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My Granddad was married seven times. It’s a family record that should last forever.



If I got married when everyone else in my family did, around 20, instead of waiting until I was 31, I might have had a shot at the record.

Added up, my marriage and divorce chart probably would have included my high school girlfriend (who was as pretty and smart as anyone I’ve ever met.)

Two young women from my first college reminded me of my high school girlfriend. Three girls from my Army career were good to go, followed by three from my second college.

Living in New York City meant moving among incredibly lovely Italian ladies, Puerto Rican princesses, a law school lady, a government biologist from Oklahoma living in Brooklyn, and the return of one of the women from my first college.

Instead, I waited, and waited, and waited. Finally I decided I’d never get married, never have kids, and never live in the suburbs. That was the plan. Looking back at my twenties, I could have been divorced thirteen times. Why? I was less than stellar as a boyfriend. I liked breaking up.

What changed? National Public Radio ran a story called “Older Americans’ Breakups Are Causing A ‘Graying’ Divorce Trend.”

I’m an older American with a twenty seven year old marriage. For a lousy boyfriend that’s a long time.

The NPR story includes breakup scenes. “Jim Campbell, 55, of Boulder, Colo., says he and his wife grew apart after 34 years together. “The No. 1 best thing in common that my ex-wife and I had was raising kids,” Campbell says. When their two sons grew up, he says, “we just didn’t have enough activities, passions, interests that were in common. And when the boys were gone, that just became more and more — to me — obvious.””

Grew apart?

Another breakup from therapist Mary Harbison:

“She and her husband had been going through a rough patch. He was due to return home from a successful business trip, and she thought they would celebrate and turn over a new leaf. “I was so excited,” she recalls. “I had arranged child care, and I was going to take him away for an overnight [trip]. And he didn’t want to go.” Her voice breaks, but she continues. “He just wouldn’t speak to me. I said, ‘You just really seem shut down and angry,’ and he just kind of blew up and said, ‘I am out of here, and I am not coming back.’ ” And that was the end.”

Not good, but maybe there’s a reason for baby boomers hitting the divorce trail.

Google the main causes of all divorce and you get “The 8 most common reasons for divorce” from

The reasons for divorce bounce between three and ten. But we all know there’s one real reason, don’t we?

Between two people in a relationship, one is more of a jerk than the other, and both are keeping score. Once the score gets too lopsided, one hits the door with a “I never really loved you” and it’s done.

You want a divorce? Check your score card, then ask your partner to see theirs. If they say they don’t have one, ask again. It’s like a suicide note, it’s there but you might not see it right away.

For all the good reasons for a divorce, there’s just as many to stay married. The biggest part is one of you has to give a little more. If it’s not the other person, it’s you.

Now, get busy. Trust Woman’s Day to tell you how.




About David Gillaspie
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