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Tue, October 21, 2008

Madonna of a new era: Single at 50
By JOANNE RICHARD, SPECIAL TO SUN MEDIA

Madonna is usually one to set trends -- not follow them -- but she's joined a host of older women who are calling their marriage quits and starting over.

"At age 50, women no longer regret leaving, they regret not leaving sooner," says divorce expert Deborah Mecklinger, of walkthetalkcoaching.com.

"They want freedom and they want to be happy -- it's just that simple. They are not trapped as their mothers were."

In her practice as a divorce coach, Mecklinger sees more women initiating late-life divorce than men.

"They are giving themselves permission to go for it. They have finished pleasing parents, having children, serving others -- they can now approach their lives ready to serve themselves."

According to a U. S. study, 66% of divorces are initiated by women in their 40s, 50s and older -- and 25% of the husbands claim they were blindsided.

According to sociologist Dr. Pepper Schwartz, "It used to be that if you left a long-term marriage, you were dooming yourself to loneliness."

Dr. Edward Dreyfus, an L.A. psychologist, says that many women who married in their 20s realize in their 50s that they have a good 30 or more years to live. They have options: Re-enter a career put on hold or begin a new one. "Some women at 50 are even thinking, 'I had one marriage that lasted 25 years and I still have time for a second marriage for another 25 years.'"

"Women today no longer see themselves as merely an appendage of some man who will give their lives meaning."

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© 2017 Deborah Mecklinger LL.B., M.S.W