Gray divorce has been on the rise for several years. There are numerous contributing factors that make divorce later in life after long marriages more common now than in the past. Changes in someone’s expectations about their standard of living, health challenges and a desire to pursue individual interests are all factors that may contribute to gray divorces.
With that said, some older couples have found that sleep divorces are a way to keep their relationship functional in the face of certain forms of pressure. How might a sleep divorce help someone who is currently contemplating divorce?
Sleep divorce can enhance personal space and rest
A sleep divorce is what occurs when spouses start sleeping in separate rooms, possibly following totally separate schedules because of work. Rather than continuing to share a bedroom despite differing schedules or health issues, the couple recognizes that their current circumstances do not make sharing of that the best option.
Given that fatigue affects someone’s overall mood, ensuring that both spouses have more sleep could have a very positive impact on the quality of their relationship with each other. For older adults struggling now that they are both home all the time or because one of them has an issue with snoring or has become a light sleeper, a sleep divorce could give them the space necessary to preserve their marital relationships without one spouse or the other compromising their physical or mental health in the process.
Sleep divorces aren’t miraculous
When the main issue in a relationship is an incompatible schedule or one spouse frequently waking the other and affecting their mood, a sleep divorce could be the right solution to current marital tensions. However, many couples will find that simply moving into separate spaces won’t be enough to resolve the pressure on their relationship if their issues come from something more serious than simple sleep deprivation.
Those contemplating a sleep divorce may want to also discuss a marital agreement in case their efforts to smooth things out with one another aren’t successful. Being willing to try unique solutions may benefit some couples struggling after years of commitment, but being realistic about what someone needs for their health and happiness is also important. Those who explore all their options may feel more confident when and if they do decide to divorce – or remain together – after years of marriage.