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Are You Tough Enough, Buttercup?

by Sim Lee  
11/29/2018 / Christian Living


"Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them." Col 3:19 NKJV

Senior women across America do not want the same sort of retirement that their mothers had. They simply do not want to keep on doing same household duties and everyday things that they did before retirement. They want their husbands to grow up and quit depending so much on their wives, and they want a little freedom (and a little breathing room).

Back in the 1990s, the worn out phrase "Toughen Up Buttercup" was used in feminine conversations to describe a man who was still expecting to live in a Ozzie and Harriet world like that of the 1950s when he was growing up. It was a good description of what he needed to do to come into step with the times. Many did, and many more did not. By the 2000s, the divorce rates among seniors started rising. From 1980 to 2008, the rate of divorce doubled for senior men (10%) and tripled for senior women (12%).*

The Oxford Academic Gerontological Society Study "The Gray Divorce Revolution: Rising Divorce Among Middle-Aged and Older Adults, 1990 - 2010, by Susan Brown and I-Fen Lin concludes that the financial autonomy of working women who are no longer dependent on their husbands for money and support is a most common underlying cause for divorce among seniors,

Far more important is their findings that divorce among seniors directly and adversely effects their health and life expectancy. As well as developing depression and compounding existing health problems, the isolation that will develop (more so for men than women) can drive reckless behaviors like overeating, substance abuse or overspending.**

It is the better choice by far to "toughen up, Buttercup" and reach a compromise with your spouse of long-standing than to leave the one that God gave you. A life time of loyalty and love accounts for far more than what little you will have to give up in the way of expectations. Pick up a little more of your share of the load and extend a sense of equality to your spouse.

So many fine senior citizens would live longer, happier and better if they take that step now. Are you tough enough to do that, Buttercup?

*Senior Planet, Grey Divorce: Splitting Up At 65-Plus, Kathleen Doheny, 4/17/13

**US News and Word Report, "How Grey Divorce Effects Your Health"

Sim Lee is a retired NE Iowan who loves all of God's creatures.

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