The Gray Divorce: ending a relationship in later years. Dr Diana’s return guest Dr. Linda De Villers (www.drlindadevillers.com) is a sex therapist, Professor, and author of “Love Skills” and “Simple Sexy Food.” Both Dr. Diana and Dr. Linda have seen older couples who end their relationships after 20, 30, or 40 years. Breakups among long-married couples are actually pretty common: a quarter of all recent divorces involved people who’d been married for two decades or more. They often say they grew apart. One of the biggest threats to marriage is … boredom. Other factors may be at play. Henri-Frederic Amiel observed, “To marry unequally is to suffer equally.” Another philosopher, Woody Allen, said, “A relationship is like a shark. It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we’ve got on our hands is a dead shark.” In a partnership there has to be respect and appreciation for who your partner is, as well as for the person he or she wishes to become. Older people often see the importance of quality of life. Why not? They (we) have fewer years in front of us than behind us. Yes, mortality issues! Dr. Linda and Dr. Diana discussed attachment styles and those who do better in breakups. Also, research has shown that the more one’s self worth depends on the relationship, the more suffering one is likely to feel when it ‘s over. In a breakup, one can get rejection relief by finding and working with a good therapist. The therapist can help the client cultivate more self-love. To be kind and forgiving of what they did or did not do in their marriage – and to be able to experience emotion without getting stuck in anger, sadness, or regret.

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