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The Osbourne’s Gray Divorce

The Osbourne’s Gray Divorce

3 ways to fall in love again after all these years.


After 33 years of marriage, celebrity couple Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne are going their separate ways. While it’s not entirely clear why they decided to call it quits, they aren’t the only baby-boomers who are ending their marriage. In fact, “gray divorce,” as it is dubbed, has become quite a phenomenon, with the divorce rate for over 60’s rising by a third in the past decade. With children out of the house, couples are now forced to be primarily in relationship with each other. Some couples are able to stay together and live separate lives, but many want to enjoy their post-retirement years and are compelled to look elsewhere to find a new companion.

Here are three ways to revive your relationship so that you can fall in love again with the one you’re with.

1. Self-Awareness. Albert Einstein is quoted as having said that the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting different results. If you are not getting what you want out of your relationship, instead of pointing fingers and focusing the blame on your partner, start thinking about what you can be doing differently.

It only takes one person to start the process of change in a marriage. If you are dissatisfied, take the first step by changing your behavior that may be triggering your spouse. If you are criticizing or nagging your husband, find more productive ways to ask for what you need. If you are avoiding your wife, start showing up fully in relationship. Be the bigger person and be the change you want to see in your marriage. You’ll be pleasantly surprised when you see different results.

2. Have fun. When is the last time you had fun together? As soon as kids entered the picture, your relationship has never been the same. Now is the time to return to the early days of your marriage when it was just the two of you. Find ways to enjoy each other’s company. Travel together, go on a new adventure, or take a class together. Studies show that engaging in new activities or learning something new together impacts your brain in a positive way by building new neural pathways. Having fun will help you remember the one you fell in love with and provide the encouragement that you can grow old together.

3. Clarify your goals. Many older couples drift apart because they don’t believe they still share the same dream and life goals. Having a conscious and non-judgmental conversation about how you foresee your remaining years on this planet will often help you discover that you may have more in common than you think. Really listen and understand each other’s wants and needs. Begin to focus on what you both have in common and find creative ways to bridge the gap when your dreams diverge. Creating a vision will help you feel like you are on the same page and confident that you can make the best use out of these important years.

Every relationship can change, even after 30 years of marriage. When you focus on becoming self-aware and doing things differently, infusing your relationship with more fun, and discussing your vision for the future, you can enter the golden years of your marriage instead of settling for a gray divorce.

If your marriage requires more immediate assistance, download your free copy of Rabbi Slatkin’s new book, The 5 Step Action Plan to a Happy & Healthy Marriage.

May 14, 2016

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Visitor Comments: 4

(4) Anonymous, May 16, 2016 9:46 PM

Also, could be, if you want free college for your kids vs. going bankrupt. You can pay college costs equal to buying another home OR you or your child take that much out in debt OR you can drain your retirement OR you can get a temporary divorce. If you divorce, and one spouse's income is much less than the other, your child goes to college for free pretty much (in USA). That can be a very tempting reason to divorce. As to real divorces 20 years into a marriage, don't you think a person knows their partner pretty well by then? And has tried everything they could think of by then? And they have fully realized that no matter how wonderful one person tries to be or is, eventually it takes 2 that care. And they've figured out that if in 20 years their partner has never been there for them or kind to them, they probably never will be, and that they are with a person that just doesn't care or is incapable of loving another. Sometimes one wants a divorce not because they drifted apart, but because they DO know their partner's true self, and can't respect or admire or bare it any longer, and once the kids are grown and on their own, there seems to be no need to stick it out any longer.

(3) Lisa, May 16, 2016 1:00 AM

1 shade of gray!!

If divorce is on your " to do" list, a nite on the town won't help!! It's a result of many years in a loveless, no respect , & abusive relationship. The reasons are endless why they waited till they belonged to AARP to finally divorce... Kids, finances, appearances , & sheer laziness!! It takes courage to divorce, whatever the age!

(2) Melissa, May 15, 2016 2:52 PM

Many options

Is it possible the phenomena of gray divorce is only popular with those having substantial means to divorce w/out undue financial loss to either partner. Many prolific grandparents are also very involved with grandchildren and the new possibilities they bring. The notion of 'conscious uncoupling' is somewhat fashionable now, but it's unclear whether doing so is a sign that the now single people will re-marry; perhaps they will just choose to live more separate lives.

(1) Anonymous, May 15, 2016 2:08 PM

Is it possible the quote is, "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,"?

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