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Weekend Herald - Canvas - - CONTENTS - MICHELLE HUR­LEY

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.

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