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Divorce/Separation :
Grey divorce

Topic is Sleeping.
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 kiwilee (original poster member #10426) posted at 2:36 AM on Saturday, August 26th, 2023

I've been reading up on the rise of the "grey divorce." My understanding is this term is for those in a long term marriage (usually 20+ years) and most kids out of or near out of the house. Once the distraction of the kids is gone, there is a huge magnifying glass on the marriage alone. And many have grown apart or run out of reasons to stay for the family.

I am 52 and would be considered in the "grey divorce" category. I have friends from high school who I was shocked to find out have recently divorced as well. I am noticing it more and more. I have a dear friend going through it with same age kids, etc. Our families have been tight for 20 years. It is crazy.

I wonder if Covid played a part in this increase. The pandemic caused people to reprioritize, take a break from the same ol schedule and so much togetherness was not great for everyone.

Who else is going through a grey divorce? I also think since people are living longer, starting over in your 50's still gives you time to recover and build an amazing life. I am so glad I took the leap and am counting my days until freedom!

posts: 663   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2006
id 8805679
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Helena67 ( member #80506) posted at 7:58 AM on Saturday, August 26th, 2023

Hi Kiwilee. I'm in a grey divorce. Just turned 56 years, divorcing and starting a brand new life. My oldest is moving out. My youngest still lives at home. There are so much changes in my life. It is scarry. I try to look at the positive side of it. I had his good years. The bad years are for somebody else. And for me the best is yet to come.....

BS (me) 56 years. Divorced!!!

posts: 127   ·   registered: Aug. 10th, 2022   ·   location: The Netherlands
id 8805693
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sillyoldsod ( member #43649) posted at 10:50 AM on Saturday, August 26th, 2023

An interesting subject and I'm sure many books have been written on it.
My totally subjective opinion fwiw is that as people age some can become discontent with their lives and feel they want to experience new adventures and indeed in some cases exciting new relationships. I believe my perimenopausal XWW was possibly going through an existential 'is this all there is' kind of midlife crisis and that itch was able to be partially scratched by her considerably younger boyfriend. Being 8 years out from all that drama I can look back relatively objectively from a detached perspective and accept that it happened and maybe even the reasons why it happened, whilst not condoning the behaviour and recognising the selfishness of it all.
Grey divorce doesn't have to involve infidelity but I guess in middle age we all question our existence and try to chase the happiness we believe we're entitled to enjoy before it's too late and we're dead!
Some people are able to experience contentment and acceptance without totally blowing up both their own and their families lives.
Whatever the reasons for grey divorce I agree we are all young enough to be able to build a new and possibly very different life if we're able to maintain a broadly positive mindset.
As one door closes new doors open as I'm sure many on here will testify to.
Best wishes to the both of you.

I've never met a sociopath I didn't like.

posts: 681   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2014   ·   location: UK
id 8805699
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JammyWheel ( member #80828) posted at 5:45 PM on Saturday, August 26th, 2023

This is so funny from Helena
" I had his good years. The bad years are for somebody else. "

posts: 68   ·   registered: Sep. 3rd, 2022
id 8805717
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 6:26 PM on Saturday, August 26th, 2023

I'm in the grey divorce category. My XWH mostly towed the line while his parents were alive. A couple years after they'd both passed away, he had his PA.

I took stock of my M and how he'd treated me, and I was done being treated like that. FWIW, he's a diagnosed covert narc, and I was done with his abuse.

I don't think COVID played a part per se, as I'd heard the term several years ago. It might be that now you're in the same boat, you're noticing more people in the same boat.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3119   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8805719
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Shehawk ( member #68741) posted at 2:57 AM on Sunday, August 27th, 2023

"I took stock of my M and how he'd treated me, and I was done being treated like that"

I am with Lea on this one.

"It's a slow fade...when you give yourself away" so don't do it!

posts: 1570   ·   registered: Nov. 5th, 2018   ·   location: VA
id 8805739
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SackOfSorry ( member #83195) posted at 3:19 AM on Sunday, August 27th, 2023

Sometimes I think that as people get closer to retirement that they really start to wonder if they can actually live with their spouse full-time without work as an escape/buffer. I know it's got me wondering.

Me - BW
DDay - May 4, 2013

And nothing's quite as sure as change. (The Mamas and the Papas)

posts: 93   ·   registered: Apr. 11th, 2023
id 8805740
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Superesse ( member #60731) posted at 2:12 PM on Sunday, August 27th, 2023

I agree with what is said about midlife reassessing; I suspect it's almost a natural aspect of aging.

Once when I was expressing my misery about living with WH, our doctor commented that he often heard similar complaints, usually from women whose husbands had just retired and all the men had to do with their day was boss his wife around. He said more than one woman patient complained to him "My problem is I have half as much money and twice as much husband!"

And this was the story in marriages that hadn't tried to survive infidelity, I presume! But our doctor assured me my feelings were far from unique (and he knew about WH).

I'm in my early 70's and feel like it is too late for me to start over, but really I guess it never is too late to live better. Case in point: my 88 year old aunt, who survived heart surgery, has been gritting her teeth dealing with her selfish 92 year old husband! It has been getting worse over the years since he retired, too. Recently she got away from him for a visit out here with her daughter, and she slept better than she had in a long time, even putting on some much-needed weight. Made me want to shake them up! As a friend said "That sounds like living in the waiting room for Hell!"

posts: 1941   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8805753
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 kiwilee (original poster member #10426) posted at 6:04 PM on Sunday, August 27th, 2023

Superease- it’s never too late! It’s a great analogy "living in waiting room for hell." I’m there, but with a ticket out right around the corner.

I rather live alone for the rest of my life than be with someone who has cheated more than once, falseR, alcohol abuse, etc. Now that kids are no longer a factor to consider, it is much easier to focus on my well being. And like many, I wish I would have done this 4 years ago!

posts: 663   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2006
id 8805762
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Superesse ( member #60731) posted at 5:07 PM on Monday, August 28th, 2023

What this important topic really could use is feedback from those on the other side of the dreaded Grey Divorce, amIright? Because relatively little useful data is published about the outcomes people experience. All I can ever find is the usual statistics on whether they D or stay M.

So, anyone care to share? Were you able to kickstart a peaceful new life relatively late in your life? Not to look back with regret for time lost, but to focus on what you gained or didn't gain?

posts: 1941   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8805814
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WhiteCarrera ( member #29126) posted at 4:20 AM on Tuesday, August 29th, 2023

An unfortunate reality though, might be that those who have successfully gray divorced are probably a lot less likely to frequent this webpage.

Is it possible that I actually do have all the truth now? (haha - how naive was I when I wrote that?)

me - husband; her - wife, Married 13 years @ D-Day in 2009. Now married 27 years and hanging in there (maybe by a thread sometimes)

posts: 383   ·   registered: Jul. 23rd, 2010   ·   location: Midwest
id 8805880
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crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 4:53 PM on Tuesday, August 29th, 2023

I rather live alone for the rest of my life than be with someone who has cheated more than once, falseR, alcohol abuse, etc. Now that kids are no longer a factor to consider, it is much easier to focus on my well being. And like many, I wish I would have done this 4 years ago!

Right there with you. I wish I had done this years ago rather than put myself through the misery of attempted R and a long limbo. My kids being older (one is an adult now and the other will be graduating high school this year) made me think a lot more about what I wanted from life. I knew I was unhappy in my M, knew it was broken and toxic from both of us. Him being a serial cheater, diagnosed NPD with no empathy and me having not an ounce of attraction, love or respect for him anymore. I had to pull the plug.

I just turned 50 so guess I made it into the Grey Divorce club and it's not so bad. I am really enjoying my peace and tranquility when I am alone and also the time that I spend with my friends and my boyfriend when I see him. Life is good. I struggle a bit financially but I get by. The kids have adjusted to the situation.

fBS/fWS(me):50 Mad-hattered after DD (2008)
XWS:53 Serial Cheater, Diagnosed NPD
DD(20) DS(17)
XWS cheated the entire M spanning 19 years
Discovered D-Days 2006,2008,2012, False R 2014
Divorcing

posts: 8689   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8805933
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inmisery1 ( member #30905) posted at 5:12 PM on Saturday, September 2nd, 2023

I just turned 68, I'm definitely considering divorce. I'm married to a serial cheater, with occasional anger issues and alcohol abuse. SAHM mom except for occasional part time, we moved around a lot during his career, I didn't feel comfortable leaving my kids with a stranger. I'm a little scared of the actual divorce part, settlements, just facing him in an attorneys office or court. I'll be collecting his spousal benefits from SS, getting medicare in a few months, he is 5 years younger than me. If anyone has any experience as far as settlements in a long term (35 years), I'd appreciate it, I need to have an idea about if I will be OK financially

posts: 341   ·   registered: Jan. 20th, 2011
id 8806355
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Muggle ( member #62011) posted at 2:42 AM on Thursday, September 7th, 2023

I would have been considered a "grey" divorce but we weren't married for the 23.5 years. We were common law, and I got everything a wife would get other than alimony. I got a settlement of $225, 000 and a paid off house. He got his business. I was a SAHM for 15+ years at his request and he made a ton more than I did. I'm now 60 and from what I can understand on the subject you may be able to get a QDRO, a qualified domestic relations order that will attach to pension and 401k/

In the long run, no matter what you're told, or HE tells you, the general rule of thumb is that if it happened during your marriage it's an asset for both of you. The only exception usually is inheritance or if you had a prenup.

You can attach to his social security income if you make less social security than he does and you're retirement age. You are entitled to pensions, property, possibly alimony if your incomes are vastly different. It makes ZERO difference whose name it's in or who paid for it.

The best thing you can do for yourself is gather up all documents you have like taxes, bank statements, investment accounts, 401k and anything else you think of that has value and get a free consultation with an attorney that is familiar with grey divorces. If you walk through this without knowing your options then you may well not get what you're entitled to.

Equitable division does NOT mean equal. It means that the court or judge wants the assets divided to where incomes balance out and it's fair. Fair could mean 60/40, 50/50, 80/20 or any other combination of possibilities. If you don't ask you won't know what you can and can't get. They try to equal out who gets what so that no one will starve or suffer.

Give yourself time to process this. It's like going through an F5 tornado and having your house relocated. It will be surreal for a time, and you will run a gauntlet of emotions from anger, denial, fear, and eventually forgiveness and acceptance. You will be ok, but you may not feel like it for a bit. Hang in there.

posts: 402   ·   registered: Dec. 29th, 2017   ·   location: WA
id 8806768
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LittleRussian ( member #36658) posted at 1:49 PM on Tuesday, September 12th, 2023

I'll bite. Divorced ex when I was 52. At that point we had 2 children still at home. We were perhaps unusual in that I was the higher earner so I bought him out of the marital home (children were in the middle of exams so I didn't want to have to move them if at all possible).

Immediately he moved out there was a feeling of peace and calm in the house which hadn't been there for ages. that was pretty much the only way we noticed he wasn't there.

I'm now more or less an empty nester (younger 2 are just going into their final year at uni but neither wants to move back to this area when they graduate) and very happy. I tool the plunge with OLD last year and have been very lucky - I've found a wonderful man who makes me very happy.

So yes, there is life after grey divorce!

Me - firmly middle aged
Him XH - slightly younger (but not much!)
3 young adult children

posts: 88   ·   registered: Aug. 30th, 2012   ·   location: UK
id 8807468
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Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 3:00 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

I guess I'm in this category as well, 56 married 27 years...

But I've been S/D for 5+ years I guess, so I'm on the other side. Looking back, I was married to axwoman who could not find herself contented about anything, so I guess there was no possible way she could have been happy with me. Now that I am free of her, I have come to realize just how soul-sucking she was and continues to be.

Life on the other side continues to be good. I am much more relaxed, no longer grind my teeth or snore, feel contented, even when I have a sad day, and continue to grow. It no longer matters if I face the future alone as I am quite happy with myself.

I'm an oulier in my positions.

Me:55 STBXWW:55 DD#1: false confession of EA Dec. 2016. False R for a year.DD#2: confessed to year long PA Dec. 2 2017 (was about to be outed)Called it off and filed. Denied having an affair in court papers.

Divorced 20

posts: 1695   ·   registered: Jul. 25th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8807778
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 kiwilee (original poster member #10426) posted at 4:12 AM on Friday, September 15th, 2023

Justsomeguy- thanks for the positivity. I’m 2 weeks from him finally moving out! I can not wait as it has been almost 1.5 yrs of IHS.

I also think if I spend the rest of my life alone I will be better off than this BS marriage of the last 4 years!!

It’s encouraging to know that others in their 50’s are thriving as single person.

posts: 663   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2006
id 8807878
Topic is Sleeping.
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