or allow yourself to be hurt again. Be civil.
......
I know for years I thought the work forgiveness meant you had to say something to the other person. Later I realized it just means to let go of the anger.
It helps to realize in some cases the other person is damaged or flawed or selfish and their actions really had little to do or nothing to do with yourself.
They would have done the same thing no matter who was in your seat, and probably will again.
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Old 07-19-2016, 02:18 PM   #56
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I got married young to someone 9 years older that ended up being very controlling. It was taking a huge toll on my health. At one point I was so tense that my neck was literally strangling my own arms. The neuro doc told me to figure out what was wrong with my life and fix it. No one except my parents and sister knew I was miserable for all those years. I hung in until the youngest graduated HS. I was 44 and he was 53. Now we are both happily remarried. Our friends were shocked because no one knew how miserable I was. I took him to counseling on 3 different times during our long 22 year marriages trying to fix the marriage and eventually I chose to just survive.
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Old 07-19-2016, 02:44 PM   #57
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...ended up being very controlling.
I find this quite interesting, (not wishing to pry regarding specifics), but I've been divorced once, widowed once, and am now very happily married......but, (not that I wanted to), I think I would've essentially risked my life had I attempted to 'control' any of the three.
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Old 07-19-2016, 02:53 PM   #58
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My brother had to split his pension - a good 35 year DB COLA - they were married for 30 years.
Depending on the circumstances that can be very reasonable. My younger sister was a SAHM for ~22 years (2 kids) so her employment opportunities were limited. The ex-BIL was an FAA flight controller, then a supervisor and retired a GS-15 with a CSRS pension - the good one. DB COLA, health insurance, etc. He fought it (the jerk) but for once reason prevailed in the court.
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Old 07-19-2016, 03:00 PM   #59
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Nemo: when I first started to live with my current husband I told him that if he ever swore at me, yelled at me, tried to boss me around, etc to make sure he was packing to leave at the same time. I had enough of that crap. WE have now been together happily for 18 years.
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Old 07-19-2016, 03:14 PM   #60
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Nemo: when I first started to live with my current husband I told him that if he ever swore at me, yelled at me, tried to boss me around, etc to make sure he was packing to leave at the same time. I had enough of that crap. WE have now been together happily for 18 years.
OK....DW says if it hadn't been for the kids she'd've left her previous husband long before she did, (as it was, as soon as the offspring were independent, she was out the door).......he expected her to do everything while he did as he pleased.

She already had a B.Sc. but raised the kids as a stay at home mom.......prior to leaving, she returned to school for certification as a software developer and was left upon graduation, (divorce lawyer told her she could get a lot more but she said "I just want this and I'm gone)......he, apparently, was oblivious and it came as quite a surprise.
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