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What are the Most Common Reasons Long-Term Marriages End in Divorce?

At the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb, our Certified Family Law attorney in San Bernardino knows that long-term marriages have seen a significant rise in divorces, according to data released from the National Center for Health Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau that stated divorces for people who are 50 and older has doubled since 1990.

For multiple reasons including some common to thousands of couples who have been married for over twenty years (and those who have been married for less) Americans are taking steps to ensure the second half of their lives are led exactly the way they want them.

In California, and across the nation, there are five common reasons why long-term marriages are ending in divorce.


It is no secret that while many long-married couples have fruitful sex lives, some live on the other side of the spectrum, and may have continued abstaining from a physical relationship for years.

Although each couple’s marital sex life is unique and is never an excuse to have an affair, one or both spouses may feel underappreciated or undesirable, which can lead to looking for a physical connection elsewhere. Often, when they find it, it is too much to rebound from physically and emotionally, which can lead to a significant breakdown in the marriage.


Money is one of the most significant sources of stress in any marriage, no matter how long ago the spouses said, “I do.”

However, when couples have spent more than two decades sharing accounts, their money-management skills could be a long-term contention that becomes a significant factor in their marriage when they are nearing retirement age.

There is an emotional component when spouses debate what money means to them, and in longer marriages, it is often not about the amount they have but what they are doing with it. When one or both spouses feel like the other has broken their financial agreement whatever it may be the resentment can lead to irreparable damage.

Lack of Communication.

When couples have been together for decades, they often take the need for communication for granted. They may just assume the other knows what they are thinking, why they are upset, or how to fix it. When they do not talk about it or worse, criticize each other instead of talking about their needs contempt is not far behind, and the latter is one of the largest predictors of divorce.

Empty Nest.

Spouses who have watched their kids move onward and upward, going to college, or getting a job in a different region, often find themselves alone even when they are still together realizing the long-standing connection may have been their children.

When parents finally have time to explore their interests, they often move forward living separate lives, which leads to one or both spouses reevaluating their futures, which end in different directions.

Unresolved Issues Formed During an Expansive History Together.

Even with marriage counseling, and seemingly hundreds of conversations about a previous affair, long-standing issues with each other’s family members, or a damaging event that happened years ago, sometimes it is impossible to let go.

When spouses have been married for several decades, the potential for these issues to remain as a detriment to their relationship is exponential.

Contact Our Skilled San Bernardino Divorce Attorney Today for a Free Consultation

If you would like to discuss how your divorce may affect your life going forward, so you can plan accordingly, contact our San Bernardino divorce lawyer at the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb by calling (909) 889-7111 today to discuss your concerns, so we can create a customized legal approach for your unique needs.

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