Overheard among a group of middle school boys drinking mochas in a coffeehouse, as one tastes another’s coffee: “That is so ridiculously sweet! That’s like something a five-year-old would make!”
It’s funny how age can change your perspective, isn’t it? I’m sure that we’ve all experienced the startling discovery that a certain food we hated growing up suddenly tastes much better, now that we’re older. Or that we like our foods spicier than we did when we were young.
Taste isn’t the only thing that evolves over time. Emerging science reveals that the critical sections of the brain involved in decision-making are not fully developed until age 25 or so. And our personalities are more fluid than one would think; we become calmer, less sensitive, and better adapted socially as we age.
Thus, people once committed to being together “until death do us part” often reach a stage in which they are no longer on the same page. Especially when each person in a relationship has responsibilities and commitments, separate from that relationship, that pull him in other directions or that generate different perspectives. We explain this by saying we “grew apart.” The longer we live, the more likely that we will develop new perspectives.
And we are living longer. In 2023, the life expectancy in the U.S. is 79.11 years, a 0.08% increase from 2022. The life expectancy in the U.S. last year (in 2022) was 79.05 years, a 0.08% increase over the year before. Compare these figures to the expected lifespan in 1950 of 68.14 years. Life expectancy has gone up by 11 years in just 73 years.
Is it any wonder that the rate of divorce in America has increased at the same time?
There are certainly other influences that impact those statistics, for example that younger couples marry later in life, or don’t marry at all. But there’s no question that we are living longer, long enough to continue to evolve and, possibly, to grow apart.
If this is the reason that you and your spouse can no longer live together, there is no fault in this. If you want a better result than you’ll get in a traditional litigated divorce, reach out to a collaborative divorce professional and ask your questions. You’ll like the answers. And the results. You can visit us at Open Palm Law or email me at Joryn@OpenPalmLaw.com. Change is always hard, but you can choose to make that change easier; make it collaboratively.
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About this week’s author, Joryn Jenkins.
Joryn, attorney and Open Palm Founder, began her own firm here in Tampa after a 14-year career in law, two of which she served as a professor of law at Stetson University. She is a recipient of the prestigious A. Sherman Christensen Award, an honor bestowed in the United States Supreme Court upon those who have provided exceptional leadership in the American Inns of Court Movement. For more information on Joryn’s professional experience, take a look at her resume.