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When someone gets a divorce at a later stage in life, there is often a question they might ask themselves: is there something wrong with me?

There is nothing wrong with you, and you are not alone. In fact, while divorce rates for younger generations have decreased or stayed the same since 1990, divorce rates for people 50+ have almost doubled. This trend has even earned a name for itself: “gray divorce”.

Why are divorce rates for people 50+ increasing?

The increase in gray divorce rate is due to many factors, which include:

  • Society’s views on relationships have changed over the last several decades. Independent happiness is gaining importance as people pursue fulfilling marriages.
  • Divorce is losing its stigma. As divorce becomes more commonplace, many are pressured to reconsider negative stances on divorce. With the stigma disappearing, many feel more comfortable divorcing now than they might have twenty years ago.
  • Women are finding more economic success. With wage gap decreases, women are now able to leave marriages and keep financial security. To quote an NPR report, “many no longer have to chose between a bad marriage and poverty.”
  • Better health and longer life expectancy. With medical advances, we are enjoying longer lives than the generations before us. The extra years we have now mean that we still have an opportunity to discover happiness even after 50.

Divorce can be emotionally draining at any age, but it can be particularly anxiety inducing for people over 50. As you go through this process, remember that you are not alone, and you deserve to have a happy and fulfilling life.