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Marriage in the second half of life: stay? leave?

Tom and Louise McKay on their wedding day, Aug. 17, 1941.
Tom and Louise McKay on their wedding day, Aug. 17, 1941.

A story in the August edition of US Catholic kept me reading – and gasping -  to the end.  The divorce rate for the general population has remained somewhat steady over the last 20 years, but for people over the age of 50, it has doubled.

What’s the deal? Susan Brown, co-director of the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University, co-authored a study, titled “The Gray Divorce Revolution.”  Through her work, she discovered “that of all those who divorced in 2009, one in four was age 50 or older, compared with one in 10 in 1990.”

One great quote from the story by Mary Jo Pedersen, author of For Better, For Worse, For God: Exploring the Holy Mystery of Marriage: “Our expectations of marriage are so out of line,” Pedersen says. “Marriage isn’t supposed to make you happy, it’s supposed to make you married. Marriage creates an environment in which you can choose happiness and you can create a wonderful home and friendship that will bring you happiness. But the institution itself—like everything, it’s what you do with it.”

What do you think are the essential ingredients for a long-lasting marriage?

(S-R archvies photo: Tom and Louise McKay on their wedding day, Aug. 17, 1941.)

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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.