Changes in dating over the decades
Previously, older couples married for decades usually stayed together -- not wanting to go through the legal and emotional turmoil so late in life.
But now, a longer life span means the possibility of finding a new relationship or enjoying the "golden years" without the stress of fighting with a spouse, she said.
Now, after 40 years of a seemingly happy marriage, the couple, who once flaunted their adoration for each other on national TV, shocked the country with an unexpected announcement this week: They are splitting up.David Woodsfellow, a marriage therapist in Georgia, described couples abandoning marriage after several years together as "hot divorces." The younger couples usually split over mismatched lifestyles or the challenges of raising children.The legal processes often become loud, bitter and angry."There's still a lot of life left to be lived," said Schwartz, 65, who divorced her husband after more than 20 years of marriage.Some experts believe long-term married couples remain conservative in their relationship and avoid separation or divorce. Older couples in a long-term marriage are more likely to work things out, says Diane Sollee, director of Smart Marriages, a coalition helping couples get access to marriage education materials.
The problems may have festered to the point where no one cares.