Dissecting Grey Divorces: Why Senior Couples Split Up

Dissecting Grey Divorces: Why Senior Couples Split Up

A new marriage is always full of joy and compassion, but sadly, not all couples can sustain this euphoria. Decades of hardships will leave some couples incapable of settling arguments or overcoming hurdles in the relationship, which might lead to a grey divorce.

If you’re concerned even just a little bit, a trip to a marriage counselor in Salt Lake City should straighten out these common complaints:

Health concerns

With age comes various health complications, and these don’t just affect the one diagnosed but the entire relationship as well.

The strain mainly comes from coping with chronic illnesses as a couple. As such, specific responsibilities befall the healthy spouse, including financial safeguarding, caregiving, and parenting. If not appropriately discussed, the diagnosed spouse might start feeling like a burden, or the healthy spouse might succumb to the pressure.


One would think that after being married for a long time, they can rule out extramarital affairs as a reason for falling out. Unfortunately, infidelity is still possible even in couples’ golden years. This is caused more by a slow dissipation of the relationship rather than casual temptation. One of them feels that something has been lacking after decades of marriage and decides to explore. That’s why hardly anyone sees it coming

Sexual intimacy

When people grow old, one thing they inevitably leave behind is their passion for sex. Their libido drops, they’re more slowly aroused, and they don’t do anything exciting in the bedroom anymore.

While this is common and understandable, spouses in a relationship might see impotence as emotional unavailability or inadequacy. Since they aren’t sexually satisfied anymore, it affects other aspects of their relationship, such as communication, passion, and composure.


It’s a symptom among older generations to feel a sense of boredom, monotony, and even depression once they retire. Sadly, it tends to seep into their relationship as well, which can lead to an untimely separation.

Retirement for them feels like they can’t live fully anymore. They are being locked inside the house with only their spouse as a reprieve, unable to continue their emotional journey.

Bad habits

Bad habits can mean a plethora of things, which in turn causes a plethora of reactions from long-married couples. This can pertain to unhealthy lifestyle choices such as alcoholism, gambling, or drug addiction, which results in endless arguments or possibly even domestic abuse.

It can also pertain to years’ worth of emotional issues. Being manipulative, passive-aggressive, or apathy, that negatively contributes to the marriage and causes the other spouse to harbor anxiety, depressive thoughts, or self-doubt.

Child disputes

Sometimes, a third person can be involved in the breakdown of a longstanding marriage. However, they don’t cause it so much as they reveal their vulnerabilities. A child or a grandchild conferring with a senior couple may unconsciously aggravate couples’ negative attitudes and differences of opinions that they don’t readily talk about when together. And this might cause a more significant rift in their marriage than expected.

The silver lining is that these problems are easier to fix later in life than sooner. This is because they’re presumably at a better financial standing, and they’ve gone through more than younger couples.