The Most Common Reasons For Divorce After Decades Together

There are some couples who’ve been together so long, you just can’t imagine them separating: Posh and Becks, Barack and Michelle Obama – or Bill and Melinda Gates, perhaps.

But the Microsoft co-founder and his wife, the company’s former general manager, have announced they’re ending their marriage of 27 years.

“We have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives,” the pair said in a joint statement. “We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but no longer believer we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.”

The news got us thinking about long-term love – and why some couples decide to part ways, even after decades together. In later life, it’s rarely an explosive row or sudden infidelity that causes marriage breakdown, says relationship therapist Pam Custers, who’s a Counselling Directory member. Instead, it’s usually a slow realisation that you’re no longer on the same page.

Here are some common themes Custers hears among couples who are considering divorce.

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