Everybody’s talking about Arnold and Maria splitting. He’s 64 and she’s 56. With their fame and fortune, they’ll have their pick of future partners. Or maybe the motivation isn’t to find someone with whom they’ll be happier. Maybe the goal is independence. Said goal is probably hers, not his.
Here’s what I’ve read: woman 50+ are far more likely to initiate a divorce from their husbands than any other age group. And according to AARP, the top reasons they cite are “freedom, identity and a need for fulfillment.”
Carol Orsborn at Vibrant Nation wrote that divorce among Boomers is up because women want to pursue their own interests:
It isn’t so surprising, really, when you put this into the perspective of how vital we feel at our age…It is highly probable that our mothers (who were) formed in pre-liberation times, felt they had neither the time nor choice to upset the applecart and start fresh. But our generation of women, many of whom worked most of our lives, contributed to or dominated the family income and feel entitled to reinvent ourselves any way we please.
That last sentence wouldn’t sound so good if you were talking about the husband, but never mind.
I’m about Maria’s age, and I don’t think I’d want to start over with someone who is carrying around a half century’s worth of baggage.
My husband says if I died he’d get a dog. We laugh because I know that what he really means is that, at our age, it would be too exhausting to (a) date (b) risk the ups and downs of romance and (c) build a life with someone new. Partly it’s because I’ve worn him down. I know I have a lot of good qualities but I’m weird and it takes a lot out of him.
Could it be any easier for Arnold and Maria to contemplate divorce, especially with four kids? And all their ties, familial and professional?
I say just stick together.
This is my third marriage. Bill’s, too. In California, they have a “three strikes” law, so we’re serving a life sentence. The other day we got to arguing a little heatedly, and I told him it was way past time (after 16 yrs together) for him to be questioning the future of our union. “There’s almost nothing you can do that would make me want a divorce,” I said. “Stop worrying. I want to be together until we die. Okay?”
It’s a gift of old age. A bittersweet kind of security, knowing you’re the last mate, and one of you is going to die in the other’s arms, while one of you carries on. I’m sorry that, whatever Arnold and Maria are going through that it apparently is serious enough that they may have to start over after all the time they’ve shared together, and at this late point in their lives.
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