Midlife or "gray" divorce has skyrocketed and thus the reason for the many articles written about it. But one piece is missing-the reason for so many divorces. Women are coming out in droves making the painful decision to divorce. According to the AARP, 66 percent of "gray" divorces are initiated by women. And the number of divorces has doubled since 1990.
Piqued by this fact, psychotherapist and author Abby Rodman, LICSW, distributed a survey to find out why these women are asking for divorce. Hundreds of women who took this survey have told their story. And the truth that came out was shocking. A whopping 53 percent of women said they divorced their spouse because of emotional or psychological abuse. This was the number one reason women gave for their decision to divorce.
Many talk of emotional (or psychological) abuse, but what is it exactly? It is the systematic manipulation of one person by another to gain control. This may be done through intimidation, bullying and criticism. Emotionally abusive partners will do this by trying to make their spouses feel inadequate, guilty, ugly, or lazy. When this occurs, there's practically nothing the victim can do to win the favor of the abusive partner-cooking the best meal doesn't help, neither does losing weight or waiting on the abusive spouse hand and foot. Nothing seems to work. And what's more, it often takes time and years of painful trying before the abused spouse sees the futility of her efforts.
How can you tell you are in, or heading in, an emotionally abusive marriage? One way to know is if you are healthy speaking, socializing, or living on your own. Are you hiding anything when you talk to your friends? Do you limit what you say to others because there's an unspoken rule you shouldn't talk? If so you may be in the danger zone. Emotional abuse starts out by the abusive partner putting in place rules to diminish and control you.
Over half of the survey respondents said years of being chastised and belittled took their toll, enough that they decided to get a divorce because of it. And a full 70 percent said they married because they were in love, but just as the love was there, so was the abuse. This becomes a vicious cycle which can only be broken by insight. But insight might be difficult to attain or discern when you are in the midst of an abusive relationship, because everything-basic kindness and decency-gets skewed and distorted as a result of the abuse.
The numbers indicate that many women in abusive relationships are getting out and finding their way back to health and self love. Women are no longer willing to stay in such abusive relationships. And this is the reason why older women are significantly adding to the "gray" divorce percentages.
If you are looking to end your marriage, for whatever reason, the experienced attorneys at Stange Law Firm, PC can help. Our firm focuses exclusively on family law in the primary areas of divorce, child custody, child support, paternity and other domestic relations issues. To schedule a confidential consultation, contact at 855-805-0595 or online.
Source: The Real Reason Over Half of Women Say They Divorced in Midlife, By Abby Rodman, LICSW, Huffington Post