I will work harder!
–Boxer, Animal Farm
The breathless Daily Mail headline asks: The 40-year itch: Divorce is falling in every age group except the over-60s – so why ARE so many couples splitting after a lifetime together?
It turns out once a husband has put in his decades of toil supporting his wife and children, he isn’t needed anymore. But what to do with him? You can’t sell him to the glue factory. Luckily however you can divorce him for the crime of being boring, and start enjoying the bliss that is post marital spinster retirement!
And women, the prime instigators of this rise in late-life separations, are citing the deathly hush that descends on their homes when their children leave as one of the prime causes of marital breakdown.
For a glimpse into how this works, consider the case of Sarah and Thomas. Sarah used her impressive communications skills in an effort to save their marriage, but Thomas reacted in a totally unexpected way:
‘I used to scream at him: “Talk to me!” But he’d just walk away.
Despite Sarah’s pleasant demeanour, Thomas inexplicably didn’t crave her constant company:
He had no interest in our doing anything together, even having a meal out or planning a weekend away.
But luckily for Sarah she is still a hot babe, who no doubt was anxious to dump her worn out workhorse of a husband and get on the hunt for a hot young stud!
And many women of Sarah’s age are staying fit and attractive for longer and are loath to settle for the quiet retirement their husbands – who, like Thomas, have often been their family’s main breadwinner – crave after they quit their demanding jobs.
These boring loyal dudes have victimized their wives with their insistence on working tirelessly for decades to support their family. The wives find themselves wondering; where is the me in keeping my solemn vow?
The majority of women who divorce in later life, she says, are trying to retrieve their identity.
…They often feel resentful that their husbands have invested so much effort in their work and so little time in them.
Another victim of a husband who selfishly slaved to support his family is Margaret White. She was forced to divorce her husband Peter and take hundreds of thousands of dollars which he thoughtlessly amassed for them over the decades. Despite Margaret’s obviously congenial disposition, Peter failed to sufficiently yearn for her delightful conversation:
‘He never talks to me, and if he’s in a mood, he’ll go for weeks without saying a word. Everything about him irritates me. I just want to get as far away from him as possible.
And what should stop her? Sure she made a solemn vow in front of God, their friends, and their family, but she didn’t know she was marrying a criminal. I hereby find her husband Peter guilty of the crime of boringness, with added charges of pre-meditated industry and loyalty:
‘I was brought up to believe marriage was for ever, but I was never told it could be so boring, particularly once he retires and is suddenly under your feet every minute of every day.’
I haven’t come to this ruling without evidence:
Peter retired as a City of London stonemason seven years ago and expected to live out his final years with his wife in their dream home…
…I thought when I retired that’s what we’d do…
The layabout quit being a stone mason in his youthful mid 60s. Now he thinks he has earned a time of rest!
Yet another woman victimized by a boring loyal husband is Trisha Watson. Her story is quite empowering!
‘I’m thoroughly enjoying my freedom. I have time and money to do exactly what I want, instead of having to worry about a man all the time. It’s a relief,’
I’ll bet it is a relief! Keeping promises is hard! And what is the point after the other side has already generated as much wealth as he was capable of? Luckily she has heroically reinvented herself!
‘I’ve changed everything about myself, from my hair to the way I dress,’
She won a victory for the sisterhood after her husband asked more of her than she had to give:
‘John felt that I no longer understood him or his needs and I thought he was acting like a big baby. I just got fed up,’…
‘I think women of my age are no longer prepared to endure immature men who erode our self-esteem.
You go aging martyr girl! Their daughter kept up the momentum of the victory and dealt out her own punishment on her boring loyal father. She didn’t invite him to her wedding and instead had her mother give her away.
Sisterhood: 2 Patriarchy: 0!
‘I’m sure I made the right decision…
‘I miss being part of a big family. I miss all the memories associated with our marital home. I keep very busy, but coming back to an empty house is lonely.’
Following up with her own ringing endorsement of the bliss that is late life divorce is Trisha. While she had to give up the vacations she used to take with her husband, now she has an exciting dating life:
In three years she has been out with several men, but she thinks it ‘unlikely’ she’ll marry again or sacrifice her financial independence to a new partner.
Have these boring loyal dudes learned their lesson? Do they acknowledge their responsibility for ruining a perfectly good marriage by working hard to provide for their wives and children? Fortunately, some do:
‘I was working 60 or 70-hour weeks in charge of commercial sales for a large firm,’
‘I simply wasn’t there while our three children were growing up, and my wife was resentful. She said it takes two to make a marriage and that I was not pulling my weight. I felt that I was doing my bit by supporting the family financially.
Unfortunately he didn’t learn this in time to save his marriage. Now that he is retired and divorced he focuses on his passion, customizing and repairing electric guitars. If only he had made this change decades ago instead of frittering his time away in sales, he could have avoided his well deserved punishment:
‘I miss my children very much. I miss being part of a family,’
‘I find myself sitting and crying at romantic old films on the television. When an elderly couple walks hand-in-hand into the sunset, I think: “That’s not going to happen to me,” and, if I’m honest, it’s a profound regret.’
See Also: Divorcée Retirement