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Decades of evolving problems in marriage may cause a divorce

Some Georgia residents may be old enough to remember when it was shocking to see a couple separating or divorcing after two or three decades of a seemingly secure marriage. Now, it is not shocking but, perhaps, still a bit perplexing to witness a divorce in those cases in which there were never any outward signs of marital distress. The factors that may break up a marriage after so many years are often numerous and complex. 

One common factor is the regret a spouse feels for the sacrifices he or she made to see the marriage work. There is often a willingness to change one's habits, lifestyle and, perhaps, even one's aspirations to suit the other spouse in the beginning of a relationship. As the initial romanticism and sense of adventure fade away and real life sets in, a gradual resentment toward the other spouse can begin to build up over the years.

It is also commonly known that people evolve and change over a period of time. Life experiences can lead partners in different directions, creating new interests and goals that may be conflicting. Everyone knows the story of the wife or husband who outgrows the relationship and takes on more substantial pursuits in life, leaving the so-called less-evolved partner behind. However, these situations are the exception rather than the rule.

Most couples, in Georgia and in other states, who are harboring hidden or emerging resentments, stay together and do not divorce. They do it often for the sake of security because the fear of the unknown can be paralyzing. However, when one begins to see these conflicts emerging, it is a good time to consider the future. When working things out is not a realistic option or if efforts to save the marriage fail, individuals may find that the divorce is the solution.

Source: Huffington Post, "Why Divorce After Two Decades?", Dr. Jane Greer, Jan. 15, 2015

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