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Gray Divorce

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tipper and Al Gore are all divorced after decades of marriage. They call it the "Gray Divorce," couples calling it quits at age 50 and older.

56 year old Norma Goodman's husband divorced her 3 years ago after 30 years of marriage.

"I took my vows very seriously and the commitment to marriage," says Goodman. She says her husband said he was not happy and he had not been for a while and he wanted out."

Goodman says the split was traumatic and hurtful, and definitely had an affect on their three sons.

According to Goodman this situation was devastating and made even worse by her ex husband moving five houses down and marring her neighbor.

"It didn't just feel like he was divorcing me it felt like he was divorcing them and everyone," said Goodman.

"People don't stay committed," Psychologist Dr. Ellen Casper observes. She doesn't find it surprising that one in four people getting divorced these days is age 50 or older.

Dr. Casper says the "Gray Divorce" boom is quite a difference from 20 years ago when less than 10% of people in that age group broke up. Now that generation wants out.

Other factors for divorce include women being more self-sufficient and that people aren't staying together just for the sake of the children, Dr. Casper says, people are less complacent when being non content.

"They are looking for new options and goals and don't want to continue status quo," said Dr. Casper.

As for Goodman, she says she thought marriage was for life. Now at age 56 she realizes that part of her life is now over, "It's nothing I even wanted to consider. Never wanted to be in the category of basically middle aged divorced female."

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