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At the start, I explained dinner was not my responsibility to plan every night. They divide their time between her home in Los Angeles and his in San Jose, keeping their finances separate.
Now if I want to leave, I can. Ventura and Doppelt are riding a social and demographic wave. In the last two decades, the social landscape for older couples has undergone a revolution : As Bowling Green sociologist Susan L. The result? More older singles. Whether they find each other online, at the gym or at church, they are pairing up in unprecedented s and in untraditional ways.
Remarriage rates over 50 have remained steady, Brown says, but cohabitation in that age group has more than quadrupled between and Boston University sociologist Deborah Carr has done preliminary analyses of older re-partnered couples and says they are likelier to be more equal financially, more autonomous as individuals and freer of gender roles. However, autonomy and equality are built into the very structure of living apart together. Changing social attitudes are also part of the picture, Carr says. Then It Became the Defining One. According to Pennsylvania certified elder-law attorney Tammy A.
Most want to pass their assets to their. Some want to retain Social Security benefits or alimony from a former spouse. But fiscal impacts are only part of why they keep their money separate. Financial planner Maryan Jaross, 68, of Louisville, Colo. I can buy a pair of shoes even if I have a hundred pairs. There are many women like Jaross, economically independent, able and determined to have equal relationships. She loves to cook, but Lepak does the clean-up and laundry. He makes the bed and does the yard work, which he enjoys. They hire people to do what neither wants to do. Partners like these also feel no obligation to operate as a unit when they visit family, see friends or travel.
Jaross and Lepak, for example, see some of their children separately, some together. Sometimes they travel separately, as do Doppelt and Ventura. This fall, while Ventura tours Cuba with women friends, Doppelt will be hiking in South Dakota with five other guys. Couples who live in their own homes and expect to for the rest of their lives have the least traditional relationships and the most freedom.
No problem. Not an issue. Her grandkids regularly run wild over the house? Many have lived on their own for years and require their solitude and space.
He and his girlfriend of more than six years talk and video-chat several times a day, sometimes for more than an hour at a time but usually see each other only on weekends. What really sets these couples apart, whether they marry, live together or apart, is the emotional texture of their relationships.
They know who they are and what they need. As University of Colorado Denver sociologist Teresa Cooney found in comparing later-life remarriages to first marriages, these older couples are better at problem solving and argue less.
While older adults feel no pressure to re-partner, if they choose to, they select a mate who fits who they are now. As one happily cohabiting woman told me, she thought her first husband would be a great father, and he was.
But he was not the right mate for midlife and beyond. Couples who partner in later life choose each other exclusively for the relationshipfor the love, companionship and emotional support it provides. University of Haifa psychologist Chaya Koren finds that in the older remarriages she studied, each spouse felt more like an individual within their relationship, fostering both greater equality and deeper intimacy. On one hand, they have more leisure time together. On the other, they know their remaining years together are limited. They feel immense gratitude to have found each other.
They cherish their love. Lepak expresses it this way. at letters time. Getty Images. By Francine Russo. TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary on events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of TIME editors. Related Stories. But the Wait for a Vaccine Is Excruciating. Already a print subscriber?
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