I’m a huge fan of the BET show, “Being Mary Jane” starring Gabrielle Union. This season, her parents, Paul & Helen Patterson, played by Richard Roundtree and Margaret Avery have been experiencing challenges in their marriage. Helen’s long time lover, Frank, played by Fred Williamson shows up and of course, he’s an associate of her husband Paul.
Image courtesy TV Guide
Here’s the deal…Helen rekindles her relationship with Frank, sleeps with him and Paul immediately knew it and she didn’t deny it. It also came out that Frank is Richard’s biological father.
When I watch my favorite shows, I follow the hashtags on Twitter for entertainment purposes. They are just about as entertaining as the TV show. Last week, however, they came down real hard on Paul & Helen’s relationship because Paul put Helen out and asked her for a divorce. They went in on them for being too old to divorce. Old people don’t get divorced. Says who? You, because you think they are too old to feel the way they do, and should be good and settled because of their age? That is such bull.
You know I did my research on this issue because I was almost offended. Almost. You can’t take folks on Twitter serious, especially “Black Twitter”. I am no expert, as a matter of fact, this is my third marriage. My marriage journey has been different from most women my age. Please note, it’s not anything I’m ashamed of, it’s my life and my story.
Our wedding day 2012
Nicknamed Silver or Gray divorce, it is real people. Baby boomers are much different from the generation before us. Here are a few reasons why:
- Life expectancy – we are living longer and that makes us contemplate living what we consider to be a happy life.
- Changing statuses of women – we have jobs, careers and contribute to the household more. We become disengaged with our relationships and want more out of our lives.
- Empty nesters – once the children are living full lives and no longer need their parents on that level, there’s nothing for older adults to do, especially when they’ve put everything into being there for their families. They don’t have the same interests and at this point in their lives not willing to become interested.
Many people of 50 are in second marriages and the divorce rate is higher mainly because of blended families and financial reasons.
According to the AARP’s divorce study, sex, religion, finances and ethnic differences also play a major factor in divorcing over 50.
Women tend to not have sex as much as men in the same age group. I’m not gonna touch that one because I believe that is an individual case and all about choice and desire.
Religious beliefs. People have a tendency to think as we get older, our faith gets stronger and we stay in our marriages longer. While this may be true for some, that is not keeping Baby boomers together.
The study said that African-Americans find divorce less devastating than suffering a life threatening illness or job loss. That’s because of the economic factor involved in our communities. Divorce hurts us, don’t get me wrong, but losing our job or getting ill is major for us. It’s all about economics.
Women are the ones who are the determining factor on if they stay in marriages they are no longer fulfilled with. It doesn’t matter if you’re 30, 40, 50 and beyond if you no longer want to be married, then we probably won’t be.
Love and divorce over 50 exist and folks need to recognize it before they are 50, 60 or older and wondering what happened.
Love has absolutely nothing to do with it and neither does age.