Baby Boomers are an audacious group – gutsy life changers. They spear headed the Sexual Revolution, took on the challenges of the Vietnam War, and have become pioneers in the anti-aging battle. They, too, have challenged traditional marriage styles. Over time they increasingly lived together before marriage, many had “Open Marriages”, and now are getting divorced in greater numbers than previous generations.
This article examines who of the Baby Boomers are getting divorced and the rationales supplied. The information shared here primarily comes from researcher Xenia Montenegro via CNN. According to Ms. Montenegro the Baby Boomers most at risk for divorce are:
- The college-educated-but-married-younger-in-the-1970’s crowd. College- educated Boomers are more likely to grow weary of their partners than those with a high school education. Also, those that married young are more likely to divorce.
- The marginally unhappy couples who wanted happy kids. Montenegro says “these couples have waited nicely until their kids were out of the house, saw an opportunity to separate and “have their me time.”
- Couples that included Superwomen whose lives turned out differently than they were brought up to think they would be.
- The what-happened couple. Some tried to reconnect but had trouble doing it. They had nothing in common by then and can’t find each other.
- The really old couple. According to the Office of National Statistics, the rate of divorce is dropping in every age group except the over-60’s.
- The trophy hunters. Self explanatory in its various forms and practices.
As a licensed Marriage and Family therapist I can attest to the reality of the six types listed above. Divorce is never easy and usually painful, at least for one of the partners – and usually for the children.
My wish list for people who want an enduring marriage, sans divorce:
- Don’t marry young. You don’t know yourself very well and how you may change in the future and sure don’t know what you need in a marriage partner through the various developmental life stages ahead of you.
- Seek pre-marriage counseling from a trained therapist. Such a therapist has a number of resources to assist a couple know more about their short and long range compatability.
- Make sure you have a “marriage centered” relationship, not “parent centered”. You need to continue to nurture your relationship over time and not just focus on raising your kids.
- Be attuned to your life changes and needs and that of your partner. Have quality communication enabling the two of you to stay in sync and connected. Commitment, flexibility, and adaptability to your evolving life can make a difference.
- Continue to find things in common that you can share in your life style.
My purpose in writing this is to help Baby Boomers understand their current situation as well as enlightening others who may want to avoid the pitfalls of those Boomers who became overly caught up in the “it’s all about me and my happiness” syndrome.
“The unexamined life is not worth living” Socrates