It’s not a new phenomenon, but a high-profile couple is shining a new light on it.
Bill and Melinda Gates have announced they are getting divorced after 27 years of marriage.
Older couples splitting is often known as ‘gray divorce.’
Dr. Christine Whelan, clinical professor in the Department of Consumer Science at UW-Madison, says it’s often not that the two are fighting, it’s just that they are ready for a new phase of life.
“When we say ‘til death do us part,’ back in the day that was somewhere in your 50s. Now, if you’re living until your 90s or even further than that, that can be decades more with the same person.”
These ‘gray divorces’ can often come once the kids are grown and out of the house.
“If you are in your 60s or 70s, and you’re looking ahead and you realize you have several more decades hopefully of good life and health, you can look at that person and say ‘do I really want to spend my next several decades with the same person or do I want to go off on my own.’”
For the full interview with Whelan on Wisconsin’s Morning News, click in the player above.