Having children depart triggers a spate of questions such as: What have I done with my life? “It’s easy to ignore, gloss over or not deal with the dysfunction of your marriage,” Purdy said.
Parents are preoccupied by the everyday life of their kids, including grappling with grades and school, transporting them to, say, soccer practice and possibly helping them gain acceptance into a good college. Jumping out of it and starting over seems more filled with hope and possibility, offering a new start,” Purdy noted.
Very often people are in denial,” Pedro-Carroll added. And divorce can sometimes serve as a “do-over that enables someone to reinvent one’s life for the better,” Purdy said.
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Armando and Julie Everett (not their real names) are in their early fifties, live in Los Angeles, work in the entertainment industry and were married for 26 years.
Their two children are now grown and live on their own.
When the children move away and the couple is left with each other without the offspring, it forces couples to reevaluate their life and their marriage.
You’re 45- to 55-years-old and realize you won’t live forever, Purdy said. Raising the kids is so consuming that it can occupy all the oxygen of a marriage.
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I hope I really like my wife.” Before the children abscond and forge their own life, the signs of any discontent rumbling in a marriage are usually present, years before the kids move out, said Jay Lebow, a clinical professor at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.