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It used to be very common that we spoke of the seven year itch where young couples would pack in their marriages. Of late some of our friends in their late fifties/sixties after many decades of living together have decided to call it quits.

Their thirty year old children have left the nest to start families of their own. The empty nesters after many years of mortgage payments discover that the house is free and clear of the threat of foreclosure from the bank.

The lack of money doesn’t seem to be a problem with flush bank accounts and mutual funds paying dividends. Many couples are opting to split up & go it alone.

With a few years left before retirement your career aspirations are secure. Usually there is little interest in making waves and swinging for the fences to impress the neighbors.

Many professional women wake up one day and smell the coffee and decide that they no longer need the financial/emotional support of their husbands. They look at their balding bespectacled mates who are attached to their golf club/ career and decide that enough is enough. Living by yourself has advantages: there is no need to make supper/do the laundry for a non appreciative partner.

Check out the fitness clubs and you will see healthy, happy women with only a mere shadow on their third finger left hand. Freedom fifty-five has arrived with little stigma of the dreaded word divorce.

Some men knowing they will retire/ die before their wives have a deja vu moment of fear. The till death do us part in the marriage ceremony is sure scary for them.

Time is limited. The former jocks yearns for the former adulation in their past when they were captain of the football team with pretty young cheerleader cheering them on to victory.

Simple solution. Why not trade up your vintage wrinkled wife for a younger more attractive version with fewer complaints who can really appreciate you?

For some couples there is little interest in sticking it out. Perhaps, the sale of the family home in order to downsize is the time to also rid oneself of your partner. The proceeds from the home sale is usually split 50/50 allowing for funds to enjoy a new way of life.

Divorce is now a viable acceptable alternative which is becoming more fashionable in London. Usually, there were no real major problems in the marriage. The relationships weren’t all that bad. Many couples flee their comfortable homes because they feel they were in a rut with the same old boring/reliable partner. They follow the musical refrain: “It was good to have known you but I have got to be moving along.”

I find it interesting that we have friends/relatives who still care for their spouse who have been afflicted with the dire effects of Cancer, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, or Alzheimer. They do not abandon their love ones in their time of need.

My friend from the Y has stayed with his bedridden wife who has Multiple Sclerosis for the past eight years. He reminded me that: “You don’t leave the table when you are dealt a bad hand”. “You deal with it.”

There is no guarantee that subsequent marriages/relationships are going to be successful. That is why it is wise to consider a pre-nuptial agreement before you say, “ I do”.

The reality is that the track record of divorced couples is more vulnerable to marriage breakdown the second/third time around. Funny where ever you go you take yourself along on the journey.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is not necessarily found in new relationships. Marriage is no panacea but neither is divorce.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com