By Kent Darcie
Say it’s not so. Two back-to-back Hollywood divorce stories in this blog? I’m sorry, but anyone over 45 is in mourning over this one. The Captain and Tennille are getting a divorce after 39 years. For our younger readers, C&T’s biggest hit (which is bouncing through most of our heads right now) was Love will Keep us Together. There is some talk that the filing is health care related—it is more cost effective for them to live together than be married—but that is speculation.
Ironically, just this past week a non-Hollywood breakup came to my attention where the couple divorced…after 40 years. It is sad to write that this is not an isolated incident anymore. According to a study from Bowling Green State University, divorce among those over 50 has doubled between 1990 and 2009.1 In the case of the Captain and Tennille there were no kids, but this is uncommon. So how do adult children handle these situations?
When parental divorce comes in adulthood
Broke Lea Foster penned a book on this very situation. The Way They Were chronicles her journey after her parents divorced. She was 26 when the marriage ended. The transparency of her manuscript draws the reader in. She works through situations and emotions that the divorce created with the diligence of a guide through a jungle forest. Foster adeptly proves that parental divorce later in life creates its own set of unique challenges within the adult child of divorce group.
“Should you try to be a “friend” to your parents? How do you stay out of the middle? How does their divorce affect your own romantic relationships? How do you deal with holidays, weddings, and other special occasions?”2 These and many other important questions are dealt with in her book.
For now, we’ll do two things: grieve another long term marriage that now adds to the dismal divorce statistics, and take the next two blogs to look at some of the problems that come when parents wait to divorce until later in our lives.
1Captain and Tennille, musical duo of the ’70s, divorcing after 39 years of marriage, DIANA REESE; January 23 at 6:52 am; http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/she-the-people/wp/2014/01/23/captain-and-tennille-musical-duo-of-the-70s-divorcing-after-39-years-of-marriage/
2The Way They Were, Brooke Lea Foster, cover