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If they're unhappy, they begin wondering ' Do I want to spend the next 20, 30 or 40 years with this person?
I'm middle-aged and I'm still attractive. Maybe I can find somebody better'.'' Another factor is the changing view of divorce itself.
While balancing child-rearing and work comes into play as before, the issues around divorce are changing.
In the past, disgruntled middle-aged husbands often left their wives for younger women. '' A major contributor to that dissatisfaction,'' observed Eliot Nerenberg, a West Hartford lawyer and chairman of the family life division of the Connecticut Bar Association, ''is the sense in midlife that time is running out.'' He continued: '' In the middle years, many people are beginning to realize their mortality.
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Often, they don't have a ready framework for replacing those networks.
They don't know how to get invited to dinner parties or how to host them.
Those lost years in the work force place women at a disadvantage.
Whatever their story, the number of Connecticut residents divorced in their middle years has become increasingly visible in the last decade.
Figures from the Federal Bureau of the Census indicate that the number of Americans who divorced between the ages of 40 and 54 in 1995 represented nearly 14 percent of the population, up from 11 percent a decade earlier.
SOME men and women married soon after high school or college.
Others continued to date for another decade before saying '' I do.'' Still others ended an early first marriage only to wed again with equally unhappy results.