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Parents’ Intervention Is the Cause for Divorce More Often Than Cheating

21 June 2010 / 16:06:42  GRReporter
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“In Greece there are married couples that tend to split after being married for several decades,” said the lawyer Eleni Glegle for the Ta Nea newspaper. The reasons for the so-called “divorce of gray hairs” is that the spouses begin to live under the same roof without having any sexual contact and extend the life of the marriage only because of their young children. “Greeks do not divorce young. The reason is that they either want to raise their children together or because nobody wants to be loaded with an inhibiting divorce,” says Mrs. Glegle.

1757 families with over 25 years of marriage have divorced in 2006. The percentage of men aged 50-54 years who divorced has increased by 14% compared with 2002, and the number of divorced women aged 55-59 increased by 28%. “Today, marriage is more an economic cooperation where both spouses contribute to the family budget,” says the American historian and specialist of marriage issues, Stephanie Coontz. The addition of the terms “free cohabitation” and “single parent families” changed the way lawyers and judges view the institution of marriage, says Mrs. Glegle. Divorced families are still stigmatized in Greece and there are many couples with under-aged children who require them to live together not to have to say they are “children of divorced parents,” added lawyer Glegle. “I think that children of divorced parents are afraid to marry. My sons were so much disappointed when I divorced and still feel like that. They grew slightly faster than the other children, and I observe that they are quite reserved in their own relationships,” shares her personal experience Mrs. Yoli Kriezi.  

Ms. Kriezi a psychologist, which divorced at the age of 52 after 28 years of marriage. She says that after the divorce she paniced and had a depression, crying even while driving. Divorce has changed her as a woman and as a professional. “It took me a long time to step on my feet, but when this happened I started to appreciate myself much more,” says the 60-year-old Ms. Kriezi. Currently, her husband has a girlfriend, but Mrs. Kriezi herself says she has not thought of a new relationship because “the care about her children did not leave her free time for that.”

Cheating is not the most important reason for a divorce, says Mrs. Glegle. The intervention of the parents of both spouses in their family relationships, but also the need for economic independence of both spouses are much stronger factors for a separation. Usually women are the ones who decide when they will end the marriage and proceed to divorce, while men rarely choose to collect their luggage. “Recently I had a case in which a middle-aged husband had a mistress, but neither he nor his wife wanted to divorce. Finally, the mistress made the husband divorce,” says Mrs. Glegle. And economic dependence is a strong card in court. “I often hear women at the age of 55-60 years say “you will divorce me, but you’ll pay me!” But there are women and men who separate just to be free,” says Mrs. Glegle at the end.

”Divorces at the age of 55 or over are a global phenomenon,” says the American Mrs. Coontz. The reason is that people live longer and do not think whether they leave an exhausted relationship for something better. As Mrs. Coontz stated, the divorce of the USA former vice president – the 62-year-old Al Gore and his wife Tipper – is an example of this trend. The Gore Family announced their divorce after 40 years of marriage, four children, a vice presidency and a Nobel Prize.

Tags: ScietyDivorceFamilyChildren
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