Gray divorce is the nickname for when couples split up past the age of 50, and it’s only growing more commonplace. This means there are more people than ever dealing with this unique type of situation in Rhode Island. Experts estimate a tripling of the current rate of gray divorce by 2030.
A family that breaks apart later in life
For the children of gray divorces, they’re often in a vastly different life stage than they would have been had the split occurred earlier. This tends to play a major role in the way their parents’ divorce impacts their lives.
It’s common for there to be a mixture of feelings after a gray divorce. The children of the marriage might not even be sure how to react or deal with it.
If you’re not all under the same roof, the kids can feel isolated. It also might be surprising to them how much the divorce gives the grown children a sense of losing the foundation of their family.
When the split is for the best
The children of gray divorce might feel a sense of relief. In some cases, it’s clear to everyone that their parents will be happier by going their separate ways. But in other cases, the parents might have kept their relationship issues private and not shared them with their kids, so the divorce might come as a shock.
Even though the children are older, they may still rely on their parents in a variety of ways. And if one parent is abusive, the divorce may make it so the adult children can finally connect with their more supportive parent in a safe space.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out like that. Issues that were built up over a long period of time may leave a lasting emotional impact on everyone in the family. This includes the children, no matter what their age.
No matter what kind of gray divorce it is, the family will likely have a great deal to work through in the aftermath. Whether this happens together or individually, therapy can often be valuable. It’s not going to be free from stress, but with the right help, it can be easier.