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Last Updated on March 17, 2017 by Diane Hoffmaster
42 is kindof a rough age. Grey hairs are starting to pop up on my head, my metabolism can barely manage to burn off salad, and some days I have the energy level of a sloth. Work, kids, hormones, and financial responsibility can wreak havoc on a middle aged woman. And, of course, what effects a middle aged woman also effects her spouse and her marriage. As I look around at my friends, family, and co workers I see more and more middle aged couples getting a divorce and I always wonder WHY. What changed from the time those people got married to the moment someone said 'Let's get divorced'. Because lets face it...statistics suck right now in terms of whether or not a marriage will last. And seeing couples I know heading to their lawyers makes me worry about the sanctity of my own marriage. Not because I'm unhappy or I think there is anything wrong with my relationship but because the numbers just freak me out.
So, why now? Why does it seem like people get divorced right when they seem to be hitting middle age? It is a mid life crisis? Have the hearts and flowers died away leaving a lackluster relationship and no excitement? Should there BE excitement in a middle aged marriage? Maybe 'excitement' is now defined as getting the last chocolate chip cookie before your significant other does. That's always thrilling, right? Maybe not as exciting as that time you called in sick to work and spent the day in bed with your husband even though you were not in the least bit sick. In a middle aged marriage, your sick days are reserved for sick kids, not sexual gymnastics with your husband. Sad but true.
Maybe the sex in your middle aged marriage leaves something to be desired. Sex in front of the fireplace on a Saturday afternoon has changed to sex behind closed doors late at night while you try to be quiet enough to not wake the kids. Okay, there are workarounds for that! Send the kids off to grandma's occasionally or send them to summer camp. And maybe if your significant other hints at 'Lets try something new'....maybe you say sure, lets try that! And then the other 364 days a year you go to sleep at 9 PM in your flannel jammies. Flannel jammies are sexy, right?
Maybe you argue about money. That is certainly a huge issue in a marriage. Do you spend your few free dollars on the kids tennis lessons or buy yourself those new shoes you want. Of course, maybe your husband wants new golf clubs and not another pair of your shoes to trip over in the middle of the night. Finances were easier when all you had to worry about was scrounging up enough beer money to go out drinking Friday night.
There are so many factors that influence whether or no a couple might get divorced. Reading through some of the 'advice' websites is eye opening and slightly terrifying. Did you go to college? Your rate of divorce is lower. Do you make more than 50K per year? Your divorce rate is lower. Come from a family situation where YOUR parents are divorced? You have a greater chance of getting divorced yourself. But, one thing that greatly reduces the divorce rate is marriage counseling! My husband and I went through premarital counseling before our wedding and it really was an eye opener. We never would have discussed some of those topics on our own so having someone sit us down and force us to talk before problems arose was very beneficial. Now, fingers crossed it helps us stick to this path together for the next 30 or 40 years.
I have come to realize that middle aged marriage looks absolutely nothing like our marriage when we were young. But, that is not necessarily a bad thing! A new pair of red stilettos are exciting but not very comfortable. I'll take my comfortable running shoes any day of the week!
So, I'm curious...what does your middle aged marriage look like?
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.