If you have recently divorced after many years of marriage, or if you know someone who has, you are not alone. Late separations, sometimes called gray divorce, are increasing. Why do couples have a failed marriage after a long life together? What can be done to avoid them?

The leading causes of a failed marriage among married couples for the last few decades are the following:

They slowly but gradually drift apart

Late divorce rarely occurs because of an unexpected happening, says Stan Tatkin, the author of a popular publication known as Wired for Love. It is rather a slow procedure. A bit akin to an indestructible plate, which is dropped frequently, the well-known Stan Tatkin says. Micro-cracks appear, until reaching a grave threshold, which eventually causes the plate to shatter.

There are many reasons for this underlying frustration, but there are often the same or similar themes. “One of the partners, the woman most of the time, feels that she has sacrificed herself too much,” says Stan Tatkin. “She has sometimes set aside her career to raise children. She feels the wear and tear of the relationship that was often one way.

Their age

Age is important. A big age difference that was not a problem at the beginning of the relationship can become burdensome later and cause a failed marriage, he explains. The partners, arriving in mid-life, sometimes suddenly want to start from scratch.

According to him, a biological update of the brain occurs at certain moments of life, especially around the age of 15, then in the forties. Whenever it happens, we want to go back. Starting a relationship with a younger person allows some to satisfy that desire.

They are bored

According to an expert, boredom is another factor. Living 24 hours a day, seven days a week with the same person can, depending on the relationship, lead to boredom, the expert says. In some cases, people are no longer trying.

For example, your spouse may think you take your work and your leisure too seriously, but you are no longer that attentive and attractive partner.

Money problems

A different relationship to money and financial difficulties can also cause a failed marriage. One of the partners may be the spending type who likes to enjoy life to the fullest, while the other may be the saving and getting by type.

Children’s upbringing, ordinary expenses, and the cost of higher education can end up making couples in debt and can cause strain on the relationship.


Sexual incompatibility can get worse and bring about failed marriages, says Jessica O’Reilly. Hormonal changes that occur with age can cause significant fluctuations in libido. Even if the differences in desire are felt at any age, they sometimes worsen with time.

Couples on a slippery slope can learn from these leading causes of a failed marriage and recover with these five tips:

Make your relationship a priority

You are supposed to be able to rely on each other in difficult circumstances. You need to protect not only yourself but each other – both in public and in private, without ever putting your relationship at risk. In addition, couples need to ask themselves why they are together.

Constantly reminding yourself of what united you can be a simple yet powerful technique.

Take care of yourself

Weight gain, lack of exercise and a neglected lifestyle suggest to your partner that you don’t care anymore about him or her and can result in a failed marriage. The solution: go on a diet and put yourself back into sports or another physical activity that you enjoy.

Assume your share of responsibility

Before giving up your marriage, look in the mirror. Maybe the problem is right there. If so, an expert suggests putting some spice back into your life to avoid a failed marriage. Prepare a trip together, create a new business, learn a language together or develop a new skill, all activities that spark new conversations and can rekindle the passion.

Talk freely about your sexuality

Couples who discuss their sexual desires, variations in their desire, and their vulnerabilities can overcome their differences. Communication is essential. As your body changes, you need to know what makes you feel good physically and emotionally to maintain your sexuality.

Discuss everything openly and honestly

And again, never forget to discuss everything else that can cause failed marriages, insists an expert. This is the only way to solve your problems. Of course, you don’t want your marriage to fail, right? You truly want it to last a lifetime.

However, if any of the above things are too often part of your life, you may be on a dangerous path in your relationship.

Reflect on any previous relationships

It can be very useful to think about negative patterns in any of your previous relationships or marriages to avoid repeating them in your current relationship. For example, if you did not feel valued, you could use that information to find out how you could have made your contribution.

Do you tend to underestimate yourself? Did you tell your former partner exactly how to show his appreciation? There could have been any number of things that contributed. Using this approach, you can take action to prevent it from happening in your current marriage.


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