What's Your Best Advice? Today, readers offer advice on divorce, diamonds and doing the right thing. BRANDON: The nastiness that often accompanies a breakup and a divorce is not always a bad thing. It forces us to move on, build new relationships and take better care of …Read more. Honor Thy Father and Mother, to a Point Dear Cheryl: I'm in my early 20s and recently graduated from college. About three months before graduation, I met a girl who was not like the girls I had dated previously. After much thought, I decided that I should ask her out. We both had a long …Read more. Friendly Divorce? Not Always Wise We applaud the couple who use the same lawyer when they get divorced. We think, "How mature! How reasonable!" Think how much money they will save, money that could be spent on starting their new lives. Money that could go to their kids. With one …Read more. Be the Bigger Person Dear Cheryl: I'm a single mom with two teenagers. I've been divorced from their father for 12 years. He paid only $250 child support for both kids until two years ago. When I learned he had a good paying job, I had the amount of child support …Read more.more articles
The Golden Years: Often Rusty
What makes a couple that's been married 40 or 50 years decide to split up? Is it something sudden? Or a long, slow accumulation of unhappiness?
TRACE: I'm 62. After 38 years, three kids and three grandkids, my wife called me at work to tell me she moved out of the house, hired an attorney and wanted a divorce.
The marriage hadn't been good for years. We'd gone to counseling 10 years ago, but my wife wouldn't work at our marriage. I'm now seeing a different counselor who's preparing me for moving on, working on my communication skills and being the man my wife would have wanted and that I should have been. But it will be too late. At least she left me the dog.
SARAH: I was 54 when my husband asked me for a divorce. We were married over 33 years, with two children and a grandchild. I asked him to go with me to three marriage counseling sessions (one for each decade we were married) to try to save the marriage. Or, if the marriage couldn't be salvaged, at least to help me find out what went wrong. He said no. He didn't love me anymore. Believe me, that hurt.
The divorce went quickly with little arguing. He was definitely fair when it came to finances. That was two years ago. I'm still scratching my head over what went wrong. He has a girlfriend. I don't know if he had her when he asked for a divorce.
NANCY: "We boomer women made ourselves the most empowered women in history. We married men of our choosing, developed careers, raised kids, worked full-time at an office or at home, and generally did really well at all of it.
He wants to die at home? Forget finding that cute condo with no yard duties and moving to somewhere like Florida, Arizona, Colorado or Vancouver. He doesn't like travel? Then forget about it. He likes eating at home? Forget dining out. He's shocked that the little wife is tired of living his life.
He had no idea. He thinks of himself as remarkably easy to get along with. Of course he is — as long as we both remain firmly in his comfort zone. We boomer women would like the chance, before it's too late, to find our own comfort zones. But not all of us can. I'm married to my husband's pension.
JIM: Unhappy younger couples are often unwilling to split for several reasons. It may be because of the damage to the children. Or they don't want to be single parents. Or they don't realize that the only thing keeping them together is the children. Or they're overextended with house payments, car payments, childcare, school loans and health care. Maybe they like having a steady sex partner.
Maybe that's why younger couples stay together and older couples are divorcing.
Are you contemplating a divorce after a long-term marriage? Why? Send your tale, along with your questions and problems to email@example.com. And check out my new ebook, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front."
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