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The divorce rate among U. For those 65 and older, it has tripled. Studies have documented their benefits. Purpose, drive and positive behaviors all flow from their psychosocial dimensions. A phenomenon that runs counterintuitive to all the positivity I just recited, but examined more closely, may be a graphic example of the desire for happiness at any age. Either way, so-called gray divorce is very much a major factor in the contemporary culture of mature adults.
According to The Pew Foundationat a time when divorce is becoming less common for younger adults, gray divorceis on the rise. Among U. For those 65 and older, the divorce rate has tripled during the same period. Pew attributes the climbing rates, in part, to the aging baby boomers who have become unsatisfied and seek to pursue their own interests and independence for the remaining years of their lives. A big factor behind this trend is longevity, says sociologist Pepper Schwartz.
She notes that half a century ago, an unhappy couple in their mids might have stayed together because they thought it wasn't worth divorcing if they had only a few years left to live. Now, year-olds can easily envision at least 20 more active years — and they don't want them to be loveless, or full of frustration or disappointment. Schwartz says boomers gave up on the concept of the dutiful-but-unhappy spouse a long time ago. Positive relationships have benefits, but it is important to recognize that poor or stressful relationships, carry a downside. The National Center for Biotechnology cites sociological research showing that marital strain erodes physical health, and that the negative effect of marital strain on health becomes greater with advancing age.
NCBI reports that stress contributes to psychological distress and physiological reactions such as increased heart rate and blood pressure that can damage health through cumulative wear and tear on physiological systems. This can lead to unhealthy coping behaviors such as food consumption, heavy drinking and smoking. In another report that presents the outcomes of gray divorce and some interesting gender differences, the NCBI indicates that roughly one-third of baby boomers are currently unmarried.
Among adults 65 and older, a majority is unmarried. They attribute this to older men enjoying a larger pool of potential dating partners than women, reflecting gender differences in life expectancy and norms prescribing that men should date younger women. The researchers found that men tend to be more interested than women in formalizing these relationships through marriage. So, what does this all mean? Does the trend of gray divorce represent a stamp of approval for those over 50 who are contemplating a split from their partner?
The s certainly offer a sense of comfort that others are acting on their feelings.
Clearly, each situation is different, but here are some tips for both those evaluating their relationship and men who have made the decision to move on. Anthony Rostain, my colleague at Cooper University Health Care and the chairman of the department of psychiatry, offers the following thoughts for those assessing their relationships. Successful relationships require an investment. Have you made an investment? Have you pinpointed these factors and tried to address them with your partner? For those plus men who have decided to move on, experts offer this advice on some of the most important factors men need to keep in mind.
The Good Man Project says that it is often the older children who have a more difficult time compared to their younger siblings. In their eyes, it may all just be "too weird. For every 1, births, by age 50, women out men to At 65, it's to So, the odds are in men's favor — and women know it. Regardless, it is never an easy process and takes on particular ificance as we mature. My journey to gray divorce began with an interest in health behaviors of men over From that perspective, if a divorce frees a man from stress and unhappiness, then it is probably good for his health.
All in, with such a strong link between health and happiness, the impact of a divorce on your ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle is certainly worth due consideration. Louis Bezich PhillyVoice Contributor. Personal Finance. The contents of this website, such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained on this website, are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. Nothing in this website is meant to be used for medical or nursing diagnosis or professional treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other d health care provider.
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Tastykake recruiting Philly residents. How to save thousands buying a home. Tips for holiday shopping amid inflation. Flu shot more important than ever. Menu PhillyVoice. October 23, A gray divorce may improve your health, but there are many factors to consider Positive relationships bring many benefits, but marital strain can erode physical health. Men's Health Plus Men. Men need companionship In another report that presents the outcomes of gray divorce and some interesting gender differences, the NCBI indicates that roughly one-third of baby boomers are currently unmarried.
Assessing your relationship Dr. Building a New Life For those plus men who have decided to move on, experts offer this advice on some of the most important factors men need to keep in mind.
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The Aftermath of Gray Divorce For Men, Women, and Their Adult Children