If we told you that the infidelity scales were tipping, would you believe us? No, we don’t mean less cheating among married couples. Just less in certain age groups and more in others. Curious? We were too. Especially when we read the recent results of the General Social Survey, which shows that older people are becoming more and more unfaithful in their marriages, while young people are cheating less. Yes, that includes people right here in Oakland County, Michigan. Go figure.
Since 1991, participants have been asked whether or not they have had sex with someone other than their spouses since getting married. What is fascinating is how the groupings have changed over the years in their responses.
According to the research conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago, the number of seniors engaging in extramarital affairs has risen steadily in recent years. In fact, at the most recent count, 20% of older survey participants confessed to cheating on their spouses, while only a surprising 14% of people under 55 admitted to unfaithfulness.
Another interesting fact is that these statistics could not be explained by any type of sociodemographic differences. Age, race, ethnicity, education levels and even income didn’t affect the data. For reasons that weren’t apparent to the researchers, people in their golden years are having more affairs.
So that begs the question… why? Why are so many senior cheating on their spouses these days? What’s changed that has made having an affair at 58, or 65, or even 70, a much more viable option? In truth, there are no hard and fast answers, but there’s a lot of speculation…
The Answers….. Maybe:
One suggestion was that with the affordability and availability of erectile dysfunction drugs has made engaging in regular and satisfying sex possible for many more people. Another suggestion is that this generation was raised by the “free love” parents of the sixties and as a result, having “rebelled” against their upbringing by pursuing monogamy for decades, is now finally coming around to a little sexual discovery of their own.
Truth is, no one is sure. One likely player in the game is the internet. Twenty years ago having an affair meant clandestine meetings with a secretary after work under the guise of “working late.” Now however, people are free to cheat from the comfort of their livingrooms, and the options are so much broader.
For a growing number of older Oakland County couples, the answer to that question is divorce. “Grey divorce”, or as it is sometimes referred to – silver divorce, is a growing phenomenon across our country and across our county. More and more people are ending their marriages in their retirement years. Some of that may be due to the rise in extramarital affairs being pursued by older people these days, or perhaps it’s simply because the stigma is shrinking and the expectations are changing. Either way, late life divorce is on the rise.
At The Kronzek Firm, our experienced family law attorneys have helped many couples, regardless of their age or circumstances, with their divorces. Suffice to say that we know our way around the family courts in Pontiac. So if you or a loved one have decided that it’s time to close this chapter of your life and move on to something else, we are here to help you prepare for that next stage in your life. Call us at (248) 479-6200. To discuss your future today. We are here to help. Our Oakland County office is located on Northwestern Highway, near Inkster.