Is Your Relationship BOOMING or BOMBING? CategoriesTo Your Health & Sanity

Is Your Relationship BOOMING or BOMBING?

In America, people are getting divorced less than they were just 20 years ago.  That’s a good thing.  Unfortunately, the Boomer generation is the opposite.  Divorces have risen 50% for couples over 50 years old in a relationship.  So why are Boomers divorcing at a rate double that of other generations?  Let’s discuss these reasons and I can give you some advice on how to keep your relationship thriving!

When Boomers were growing up, times were changing.  In the 1960s, self-actualization and traditional roles of a man and a woman started to change.  Getting married was expected, but soon became an outlet for self-empowerment and self-development.  Marriage evolved from a relationship where two relied on each other emotionally and financially to an establishment meant to make one’s self happy.  If one spouse wasn’t happy, divorce became, and still is, an option. 

Another thing that changed was how Boomers were raising children.  Men in this generation wanted to teach their children responsibility and how hard work leads to a better life.  As women started to feel more empowered in relationships and were able to express themselves emotionally, they allowed their children more opportunities to find self-worth and instant gratification.  Plain and simple, the Boomers planted the seeds of the ‘ME’ generation, the X-ers cultivated it and the Millennials are in full bloom. 

So, we know that nurturing one’s own needs and different philosophies of raising children affect relationships, but what is one of the main reasons for divorce?  Boomers are living longer, there are more opportunities to grow than ever before, social norms are so different from when you were growing up and there are SO MANY OF YOU!  I am not saying that anyone should get a divorce if you are over 50 years old, as couples consider this decision very hard.  All I am saying is that Boomers got married for stability, to start a family and provide for each other.  Today, taking care of yourself seems to be paramount and the traditional family is being redefined every day. 

To those who want to honor their vows, for better or for worse, good for you.  Although society is changing, marriage is, and should be, a covenant between two people that lasts a lifetime.  For those who want to are committed to ‘til death do us part, here are some ideas to keep your marriage strong:

  • Take time to talk– Communication is the #1 reason relationships fail. Today, people spend more time on their phones than talking to each other.  Set aside time every day to talk uninterrupted and listen to each other.
  • Keep it spicy– Sex is a huge part of any relationship. If you have done the same thing, the same way for years, mix it up.  Try a new location, put on a different outfit, and go out of your way to please the other person.  You are called the ‘Boomers” aren’t you?
  • Play together– Couples who play together, stay together. Although you may have different interests, invest in each other’s passions, jump out of your comfort zones and smile.
  • DATE– This one seems so simple however, many people have forgotten how to do it. Do something different, go to a new restaurant, get out of town.  You have the time, make it a date. 
  • Say ‘I Love You’– Although your spouse already knows it, let them hear it. Don’t assume anything in a relationship.  As stated earlier, communication is the key.

To all Boomers, you know love and relationships are hard.  But like anything in life, the hard stuff is worth it.  If you are in a rut and want to stay in your relationship, ask for help.  These statistics don’t have to be you and your loved one.  It is up to both of you to keep the love booming.

Chris Beach
By

Chris Beach is the Executive Director of the Relationship Foundation of Virginia. He lives in Henrico County with his wife of 16 years and four boys. He is a life-long Richmonder and loves to help couples strengthen their relationships, encourage dads to be active in the lives of their children, and teach youth about the fears and joys of healthy relationships. For more information about the Relationship Foundation of VA, go to www.rfva.org.

One thought on “Is Your Relationship BOOMING or BOMBING?”

  1. Great article Chris. My husband (of 45 years) and I do all of the above items you listed. As a matter of fact, we started “dating” again after our first child was a year old. She is now 39 and we are still dating (every Friday for lunch). We also make it a habit of going out of town for the weekend each quarter. We love being with each other and encourage other couples to do the same. We tell them you might go for a walk in the park, drive to the Blue Ridge Mountains or go get a cone of ice cream. It is the little things that make the world go round. 🙂 Enjoy each other!

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