Monday 17 June 2019

More elderly couples get the '30-year itch'

Thinkstock Images
Thinkstock Images

NICK BRAMHILL

OLDER couples are increasingly turning to therapists in a bid to save their marriages.

Counsellors have noted a surge in the number of couples in their 60s and even 70s who are seeking professional help because their marriages have hit rock-bottom.

They say that rather than putting up with each other's annoying traits in their so-called 'golden years', elderly bickering partners are increasingly opting to go their separate ways.

Tony Moore, a therapist with Relationships Ireland, said: "The couples we are seeing are certainly getting older. There's a lot more in their 50s, 60s and even 70s that are turning to us.

"A lot of it's to do with their financial situation. We've seen a lot of couples who've finished their working lives and whose children have grown up, but who have forgotten to prepare for their retirement.

"In most cases people retire and expect to have a few euros in their pocket and take a few holidays, but we've had couples in who have forgotten to make provisions for their pensions and just expected the government to look after them.

"If you're already in an unhappy relationship, something like that can be the last straw for many couples."

He added: "I just think older couples are less prepared to carry on living together if there are problems. There are more older people coming along to us saying things like, 'I've just looked back at my 30-year-marriage and it's not been very good.' They see it as their last chance to get out of their long, miserable relationship."

Meanwhile, Relationships Ireland has noted a 15 per cent increase in demand for their services since the start of last month, with hundreds more desperate couples of all ages making a last-ditch attempt to save their crumbling marriages.

Mr Moore said: "The past month and the post-Christmas period are always our busiest periods and this year has proved no exception. Part of the reason is the fallout from holidays and the return to the routine of going back to work and the kids returning to school.

"Money problems are a huge issue too, particularly at this time of year. Bills are coming in and then there's all the back-to-school costs and a lot of couples find themselves more and more in debt because of that. Financial issues have come into nearly every conversation I've had with couples recently and for many of them the strain will only increase from now up to the run-up to Christmas."

Sunday Independent

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