Editor’s Letter; Things We Love; Megan Nicol Reed
What makes someone leave their relationship after being together for decades? Or rather, what makes someone stay in an unhappy relationship for so long, only to eventually walk away? Often it’s for the kids, though as our story on late-life divorce this week illustrates only too starkly, sometimes the cost of hanging on for the kids can be incurring their wrath for breaking up the marriage, no matter when it happens. One of the people interviewed by Sharon Stephenson for this piece tells a heartbreaking story of his children refusing to have anything to do with him after he finally left his marriage, blaming him for causing pain to their mother. If it’s not waiting until the kids grow up, it’s often infidelity, or that strange phrase, “growing apart”. More like stagnating apart, really. But whatever the causes, our growing ageing population means that during the past decade, “grey divorces” have more than doubled. With life expectancy increasing, I guess it’s not a huge surprise, as people evaluate how best to spend the time they have left, but as someone still in the thick of child-raising at the moment, the thought that you might finally get to the other side and have nothing to say to each other seems pretty grim indeed.