Al and Tipper Gore after 40 years of marriage. What could have gone wrong? Why would a couple divorce after being together for so many years?
Now that people are living longer these days (76 years for men & 81 years for women) we are seeing more divorces among those in the "baby boomer" generation. In addition to longevity, there are other reasons why marriages are ending after many years.
Staying Together for the Kids - Some couples make a conscious (or unconscious) decision to preserve the family and hang in there until the kids are out of the house. Often remaining in a cold and emotionless marriage these individuals feel that it would be too traumatic for children if they were to divorce.
Empty Nest Syndrome- Once children leave home, spouses are left with someone they have not spent much time with over the last 20 years or so. The focus is no longer on the children, but now back on the relationship. This transition can be uncomfortable or dissatisfying for some.
Growing Apart - It is expected that individuals are going to change over time. Whether for good or bad, these changes can affect marital relationships. Growing apart is often a factor in the empty nest syndrome, where over the years a couple has grown in different directions. Their goals, dreams, and life purposes may not include each other anymore.
Finances - With large representations in the workplace, women no longer rely on their husbands income for support. Some earn more money than their husbands, thereby having resources to support themselves if they decide to leave.