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A Divorce Trend That May Reshape Marriage Forever
After 20 years of marriage, there are two types of couples that divorce. One version has two persons who did their best, whereas the other does not. The strongest preventative tactic that long-term relationships can utilize is a mutual effort to maintain an emotional connection. While the number of divorces in the United States has decreased from 944,000 in 2000 to 630,505 in 2020, there is some startling new evidence indicating long-term monogamy and marriage are under fresh strain. Gray divorces are a thing to be aware of if you’re married.
The divorce rate is no longer being driven by adultery. It has nothing to do with us Millenials; divorce rates in post-Gen-X couples are actually lower than they have ever been. It’s 50-70-year-olds who are pulling the plug on failing relationships where “I love you” didn’t end up meaning “I’ll do anything.” Relationships that have been on autopilot for decades are being taken off life support.
Financially independent 50-year-olds who plan to live into their 100s are reconsidering their options. It comes as no surprise to me. Many middle-aged adults are reconsidering their relationship health and opting for something else. The hypocrisy of monogamy is not that individuals divorce, but that they suffer loveless and sexless marriages for an average of six years before calling it quits.
There is a consistent shift in the divorce rate today, with the rate tripling among persons in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. I’m referring to first-time divorces after decades of marriage, which frequently catch unprepared couples off guard. After decades of unfulfilled emotional needs, many middle-aged and older folks are separating and envisioning a future either alone or with someone new who can meet them (Brown et. al, 2018).
These divorces are frequently the result of treachery. Certainly sexual at times. However, non-sexual motives are becoming more common. It is an emotional betrayal, an ignoring or open rejection of fundamental needs, desires, and preferences. While some relationships may be beyond repair, it is never too late to establish a culture that values trust, commitment, and constant emotional connection.
It is feasible to avoid additional gradual and heartbreaking deaths of long-term lovers. It will necessitate taking action. Here’s a simple first step that any love partnership may take to establish a weekly routine of emotional connection. Schedule a “State of the Union” chats with your spouse for one hour this Saturday or Sunday.
Choose one of the following questions and freely debate it: Are we readily and mutually exchanging influence? It’s apparent that long-term relationship masters distribute influence in ways that seem free and fair. Understanding and emotional affirmation are crucial to navigating the uncertain waters of a 100-year relationship. Both foster connection stability, allowing closeness, intimacy, and respect to flourish. In these circumstances, compromise is easier to achieve.
Are we aware of each other’s hopes and fears? If you’re devoted to personal and family development, the only thing standing in your way is being disengaged from your shared goals. Always stay close to your and your partner’s hopes and worries. Check-in with each other on a daily basis about concerns and appreciation.
How can I love you more the next week? Nothing gets done until a persistent effort is made to create and reinforce trust. Saying “I love you” is meaningless unless it is accompanied by consistent action. A 100-year commitment is founded on two people who are both invested in their bodily, emotional, and relationship wellness. Maintaining an emotional connection is essential for powerful, true, and long-lasting love. Every week, ask each other, “How can I love you better next week?”
If you just focus on one thing, make it address each other’s basic needs, wants, and preferences with a kind heart. A stable connection in a committed bond is a wonderful gift we can provide to ourselves and our families. This new phase of monogamy necessitates that we give it our all—it is all we can ever expect of ourselves or our partners.