California is nicknamed “The Golden State,” which is thought to date back to the mid 19th century. The effects of the Gold Rush during that time were substantial, creating an era of great excitement, opportunity, technological advance and growth. In contrast, the so-called golden years are expected to be a time of slowing down and taking things easy. People mostly expect Grandma to spend her time baking pies and Grandpa to sneak off for a day of fishing, so it can come as a shock to find that, instead, they are entering divorce proceedings.
According to a recent news article, Americans age 50 and older are divorcing at a higher rate than those in younger age groups, with more being divorced than widowed. These are national figures, and they are increasing. Times have changed, people’s expectations are higher, opportunities are greater, and with advances in medicine, people are living longer lives. Choices are such that many people are no longer content just to grow old gracefully and retire.
There are those for whom traditional roles are still desirable and fulfilling, and it is the beauty of modern society that every individual may now choose to embrace or reject those roles as it suits them. For some, who view new possibilities as a challenge or adventure, these roles may become too stifling and inadequate. As their own horizons expand, their partner’s may not — placing strain on the marriage and leaving both partners unhappy. At such times, it is difficult yet necessary for both partners to review how they see the future of the relationship.
California may be mostly sunny, but when a couple enters divorce mediation, the clouds may gather. If the reason for the parting of ways is not focused on how each person feels about the other, but rather the different directions each person would like their life to take, then it may be possible for the couple to part amicably and, perhaps, remain friends. With an impartial third party conducting the mediation process, things need not become personal in nature. The best outcome is one where both parties can envision a positive future for themselves with a fresh look at happiness and a new life.
Source: cnn.com, Why are baby boomers so divorce-prone?, Pepper Schwartz, Dec. 9, 2013