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Midlife Divorces Are Mostly the Result of These 13 Reasons (Tips)

Midlife divorces are mostly the result of midlife crises from both ends of couples that lead to relationship saturation, boredom, change in life perspectives, desire to achieve more, Infidelity, etc. All these phenomena may end up in serious communication gaps, frequent conflicts, bitterness, and eventually separations.Featured Image of Midlife Divorces Are Mostly The Result Of

During the young ages of our lives, everything seems so lovely and beautiful, and it feels like we can deal with everything, whatever may come. Especially at the very beginning of new romantic relationships or marriages, we put in so much effort to make things better, make our partner feel great with us, and make our marriages more adventurous.

But with time till we hit our midlife, adventures fade, effort gets reduced, and complications arrive. Most of the time, it happens solely not because of some specific relationship issue but because of other circumstances. Those circumstances often make relationships so complicated that it may seem to be heading toward a separation. 

Now in this age of smart & ever-changing life, midlife divorces have become very common as people in their 40s and 50s reevaluate their relationships and priorities. There are a lot of reasons for midlife divorces, from growing apart to infidelity to simply wanting different things out of life.

One of the primary reasons for the rise in midlife divorces is the changing societal attitudes toward marriage and relationships. In the past, marriage was often seen as a lifelong commitment, and divorce was stigmatized and seen as a failure. However, today's society has a more flexible view of marriage, and many people believe that it is better to end an unhappy marriage rather than stay in it for the sake of convention or societal pressure. 

So if you are also going through such a phase, here I am telling you, you are not alone. I understand what you are going through, and maybe you are not also in a condition to handle hundreds of emotional breakdowns. 

So, in this blog, I am going to smoothen the entire process for you, telling you the potential reasons, and the various dimensions of marriage conflicts and helping you with some positive way out.

All about midlife crises

What is our midlife all about? Have you ever thought about why most of the separations take place during midlife itself? What is so special about this phase?

Well, this is why before jumping directly into the causes, I prefer talking about some typical features of our midlife that often leads to conflicts and separations among couples. Trust me, it is going to make your understanding holistic & simpler. 

The age between 40 to 60 is typically considered midlife. As experts say, when people hit this phase, hundreds of hormonal changes start occurring in both men and women. These changes lead to subtle transformations of many physical and psychological phenomena.

Besides, people generally start careers during their mid-20s. That is why, when they hit midlife, occupational frustrations often become a significant part of their life. And maybe, almost after a decade of their marriage, both men and women may feel that they have reached the saturation point in every aspect of their lives.

Try to summarize and understand, all these may seem to be simple parts of civilized human life in isolation, but together they indeed create a ruckus. At this point frustration, anxiety, depression, conflicts, short-temperament, etc becomes very common. This is often referred to as the midlife crisis by psychologists and relationship experts.

What causes midlife divorces?

So now, as you already know why your midlife is so special, I would like to take you a little deeper to know what exactly results in most divorces during midlife. Most of the following points I’m gonna talk about are the result of midlife crises. But if you think that separations are the sole result of it, you would make a mistake. Because midlife crises are a general phenomenon among everyone, but it doesn’t lead to separation in every marriage.

So, many other factors might cause divorces. But, I would still like to request you to try to judge those tendencies through the prism of midlife crises, obviously if it seems possible and rational enough.

#1 Tendency of growing apart

A couple consists of two individual human beings, with different mindsets, different upbringings, and different life approaches. Maybe, they found something common within each other, loved that part, and decided to come and live together. 

But with time and age, the initial adventure of living together fades away, and those two individuals grow apart individually within their busy schedules. At this point, only the flaws of the other person seem more prominent, and conflicts become a common reality. Besides, as they have grown apart, maybe they don’t enjoy each other's company anymore, perhaps it feels boring, and now they have different aspirations.

Relationship experts have pointed out this phenomenon as one of the topmost reasons behind the failure of marriages during midlife. 

#2 Lack of communication

Midlife brings more professional responsibilities and often leads to such a busy schedule that we hardly get quality time to spend with our better half and communication becomes a luxury. Especially after the advent of the global pandemic, when work-from-home has become a norm, the concept of fixed working hours has become a myth, and it has been difficult to distinguish the environment of our home and office, differently. 

Within this mechanical rat race, we even often forget to ask our partners about their health, and how they are feeling about things nowadays. At this point, planned weekend sex doesn’t do the job. Because, no matter how mechanical we have become, at the end of the day human beings crave communication and hence we tend to look outside, maybe on social media, or perhaps with some other person.

This gap in unintentional mutual communication creates a void in the marriage, and couples start feeling distant from each other. This is a very common & initial reason for midlife divorces. 

#3 Relationship saturation

Till the time when people reach midlife, they have supposedly spent many years with their married partners. And if in between, they have grown apart, lacked regular conversation, and do not do anything to be happy together, they are bound to reach the saturation point in their relationship.

At this point, they start feeling like there is nothing new to explore in each other, they get bored and start doing things just for the sake of doing it. After a time, they may also feel unloved and need a further spark in their life. 

Here also, conflicts become a regular norm and the couple might even start feeling toxic about each other. Like all other saturations, here as well, people initially want to break things apart and get into something new. But if channelized positively, it becomes very easy to find a solution to this problem and make things better than ever before. 

#4 Empty nest syndrome

What keeps couples together even if they are not very happy with each other? There could be many factors, but most of the time it’s their children that keep them bonded. The compulsion of providing for the children, loving them, and being with them, strengthens the bonding of parents.

But when people reach midlife, children often leave their parents’ homes mostly to pursue their own life or simply to study. At this phase, the parents may start facing severe anxiety and depression due to the sudden change. It is known as the empty nest syndrome. 

Now, when it comes to midlife divorces, empty nest syndrome can be a contributing factor. Basically, when the kids are gone, it can put a strain on the marriage if one or both partners struggle to adjust to the new dynamic. You might find that you and your spouse no longer have as much in common or struggle to connect with each other without the kids around.

Additionally, any underlying issues or conflicts that were previously overshadowed by the demands of parenting may come to the surface. This can lead to tension and conflict, which can ultimately result in divorce.

#5 Compatibility issues

With our age, professional and personal complications increase all around us. Besides, till we reach midlife, hormonal changes become pretty common. All these together may severely impact our mental state and sexual desires. Moreover, till this time, if someone has grown apart from their spouse, compatibility issues become a possibility. 

Sexual compatibility issues can arise when one partner has a higher or lower libido than the other, or when they have different sexual preferences or desires. This can create frustration, resentment, and sometimes even cheating. 

Mental compatibility issues can come up when partners have different beliefs, values, or communication styles, and this can lead to a disconnect in the relationship. Even mental health problems can make things tough in the bedroom.

Sexual and mental compatibility is super important for sustaining a healthy marriage. When they're not there, it can really mess things up and even lead to midlife separations.

#6 Third-party interference

Many times midlife separations can be the sole result of family conflicts as well. Sometimes, your external family members such as ‘in-laws’ may get involved in core family issues as a third party. This involvement may seem offensive to your spouse. 

For example, if your family is constantly criticizing or interfering in the marriage, your spouse may feel resentful or unsupported. Additionally, if there are disagreements over how to handle family matters, such as holidays or finances, it can create further ruckus and strain on the relationship. 

In some cases, external family conflicts may even lead to ultimatums or demands that one partner must choose between their spouse and their family. This can create a more difficult situation for the couple, as neither partner may feel comfortable with the choice they are forced to make.

These conflicts can create tension and stress within the marriage, making it difficult for both of the persons to communicate and connect with each other and ultimately, can put significant strain on a marriage and contribute to midlife divorces.

#7 Bad character development

Bad character development in either person is bound to have a devastating impact on marriages, especially during midlife. Out of this, people often tend to abuse their partners, physically or mentally which creates a toxic and unhealthy environment for the entire family, making it difficult for partners to communicate and connect with each other. Moreover, if this behavior develops out of some specific addiction to drugs, the toxicity may hit the next level. Besides, addiction can lead to financial instability, erratic behavior, and neglect of responsibilities, putting strain on the marriage and family.

But no matter what this bad character is the result of, it will gradually erode the trust and respect between partners, ultimately leading to divorce, who once promised to stay together for life. 

#8 Unrealistic expectations

Expectations are very natural in marriages. In fact, without expectations, no relationship is considered a healthy one. Especially marriages sustain on fulfilling mutual expectations and building a foundation for the life ahead of them. 

But many times our expectations go beyond our partners’ capability and that may lead to conflicts as well. Or maybe you are expecting from your partner what you ought to, but they are so busy with everything else that your expectations sound unrealistic to them. 

In both scenarios, you may seem to be ‘high-maintenance’ to your spouse which could lead them to suffer from a constant inferiority complex and dilemma. 

To get out of this eternal complication, either of the partners may seek separation from the marriage in their midlife. 

#9 Growing sense of individualism

Since our childhood, we grew up hearing that a happy marriage is always about a little compromise and sacrifice from both ends. But in this age of smart & fast life, individualism has become the center of our concern and we tend to give ourselves more priority than anyone else no matter who it is. 

With time, the concept of individual freedom, liberty, and self-empowerment has grown within all of us. That’s why we focus more on ‘what I want’, rather than what would help sustain the marriage. Moreover, after hitting midlife with other factors contributed, couples already lose the initial spark and live mentally distant. Because of all of these, when any conflicts persist between spouses, nowadays mid-aged couples often choose their individual freedom, ego, & happiness over sticking to marriages just out of some stigma by compromising their self-respect.

#10 Financial issues

No matter how well you two have planned to manage your money, things start getting messed up once to reach midlife. If both persons are not that mature, then it can be a severe contributing factor to midlife separations among couples. 

With time and other kinds of complications, financial complications also increase and it becomes too difficult to manage and cooperate in necessary financial matters like tuition fees for children, healthcare costs, retirement savings, etc. Moreover, many people experience job losses, career shifts, or getting a new professional degree even during their midlife. These kinds of factors involve a lot of expenses that might affect regular family expenses as well. 

Besides, financial infidelities like hidden debt and unplanned spending of money can give birth to trust issues that could have the potential to create a bigger ruckus. 

#12 Infidelity

Yeah, this is probably the most awaited thing throughout the entire blog. But surprisingly the number of divorces just due to relationship infidelity or cheating is pretty low than we ever assumed. But be it low or high, infidelity is a major concern among couples as a contributing factor behind the threat of their midlife divorces.

Infidelity or cheating with some other person is mostly the combined result of midlife crises where couples get bored with each other, communication channels submerge, and people start looking for new adventures. 

In such cases regular conflicts become pretty natural, one or both start taking each other for granted and keep seeking the opportunity to annul the marriage by any means. 

#13 Marriage is not serving the purpose

All debates and discussions aside, tell me what do people get married for? To be happy with their loved ones, and achieve all those things that they can’t do being single. But what if after a certain time, it starts feeling that the marriage is no longer a happy one, neither does love exist nor it is helping to achieve something that a person can’t do alone? What if either of the persons starts feeling like an eternal void?

See, in our life, we hardly do anything that is purposeless, and marriage is definitely not one! That’s why in 2020, a survey by a sociological think tank reveals that 72% of yearly divorces in the United States are mutual and most of them take place because either one of the spouses or both of them feel that the marriage is not serving the purpose or dead already. 

So, if people anyway feel that the relationship is already dead, and they are no longer having any verbal or non-verbal outcome from it, they may want to come out of the marriage. 

The seven-year itch

So now, as you are aware of the common phenomena behind midlife divorces, you may think that midlife is bound to bring a breakthrough in all couples’ lives in terms of their marriages. But honestly, it is not completely true.

Confusing? Let me simplify it for you by unfolding the tendency of the seven-year itch. 

Relationship psychologists tell us that all marriages tend to reach the saturation point after almost seven years of spending together. Because, after seven long years, there remains nothing new in each other to explore and get excited about. So, exactly from here, our relationships start settling down. 

At this point, human psychology starts poking us to unsettle and look for new adventures outside, thereby it brings boredom and conflicts in the existing relationship. That’s why marriages reach the peak of their problems during this phase. And the highest number of divorces take place between six to nine years of marriage. 

But here I would like to answer a few common questions regarding the Seven-year itch. 

  • Is it a myth or has a real basis?

While some people believe the seven-year itch is a real and common phenomenon, others consider it to be a myth, as not all couples experience relationship challenges or feelings of dissatisfaction at the seven-year mark. However, many experts believe that it is not uncommon for couples to experience challenges in their relationship around this time due to factors such as changes in personal circumstances, life goals, and personal growth.

  • What are the symptoms that you should watch out for?

The signs and symptoms of the seven-year itch can vary depending on the individuals and the relationship involved. However, some common signs that a couple may be experiencing the seven-year itch include:

  1. Decreased intimacy or physical affection in the relationship
  2. Increased arguing or conflict
  3. A sense of restlessness or feeling stuck in the relationship
  4. One or both partners feeling unfulfilled or unsatisfied with the relationship
  5. A lack of communication or emotional connection between partners
  • Is it meant to last forever? 

It definitely won’t last forever, and by definition, it is a very temporary phenomenon. In fact, the peak of relatively unsettling conflicts during this phase helps the marriages to settle down for a very long time, and live together happily again. 

  • If it isn’t then how long will it last?

How long it is meant to last, depends on many factors like the efforts put into by the couple to make the marriage work, the friendship between them, the moral support by the friends and family, etc. 

  • How should you deal with the Seven-year itch and when to give up?

Dealing with this typical phenomenon involves everything that is necessary to deal with the midlife separating factors. To know those tricks & tips keep reading the blog. And eventually, you will also understand when exactly you should give up on the marriage and start working on yourself to move on. 

How to deal with the separating factors?

Maybe it’s been a long time now since you are going through severe midlife marriage issues. Perhaps, till the time you were looking for some ray of hope in the darkness of those distressing conflicts with your partner and now finally you have understood what exactly is causing the tension in your marriage.

But no matter how hard you try, unless you go on the right path, all your efforts will be futile to make the marriage work again. So, here is my take to guide you to a potentially right way in order to find a solution to your separating factors. 

But please follow them as per your convenience and apply them in combination according to your situation.

  1. Stop escaping. You have escaped too much from the core issues of your marriage. Keep yourself busy enough to keep your mind diverted from those problems and just believe in time to get those issues resolved on their own. But nothing worked. So, now first you have to stop escaping and overlooking those problems and encounter them face-to-face. Once you have the courage to face your problems, your job is half done. Remember, brave people die once, escapers die every day. 
  1. Communicate with your partner. Avoiding communication regarding the issues you are facing is not helping anyway. So, now it’s better to talk openly about those problems. See how your partner reacts and what effort they put into making the marriage work. Get your water tested. 
  1. Keep faith in time. Once you have started facing your problems and working on them, now it’s good to have patience. Earlier I asked you not to leave everything on time, but now my request to you is to trust the process. If you are doing it right, and things are meant to work, it will do so accordingly. Even sediments take time to settle down. 
  1. Judge your partner through actions. While having a clear conversation about resolving the issues between you, your partner may have reacted pretty proactively and their words might have seemed very convincing to you. But coming to taking action as per their words, if your spouse remains as reluctant as before, there is hardly any value in their words. In such cases maybe they don’t want to work on it and those sweet words were just to avoid a potential conflict. It can be vice-versa as well. 
  1. Learn to compromise mutually. There is no perfect marriage unless you make it one. A marriage is simply an unwritten social agreement to compromise with various traits of each other. So, if either of you thinks that things are gonna go easily, they won’t. That’s why before judging and finding the flaws of the other person it’s better to keep a check on ourselves. Ask yourself, are you being too stubborn? And after that, judge your partner whether they are being so. 
  1. Increase mutual involvement. If you two have already had a conversation and come to a conclusion to put effort into making the marriage work again, then now it’s time to find areas of common interest. Increasing mutual involvement in various activities not only helps in strengthening the bonding, but sometimes it also helps in finding new adventures and exploring fantasies with the old partner. 
  1. Indulge more with kids. Kids are the one who works as glue between their parents and there is no wrong with it. After a certain time, saturation is pretty normal to come among couples and conflicts are also natural. That’s why we should focus and think more about our kids, their future, and most importantly about the impact our midlife separation will have on their lives. 
  1. Think about having kids if you haven’t. Hitting the phase of your midlife crises and also without a kid could be an absolute nightmare situation for you. Our kids being a part of our body helps in finding fresh purpose in the marriage. So, if you are yet to have children even till midlife, and crises are coming forward, it’s time to plan for one. 
  1. Don’t hibernate together. I can understand that after long working hours, it becomes too lethargic to go out every weekend and party with friends. But if you are facing midlife marriage issues that might lead to separation, you should push yourself to involve more with families and friends. It’s better to explore how happy they are, or maybe how happier you are, rather than to hibernate together inside on weekends. 
  1. Discuss together: how it all begins. During conflicts and problems, couples often tend to forget how deeply they used to love each other. How passionately they promised each other to live together forever. So it’s super important to remind both yourself and your partner how it all began. How wonderful everything was. And then gently explore together where exactly the problem started. What could be a rational solution to that particular issue? 
  1. Seek third-party support. When you have tried everything and nothing seems to work, then it is better to seek support from a third party who is a genuine well-wisher and won’t be judging you. They could be some mutual friends, someone from your family who is able to naturally analyze the problem from an outsider’s perspective. Accept the unbiased opinion and see if it works for you two. Only two cautions I want to mention in this case: 1. Don’t ask for help from more than one person at a time as multiple inter-conflicting could confuse you. 2. If seeking third-party support is negatively impacting your relationship, terminate this process immediately. 
  1. Never hesitate to seek professional help. If after all these you feel that things are literally going out of your hand, a professional counselor could help you out. You may seek such help both with prior discussions with your spouse and without. You may go alone or together as you feel required. Maybe there is some deeper issue involved that you or normal people can’t see, but a professional certainly can. 

How to identify the redline in a marriage?

People may face marriage issues related to separation and try their best to get things resolved. But efforts should not be neverending from either side. There should be a certain redline after which one must understand that nothing is left in this marriage and perhaps it is time to give up on it and move on. I am mentioning a few of those common phenomena below. 

  • If domestic violence has become a common phenomenon for you. Never let anyone torture you no matter how much you love them. 
  • Your spouse is seriously involved in infidelity and has moved out.
  • You two are in a long-distance marriage and your partner has completely stopped caring about you.
  • They are not even ready to give the marriage a second chance and refuse to initiate conversation. 
  • If this marriage has started affecting your kids. 
  • Your partner has given up already and issued a legal notice to you. 
  • If you see no other options left in order to avoid this midlife divorce and make the marriage work again. 


So, till now, throughout the article, I have tried to explore every possible dimension regarding midlife divorces. After this prolonged discussion, hopefully, your mind is pretty clear about the reasons, consequences, symptoms, as well as solutions.

I have tried to frame the article in such a way that you won’t need to go elsewhere in order to understand anything regarding this issue if you are facing any. But still, if you are unable to figure things out, try seeking professional help. 

At the dust of our discussion, here are a few quick tips to work on yourself and keep yourself charmed in any complicated situation regarding your marriage. Always remember, if there is no self-growth that means, you are already dead. 

  • Practice self-love.
  • Focus more on emotional growth through spiritual means. 
  • Control showing your emotions very often. 
  • Tell yourself: Nothing is perfect unless you make them.
  • Evaluate: will you be better without this relationship?
  • Keep yourself equipped with all legal advice and necessary documents whether something comes or not. 

Thank you. Stay happy & keep loving.

Adhideb Ghosh

Senior Writer

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