By Alison Forde
The rate of divorce in people aged 60 and above has drastically increased in recent years. There are many reasons for this and obviously more personal reasons but experts suggest it is because when couples retire they almost have to reintroduce themselves to each other as they’ll be spending so much time together and many couples may struggle to adjust to this change.
But it is not all sad for elderly couples as these people are getting remarried. Over the past 8 years there has been a 240% increase in people aged 60 and over getting remarried. This is good for them as they can get to enjoy their retirement years and be happy doing so but it still begs the question why so many are getting divorced in the first placed. The generation that is getting divorced are from the so called baby boom years when basically everyone was having children. It is quite drastic as the divorce rate in over 50s has doubled in the past 20 years.
The baby boomers came of age during the 70s and 80s meaning they were hitting the legal age of drinking while partying in the increasing number of clubs that were around at that time. Divorce rates sored through the 1960s with 38.9million people getting divorced. It is because of this that people think they can survive a divorce as they have done before so when they do not get on with somebody in old age they know they can jump ship so to speak. This leaves people that are getting remarried at a higher risk of getting divorced than people in their first marriages due to the fact they know they can cope on their own. When people do retire they are thinking whether they want to spend the next 20 to 30 years with that one person and they picking up on small faults that they think will ruin their finals years when in truth they could probably have a happy retirement together.
It could be argued that the importance of marriage in British society has declined in recent years as well. If you go back to the 1950s when you got married that was it as it was clear that it was legally binding and people respected that. Most people do not think like this anymore as they do not see the ceremony of marriage as extremely important partnership as they feel they can break out of it whenever they want. This has also come with the development of society over time because people are given more freedom and it is acceptable to do more. As well as this baby boomers expected more from marriage as the roles of marriage were not stereotyped like they were for their parents this has helped lower the importance a marriage as well. In addition to this during the 70s and 80s people cared more about being whatever they wanted to be, they were more likely to go chasing an unrealistic dream instead of accepting the truth leaving them without a partner who probably had other dreams.
Studies have shown that women are more likely to initiate divorce and this was not the case 20 years before. This has something to do with inequality again as women are getting paid on average 10% less than men which has decreased from 15% in 2009 . With this equal pay they are economically able to leave a divorce which they didn’t feel they could in the older times. One theory is that there are no restraints stopping people from staying in an unhappy marriage. This does not mean they do not want to be with somebody it’s just that they want to be with someone supposedly better in their retirement years. One person said that the person they were compatible with in their 20s is different to the person they are compatible with in their 50s and that is why so many people are getting divorced in old age. The rates of remarriages are just as high as the rates of divorces in the baby boom generation which shows that the woman was probably right about the person they are compatible with changing.
Alison forde needed to work closely with the drapery provider HighSpec UK in order to write this article effectively. The main reason for this is that the company have a great knowledge of their industry that was easy for her to draw upon.