Recently, we’ve seen a couple of high-profile divorces of couples who have been married for many years — certainly by celebrity sources. Comedian Chris Rock and his wife of two decades are divorcing. Meanwhile, author of romantic bestsellers like “The Notebook,” Nicholas Sparks, and his wife of 25 years are ending their marriage.
Probably one of the most surprising splits of a long-wed public couple occurred in 2010 when former Vice President Al Gore and his wife Tipper announced their separation after 40 years of marriage. Although the two have not divorced, they are reportedly living their own lives thousands of miles apart.
So what causes couples who have built a life together over many years to end their marriage? There are a few reasons that are fairly common. For one thing, people evolve and change. The person you’re living with today may seem nothing like the person you married, and he or she may feel the same way about you.
Often, one or both people feel like they’ve been giving up what they really want for years to please their spouse or for the good of the marriage. That’s easier to do when you’re young and in love or raising a family. However, some people reach a point where they are no longer willing to do that. As one marriage and family therapist notes, it comes down to the “we” versus the “me.”
In some cases, things happen that cause one person to lose respect or trust in the other. Maybe they’ve been hoping their partner would change, but eventually realize it’s not going to happen. It’s more difficult to make the compromises and sacrifices you used to make when that happens.
These things rarely happen overnight. That’s why if you see them happening in your marriage, a marriage counselor or other therapist may be able to help you talk through the issues and rebuild your marriage, perhaps with new and more realistic expectations of one another. Sometimes, this therapy helps couples see that they would live a happier, healthier life apart.
If you are considering divorce, it may be wise to talk with a Louisiana family law attorney. He or she can advise you of what to expect from a divorce and also give you some guidance regarding steps to take to help ensure your financial security before breaking the news to your spouse.
Source: Huffington Post, “Why Divorce After Two Decades?” Dr. Jane Greer, Jan. 15, 2015