Many people think of divorce as the province of younger couples. After all, new marriages present many adjustments that can cause enough friction to end a marriage.
However, couples married for decades also have several challenges that can derail a seemingly stable marriage.
An article in AARP points to the development of negative communication traits that have the power to irreparably damage a relationship, even one that has faced a lot of challenges. Particular communication styles can make the end of a marriage almost inevitable:
- Overly critical
Contempt perhaps causes the most problems. It has a particularly corrosive impact on an intimate relationship.
Money remains a source of conflict even for couples married for 30 years or more. Sometimes the issue comes down to not having enough money, but other times it comes down to different philosophies of managing money.
A spouse who likes to spend money can see this as a non-negotiable matter of freedom. A spouse who needs to save money sees the issue as a matter of security.
Some couples pick at things in the past that continue to rankle. This could focus on something as simple as the perception of unfairness in the marital workload or something as profound as an instance of infidelity.
Past issues in a marriage can manifest in almost endless ways. Couples who fail to move beyond these issues can harbor resentments that crop up again and again, resulting in intense arguments.
For many couples, a long-term marriage remains as fragile as a new marriage. Evidence shows that divorce can happen to couples at any stage of life.