Monday, January 10, 2011


Gray divorces are on the rise, and I'm not surprised. We've all heard of the 7-year itch - that's when after seven years of marital bliss, husbands start to have roving eyes and wives start to roll their eyes and beat their hearts in helpless frustration.

That was a generation or two ago when most wives didn't have much of an education and had no means of fending for themselves and their young children if they left their husbands. For them divorce was not an option. So they remained the faithful, long-suffering wife while their husband went AWOL night after night.

Not anymore. These women have been bidding their time waiting till the children are all grown and on their own before filing for divorce. This is the 37-itch, and this time it's the women who are getting the itch, to split, that is.

Being divorced is no longer a social stigma for older women in their 50s and 60s. They are not willing to settle for less or second best anymore. Why should they? They can't see themselves remaining in a boring, loveless marriage, having to share space 24/7 with someone whom they have little in common with. Financially independent, college-educated and empowered by those who have already taken the bold step, these women are ready to move forward to a new chapter of life without their men by their side. And the future looks promising and exciting. For many, it's Freedom At Last!

Gray Divorce Statistics

According to the 2008 U.S. Census, 25% of new divorces were among couples married at least 20 years and 51% of those divorced were Baby Boomers (born between 1946-64).
The Gores split in 2010 after 40 years of marriage.
Of the more shocking statistics, a study by American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) reported that 66% of the divorces studied were initiated by the wife.
Age-specific divorce rates in Singapore (Source: Statistics Singapore)
There are no available statistics of gray divorces in Malaysia. In Singapore, the numbers are still low, but if global trends are anything to go by, it's a matter of time before we see a spike in gray divorces in these countries.
Pay heed to these warning signs if you want to make your marriage last a lifetime.

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