Whether you have just taken your marital vows, or you recited them decades ago, you probably did not anticipate filing for divorce later on down the road. Yet, divorce is rather common among married Americans, and affects more than 50% of marriages. The rise of divorce in people over the age of 50 is known as the gray divorce phenomenon and it is taking the nation by storm. According to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 2.8% of people over the age of 50 filed for divorce a half-century ago, compared to 15.4% in 2011. While people may believe that a marriage that has lasted for decades may have avoided divorce altogether, that is simply not the case. Circumstances in life may change that cause people to terminate their marriage, even later in life.
Everyone goes into marriage with the best intentions. You’ve found someone you love and with whom you want to create a life. But in reality, 40 to 50 percent of marriages end in divorces, and that’s something for which you should be prepared.
There are many reasons why marriages come to an end. One reason that is too seldom discussed is mental illness. If one spouse suffers from certain types or certain severities of mental illness, it can make it difficult or impossible to keep the relationship healthy – especially if the ill spouse refuses to get treated or comply with treatment recommendations.