The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

Yorkville Office By Appointment

Initial Consultations via ZOOM Available

Emotional Abuse and Gray Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

abuse, DuPage County divorce lawyerOver the last several decades, the phenomenon of gray divorce or the divorce of couples consisting of partners aged 50 and over has been on the rise. More than two-thirds of these types of divorces are initiated by the wife, and in at least one survey, over half of the women who responded said that they initiated the divorce due to spousal abuse. In most cases, the divorce was the result of emotional abuse.

In an emotionally abusive marriage, one spouse manipulates the other using methods such as criticism, intimidation, or bullying. The victim can do “nothing right,” and the cycle of abuse continues. This type of abuse is often present at the beginning of the relationship, but is usually concealed as love, concern, or even humor. It often takes years—sometimes many years—for victims to realize they are being abused, if they realize it at all.

Warning Signs of an Abusive Marriage

One of the most obvious red flags of an emotionally abusive relationship is a lack of autonomy for one spouse. When this is the case, one spouse has too much control over the other. In cases where women are the victims, the woman must watch what she says, wears, or does out of fear of reprisal. Her spouse may have specific rules—often inconsistent—that she must follow or there will be conflict. Although it takes time, many women finally realize they are in an abusive marriage, and a percentage of such women find the strength to end their marriages.

Finding Personal Empowerment

Emotionally abused women cannot and should not be lumped together into a single category. Such women come from all walks of life. Their marriages started as loving relationships—or so they thought—that turned into nightmares over time. Simple vulnerability is not a problem, but consistent, systemic manipulation within the marital relationship can lead to a very dangerous situation.

The rise in gray divorce stemming from emotional abuse, however, is an indicator that more women are being empowered to make the changes they need. Women such as these are making a statement that an abusive marriage is not acceptable and that abusive behavior will no longer be tolerated.

Get Help With Your Divorce

Gray divorce is often more complicated than divorces between younger couples because older individuals typically have more marital property and assets. Concerns such as retirement savings are also usually more pressing. If you are over the age of 50 and are considering divorce, contact an experienced Aurora divorce attorney for guidance. Call 630-409-8184 for a confidential consultation at the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. today.


The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Back to Top