Divorce for a couple in their 70's

ellendiMarch 23, 2013

Just your thoughts. We have tenants, husband is 76, the wife is a bit younger. Second marriage for both but they are married 16 years.
The wife decided she wants a divorce. They just signed a contract the day before to build a home! They went to a marriage counselor and he/she told him, "Her mind is made up, I don't want to waste your money."
I realize that you can never know what goes on in someone else's marriage, but it just seems sad to me to think that someone in this age bracket will be facing the world alone, at least for a while. (Single men usually fair better)
Is this common?

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It is a shame. But I disagree that single men usually fare better. In my experience it's just the opposite. The men want and need someone but the women do just fine.

In this case you speak of, who knows what the root of the issue is. Sad for him, actually sad for both of them. But I will be that she'll be just fine alone.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 1:02PM
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Suzeque, I think what I meant was men have a better chance statistically of finding another partner in this age group.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 1:27PM
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I think what I meant was men have a better chance statistically of finding another partner in this age group.

No, I think, they just don't want to do for themselves... and go out and find someone that will take care of them.

Lazy bumms!



    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 2:42PM
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I hope both have had physicals recently. It's not impossible for Seniors to genuinely want a divorce, but this *could* be something else.

I've lost track of the number of divorces just on our short stretch of street, just since we moved here 12 years ago -- and nobody under 50. One couple each brought four kids to their marriage (original partners had died) and had two more children together. They divorced after the youngest was married; they were over 60. I think there have been another six divorces out of the thirty homes near us. One couple were in their mid-seventies; didn't know them.

I think stats are that men do not thrive as well without a partner, but that women are less financially secure without one.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 3:04PM
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My mother married her 4th husband at age 74! She advertised in the newspaper....wanted : swm, dinner, hikes......yatta yatta yattta. She told all her friends to do the same thing(even my older sister) and some of them got clever.

Me Jane you Tarzan, trade in your loin cloth for a suit and take a girl out to dinner....that lady met her significant other with THAT ad....also in her 70's.

Note: My mother took up jogging at age 53, then snow skiing and water skiing. My grand mother lived to be 96 years old and lived with my mother providing her with an income until my mothers 4th marriage.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 3:14PM
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mom managed 25 years alone after my dad passed...bought her first "home" (mobile) and managed quite well..

fil couldn't even wait a full year of mourning before marrying again...same thing when she died...only they just "shacked up" (better money situation) the only thing that's stopping him at 90 for yet another gf or wife is illness and confinement to the house...

wish you guys had a crystal ball and could see what's happening with your tennants...it's hard to say...my uncle said he drank and worked 24-7 and that's why my aunt left him...drinking part? not really, working impossible hours for a oil company? you bet! what's sadder? he passed away and wasn't talking to his 2 dds, only the 4 boys...and that's probably why my aunt finally left..he rigidity was aweful...she is now 94, living a good life with her one dd and is painting daily.when we reconnected, i wrote her a very long letter asking for forgiveness in slighting her after the divorce...i finally saw the second side....

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 3:44PM
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I'm going to be 74 and I'll tell you I would divorce in a NY minute if the relationship was not good. I know that I wouldn't want to live my life out with someone that I didn't love and didn't make me happy....

Sad yes but most people are better off/happier after the divorce once the decision is made to do it...and one gets over the initial turmoil of divorce...

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 3:45PM
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That is such a shame, they might as well just stay together at their age. At lease they won't be alone and they already know each other. They won't know just how bad it is until they are alone with no one to help them or care for them. It is easier for a woman to be alone, but harder to find a partner.Especially at their AGE! You never know what you have till its gone.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 3:49PM
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I'm glad the couple in original post got divorced instead of pretending they still get along and acting as if everything's fine, and being miserable in their old age. Now they're both free to find someone they really love, or to be happily single.

Seniors do need to be very careful from a financial perspective if they remarry though. Marriage law is brutal to retirees - I've seen many older people gushingly talk about their upcoming second or third weddings, unaware they're about to lose $100,000s in pensions or other benefits the moment they sign their marriage license. Military spouses who remarry lose their health care benefits from their former spouse's health care plan permanently, Marriage is a financial act, yet it too often isn't treated as one.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 4:02PM
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Joann, that was what I was thinking. For most of us marriage can be a series of ups and downs, but I would hope that if i weathered out the storm this long, I can be in for the duration.
In this couple's case, she is the one who wants the divorce. She has moved out and they are taking it from there.
Again I guess what I found surprising was the age group.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 5:03PM
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If that's what they want, I say "go for it - better late than never!" They should make the best of the years they have left.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 5:04PM
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The song wasn't talking about problems, but the title fits this situation: "No One Knows What Goes On Behind Closed Doors".

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 6:16PM
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This is sad....but planning/building a house is a major divorce factor...maybe too much stress for them. I miss my DH so much, but do not think I would ever want to marry again...and I am in this age bracket...but it would be nice to have someone to care enough to check on each other in times of illness. Also, if they had children from former marriages, they can cause so much trouble!...we dealt with that with DH's children.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 7:56PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

My first thought was could a mental disease be at work, dementia and alzheimer's, suddenly changes in personality or big life changes can be a sign that something could be happening health wise. Of course not always but definitely something to consider.

I would be devastated if I found myself in that situation, I am in this for the long haul, and I know he is too.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 9:11PM
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all I can say, with my age of 58, it was the BEST thing I did, when I divorced at 56.

I am so much better off.

Now, him, I don't know, and I don't care, but he got married in less than a year.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 11:45PM
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The divorce is not the problem; The fact they signed a contract to build a house together is a problem. They should do something FAST. They could agree to build the house and then sell it, or one could buy the other's share in the house; or they could ask the builder to null the contract since it was signed only yesterday and I doubt that he has spent any money on the project yet. The best thing would be if they could null the contract, but that may turn out to be wishful thinking.

Very interesting. Something does not 'smell' right.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 2:27AM
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Sounds strange to me, too. They married later in life, apparently were happy or content for a time. Wonder what will become of that house they are buying. Losing a partner that late in life would be similar the adjustment after a death.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 10:05AM
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If the marriage is making you miserable, I don't see any point in sticking it out unless you cannot possibly manage on your own. What is very sad is when one wants out and the other doesn't. Feelings and emotions are the same in your 70's (I guess -- not quite there yet) as any age. Why not spend the time you have left in peace rather than with someone you cannot tolerate.

I'm with Moni! Anyone who thinks the single life is sad and lonely is just so very wrong. I was never sadder or lonelier than when I was married. I love being on my own and not having to answer to anyone else.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 10:39AM
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You never know what's going on behind closed doors. You just never know.

I had a dear friend that divorced - also in her 70s - after 30 years of marriage. It was her second marriage, too.

Her husband was a heavy drinker but only drank at night in their home. After he'd had a few, he'd say the most evil, wretched things to her and even bust up a few things in the house.

When she got sick in her early 70s and almost died, *that* was her epiphany. She decided to ditch him and spend the rest of her remaining months or years happy.

She did ditch him, and she looks like a new woman.

And she's finally really, really happy.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 3:36PM
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