Sadly, and often with great affection for each other, the couple say "enough." And, yes, couples are saying that more often these days. And then, of course, we're now looking at the aging of the boomers.
They're different from the 50-year-olds who lived before them.
Still, plenty of breakups occur after a relationship of many years. Half a century ago, an unhappy couple in their mid-60s might have stayed together because they thought it wasn't worth divorcing if they had only a few years left to live.
Although some people are able to negotiate the inevitable bumps in the road, for others those bumps turn into a sinkhole — something that they cannot seem to climb out of. Now, 65-year-olds can easily envision at least 20 more active years — and they don't want them to be loveless, or full of frustration or disappointment.
So while infidelity is certainly the precipitating factor in some marriages failing, it's not the reason in most cases.
Why do so many long-married couples decide to split?
And although we don't celebrate divorce in this country, we are not afraid of it, either. Did you or someone you know divorce after a long-term marriage?
So, yes, there are plenty of reasons why a couple who have been married for 30, 40, even 50 years might break up.
It is a form of courtship, consisting of social activities done by the couple, either alone or with others.
The protocols and practices of dating, and the terms used to describe it, vary considerably from country to country and over time.
In previous eras, couples soldiered on even if they were very unhappy.
But boomers gave up on the concept of the dutiful-but-unhappy spouse a long time ago.