Divorce among older couples used to rarely happen but times have changed. Couples over the age of 50 getting a divorce have drastically increased, with baby boomers getting divorced twice as often as they did 20 years ago.

One in every four divorces involves a baby boomer couple, according to the National Center for Family and Marriage. It also found that 66 percent of baby boomer divorces were initiated by women.

Why the increase in women wanting a divorce?

A majority of women become more active as they get older since they no longer have to take care of young children and their family as much. On the other side, men tend to slow down at this stage so the couple may no longer feel as compatible.

Many older couples are also left feeling strained once the kids go to college or when a loved one or pet has passed away. This leaves one spouse, often the wife, wanting a divorce. Earlier, many marriages ended due to infidelity or financial issues. Now, baby boomers realize their relationships are boring and unfulfilling once the children grow up and move out.

The increase in baby boomers getting a divorce can also be attributed to women wanting fulfillment at this stage in their lives. Around age 50, women and men tend to re-evaluate their lives. This results in many couples realizing there life isn’t what they expected or wanted.

Many women in their 50s feel like they can reinvent themselves and they don’t want to continue the life of endless housekeeping duties. They also feel stronger and more confident that they don’t have to rely on a man as much.

It is not just women wanting a divorce, but the increase in female baby boomers wanting more independence and the ability to find their own happiness has dramatically increased the rate of divorces for baby boomers within the last few years.

Source: Palm Beach Post, “After age 50, women are divorcing at double the rate of 20 years ago,” Barbara Marshall, Feb. 7, 2012