Following is one woman’s look at “grey divorce”:
Reader’s Commentary - “According to statistics, the divorce rate has been steadily growing among those 55 and over. Also, as baby boomers — with children grown and gone — reach retirement-age, divorces among couples 65 and older are becoming more common.
“This information doesn’t surprise me.
“Many of us married because we fell in love and wanted our man to be our lifelong companion.
“Unfortunately, while we were busy raising our children, our men often found interests that didn’t include us.
“I am a “golf widow.” When my husband was learning and loving the game, I was busy with our four children.
“I did try golf, but it’s not something I enjoy.
“I don’t begrudge him going out to golf while I pursue my own interests. But, he’s made it his life.
“Many women of my generation started out willing to sacrifice ourselves for our man and our children.
“We looked forward to being able to spend time with our husbands, have fun together as companions to our men in our retirement.
“But where do many of us find ourselves? We are “The Help” - cleaning up after, and feeding a man who barely knows we exist.
“We feel unappreciated, taken for granted, etc.
“Many of us wives are starved for attention and affection. Men think we’re difficult to understand, that we’re grumpy (bitchy).
“Women aren’t complicated. We need affection, some show of appreciation, and interest in spending time with us. “I love you” can go a long way in a relationship.
“Some say, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” If that’s true, there will be many lonely “old dogs” out there in the days to come!”
Ellie – Older women can change too (barring severe health and economic barriers).
Many do share joint interests with their husbands – from golf to gardening, bridge to baseball games – because companionship is a two-way street.
Grandkids are an important shared interest, too, not just another way for women to repeat their past role.
There’s strong will in many women in their senior years… if they’re lucky enough to have a spouse they still want to spend time with, they also need to adapt.
My husband and I were married for six years. I’m more relaxed and creative; he’s a workaholic who felt I should be contributing more to our finances.
Counselling didn’t work, so we split up, expecting to divorce. During that “break,” we both dated others.
But when we each realized the other might be getting into a serious relationship, we tried counselling again.
It had more meaning this time. We both learned to compromise and made changes.
We got back together two months ago and just learned that we’re now expecting a child. We’re thrilled.
But other people’s reactions have shocked us. Even my mother, who’s supported me throughout, expressed worry that we’re relying on a baby to keep us together!
Some friends have outright asked how I can be sure my husband’s the father.
The negative attitudes have hurt us both. What do I say to these people?
Shocked and Hurt
You’ve both worked hard to get back together, and the pregnancy is the result, not the solution.
Say so, but only to those who matter most – e.g. your mother, whose concern for your happiness is genuine.
Decide who’s a true friend and who’s just probing for more gossip and drama. Avoid them and their negative vibes.
You and your husband need to spend this time bonding ever closer.
During one of our weekend family lunch gatherings, both my husband and I had noticed what an uncaring person my father-in-law was.
My mother-in-law was carrying my son and she accidentally let her coat and purse fall on the floor.
My father-in-law didn't pick them up for her, he totally ignored it.
My husband didn't want to say anything.
Should I mention it to her? She’s a very sensitive person.
If he’s consistently uncaring, she already knows. Raising this could be more embarrassing to her than helpful.
However, if that’s the first you noticed this kind of behaviour, it may’ve been an unusual reaction e.g. his mind was pre-occupied and he didn’t notice, or he has back issues and doesn’t stoop to pick up things, expecting someone else would do so.
Don’t jump to conclusions.
If something similar happens again, your husband should talk to his father about it.
Tip of the day:
Keep your relationship connected and positive by avoiding the negative vibes from others.