Shades of Gray Divorce

Divorce after age 50, Emotional Divorce
I'm always shocked by divorce, but especially when it comes after 20-30 years of marriage.

“Gray Divorces” (divorces among couples over age 50) increased from 10% percent in 1990 to 25% in 2009. And most of these divorces were not over anything dramatic like infidelity. They were caused by couples slowly drifting apart.

While my own marriage went through a difficult transition during the empty nest stage, my husband and I are currently enjoying our senior years of marriage more than any other stage. But statistics show a growing discontent among our peers. 

How good our marriage is in our senior years depends a great deal on how we deal with our marriage earlier. Very often, couples emotionally divorce before they legally divorce.


How does emotional divorce happen?

When one or both spouses:
  • Give up hope that their marriage will ever be better
  • Think their spouse is the only person who needs to change
  • Focus more on children, career, or friends than on their marriage
  • Refuse to forgive
  • Become indifferent
  • Blame their spouse for everything
  • Make separate plans and set separate goals
  • Have no common hobbies or leisure activities
  • Quit communicating in genuine ways
  • Quit listening to their spouse's needs
  • Quit sharing their heart with their spouse
  • Neglect their physical relationship
Marriage isn’t about honoring a piece of paper (i.e. marriage certificate); it’s about honoring a relationship. 

God wants us to have a vibrant, healthy, growing marriage. But we must do our part by applying God’s principles to our marriages throughout our lives.

Have you prayed today for your marriage? Have you asked God to show you areas where you have failed to stay connected to your spouse? Have you asked God to make you sensitive to your spouse’s needs/problems/desires?

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another...And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."  Colossians 3:12,13

Source: Divorce Can Come in Shades of Grey

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21 comments:

  1. Stopping by from the Mama Moments link-up! What a great reminder to be safeguarding my marriage to prepare for the future!

    http://the-life-of-faith.blogspot.com/

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  2. Gail, your post is true -- Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the 5 Love Languages, confirms that divorces that come in the latter years don't happen suddenly, but are the result of years of drift and neglect. He says one of the best ways to be sure this doesn't happen, is to conscientiously speak your spouse's love language. If a person doesn't know what her or her husband's love language is, he's posted a free test on his website www.5lovelanguages.com. It's amazing how much more efficient our loving attempts are when we're speaking the right language! Great title to the post, by the way!

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    1. Thanks for these additional insights, Lori, and for the link. I'm going to check it out.

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  3. Well said. I so agree. I think people don't realize how much work a marriage takes. But anything in life that means something to us, requires time, attention, and cultivating. The payoff in keeping your marriage relationship alive is so, so worth it! I think prayer plays a very important role too.

    Stopping by from The Modest Mom!

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  4. Fabulous post! I was just saddened to learn that some old friends of mine are divorcing after 30 years of marriage. :( I just want to shake people and say, DOn't do it! Work to save your marriage! Quit trying to change your spouse, and change yourself! Forgive! Choose to love! But no one listens . . . .

    I love everything about this post . . . and especially the title! :)

    Thanks for sharing and for linking up!

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    Replies
    1. I'm sorry about your friends. It really is hard to see that happen. Thanks for the encouragement, Elizabeth.

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  5. My grandparents divorced after 42 years of marriage. It was devastating to the family. There are 6 children and sides were taken and some were not speaking to some others. It seems that it is thought that divorce is only tragic if the children are still at home but that is not true.

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    1. I'm sure your grandparents divorce was hard. Thanks for sharing the reality of these gray divorces affecting grandchildren as well as children.

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  6. This is a fantastic post! Thanks!

    <>< Kristen
    www.createdtobehis31.blogspot.com

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  7. They use the excuse that they fell out of love not realizing that love is a choice, a commitment, not a feeling.

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  8. This was such a wonderful post. I have really worked at my marriage because it sure isn't perfect. I had to get to the point where I took responsibility and blame instead of casting blame. I have also looked for all sorts of things to do for my husband and it has drawn his heart to me especially as the children are not all little. I think we are entering into a very special season of our marriage.

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  9. It is really hard to live with another person. It really bring out all the good and the bad in a person. Although my marriage is young compared to yours, I definitely have a strong bond. I will keep this warning in mind as the years go by and work hard to keep that bong strong. Thanks for sharing this post at Mom's Library!

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  10. This has given me much to think about. We are still "newly weds"...and yet I've been very shaken by how many of my friends have divorced recently. Thank you for this excellent advice. Thank you for linking up!

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  11. Oh, I am having such trouble with my marriage right now. I suspect there is abuse involved, and my partner refuses help. I am staying with my parents for the time being. I believe in God and in the power of the Spirit and Jesus, but I can't reconcile how I am treated with what a healthy relationship should be. How do you personally view abuse in marriage between Christians and non believers?

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    1. Dear Monica,
      There's so much I would need to know before giving you any Scriptural guidelines. When you say that you "suspect there is abuse involved," Are you saying that your husband has been abused in the past and is now abusive to you? Is the abuse physical?

      Please write my email (gail. purath @yahoo. com)and while I may not have specific answers for your situation, I would be glad to share any Scriptural guidelines that might help. And I will pray for you.

      And I pray now that God would guide you and give you strength and wisdom and heal your marriage.
      Gail

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  12. Great post, Gail! My husband and I are nearing 33 years of marriage and thankfully are closer than we ever have been! Like you, we went through some challenges during the transitional stage after our kids moved out, but as we focused on God and what we felt He wanted for our marriage, we were brought even closer together. I loved the great list of suggestions above!!

    Blessings, Joan

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