Being married for decades usually indicates a strong union. However, older married couples are just as susceptible to divorce as younger couples.
According to Psychology Today, divorce rates have been on the rise for older couples for some time. And while all divorces are complex, so-called gray divorces tend to be more so based on the history of the couple, intermingling of finances, and many other factors.
Being married and divorced previously increases the chance that you will divorce again in subsequent marriages. For remarried couples over the age of 50, the divorce rate of 2.5 times higher than people who are still on their first marriages. The length of the marriage also factors into divorce rates, with couples married for less than ten years facing a higher risk.
While financial factors often play a role when younger couples get divorced, financial status can keep older couples together in many cases. It can be difficult to earn a living on your own after a certain age, especially if you were not the primary breadwinner in your marriage. In this case, couples may have a financial interest in remaining together, despite the quality of the relationship.
Hopes for what the marriage could have been
No one enters into a marriage imagining how it might end. Additionally, when couples have decades invested in their relationships, they are often reluctant to leave them. This keeps many people in unhealthy marriages long after they should have left, or long after it is made clear that reconciliation is unlikely. However, it is in your best interest to walk away from the marriage if it is affecting your mental and physical health. While it is normal to grieve for what could have been, you still have many years ahead of you, and you should be able to enjoy them.