My parents are due to reach 60 years of marriage later this year and my wife’s parents have already smashed through the 50 year mark. Together that is more than a century of marriage experience.
Neither side has ‘silver splitters’, but I can understand how it can happen. My wife may jokingly enquire what the journey was like from my upstairs man-cave (office) to the kitchen, but as a consultant working over the internet, I no longer spend an hour or two each day in traffic. I work within the sound of the coffee machine which punctuates the day.
Like somebody at retirement, I would be ‘under my wife’s feet’ should she not be at work herself and when I initially stopped travelling to work, my wife was at home with a broken foot, so we spent a lot more time together than we were used to. Amongst other things, we started to bake bread together – with me nimbly evading her protective boot. We adjusted, but sometimes couples have lived fairly separate lives whilst working and cannot cope with spending so much time together at retirement, despite their shared memories. Separation is like a bereavement in that there is a loss of the person who can fill in detail, correct or remind. That can be particularly difficult for ‘silver splitters’.
I mentioned that to a lady over 60 who laughed when she told me that she didn’t have the time nor energy to train up another husband.
As well as sorting out sensible arrangements on separation, we can help with moving forward. People cohabiting or re-marrying later in life often wish to avoid conflict with their children and a Cohabitation/Pre-Nuptial Agreement can reduce the suspicion of financial opportunism.