For an increasing number of long-term marriages, it's no longer a case of until death do us part, it's a matter of until the children depart from the family nest.
Research by the Australian Institute of Family Studies has found a sharp increase in the number of couples calling it quits after 20 years of marriage.
The number of divorces after 20 years of marriage rose from 13 per cent in 1990 to 28 per cent in 2011 while the number of divorces for shorter marriages fell in the same period.
The institute's director Alan Hayes said many couples delayed separating until the children moved out.
''Those who have children 18 years and younger seem to be less likely to divorce but once children are leaving the nest, it then becomes an issue for people and they re-evaluate and re-prioritise,'' he said.
The wife was more likely to initiate divorce, Professor Hayes said, and this was a sign of women's increasing economic independence.
''Women have a lot more capacity to make choices now,'' he said. ''They don't have to be locked into relationships that are unsatisfying and emotionally less than they desire.''
Increasing longevity had also left middle-aged couples wondering whether they wanted to spend the next 30 or 40 years tolerating their spouse.
''Till death us do part has a different meaning now,'' he said. ''People are aware of the length of time a relationship is likely to go on.''
Lead author of the report Ruth Weston said divorce no longer carried the stigma it once did.
''We found a lot of change in attitudes towards divorce,'' she said. ''Younger people are more prone to agree with the idea of divorce than older people but right across the board we're not seeing strong disapproval for divorce.''
The report, Working Out Relationships, found the median age for divorce had increased from 38 years for men and 34 years for women in 1971 to 45 years for men and 42 years for women in 2011.
The good news for romantics is the number of divorces is decreasing, with 48,935 couples officially parting ways in 2011, down from 55,330 in 2001.
And many Australians still believe in marriage. ''Close to 50 per cent across all age groups disagreed with the statement that marriage is an outdated institution,'' Ms Weston said.
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27-05-2013 09:21 #1
'Parents wait until children leave home to separate' WDYT?
27-05-2013 09:26 #2Junior Member
- Join Date
- Nov 2009
I think "It's better to come from a broken home then to live in one".
27-05-2013 09:34 #3
Dfs parents separated when he moved out, he's the youngest, and while he appreciates they thought they were doing the right thing it didn't make growing up any better.
27-05-2013 09:36 #4
As much as the truth hurt her Im glad she didnt stay in a loveless marriage with a cheater all for the sake of my sister and I, our parents were a million times better apart and I only feel admiration, love and respect for the decision my mother made. We did it so tough after that but it was worth it, my mum is now loved and adored by her partner now and my dad is happy with the woman he left us for. All I would have ever wanted was my mum to be happy and Im so glad she realised how depressing home life would have been if they stayed together for the sake of us.
27-05-2013 09:43 #5
My DH's parents did this. The classic 'stay together for the sake of the kids'.
As a result of this, DH and his sister lived in a home where they witnessed and heard a lot of volatile arguments over the years, including domestic violence
I am happily married at this stage of my life, but there is no way in hell I'd stay with my DH if things went pear shaped and my married life became utter misery.
27-05-2013 09:52 #6
I think it's a sad reflection on how society still sees marriage and relationships, and how single parents and their children are viewed.
What is it about having separated parents that people think is so bad for children? Why is it something to be avoided at the expense of everyone's happiness?
Why do we cling to this fairy tale ideal of happily ever after with one partner for life when clearly its not the reality for a lot of people?
27-05-2013 09:54 #7Senior Member
- Join Date
- Mar 2012
I have to disagree with the PPs. In my own family's case, I think my parents should have waited until their youngest child had left home before separating. M parents' separation wasn't caused by infidelity or violence - it was a case of them not getting along for years, and one of them finally acquiring the means to leave.
When they did separate, 2 of us had already well and truly left home. 1 of the two still left at home was old enough to have finished uni and started working and was reasonably self-sufficient and able to look after himself, so it didn't affect him much either. But the timing was horrible for my youngest sister, who was still in Year 11.
While my parents' relationship had been dysfunctional for a long time, it was still a better environment than when one of them decided to leave, and things really become acrimonious. At a time when my younger sister was still in need of parental support, she instead got caught in a situation between one parent who just took off and left her to her own devices, and the other parent who loaded all their own angst and bewilderment and grief onto her, and then started bringing home new girlfriends to console himself. It was horribly inappropriate and it really affected her schooling, which in turn affected the choices she made when she finished school and hence still affects her today, over 10 years later.
I completely understand that my parents needed to separate, and I think it was the best course for both of them. But I'm still really angry at both my parents for doing it when they did, and not just hanging on for another 18 months until my sister was slightly older and more independent. As her parents, they should have just hacked it for a while longer for her sake, rather than taking the selfish course that they did. Alternatively, if they really did need to separate right then and there, they should both have had more concern for how their subsequent actions affected her, rather than putting her in such a horrible situation.
Last edited by Gentoo; 27-05-2013 at 10:03.
27-05-2013 10:00 #8
Gentoo it sounds like your parents did mostly stay together for the kids though. Maybe not quite till the very end, but most of the way. If their relationship was over years before, why didn't they separate then?
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27-05-2013 10:06 #9
I know my grandparents separated once my mum, auntie & uncle left home!
And dp's parents done the same at the start if the year - which really affected dp (it got crazy out of hand!)
And the amount of people from school in the same situation is like
I know if at least 6 people's parents have separated since they left school (I'm only 20, so that's only in like in 3years!)
27-05-2013 10:20 #10Senior Member
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- Mar 2012
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