50-Something Women Set Out in Search of New Lives

RedTracker| Today’s NYTimes Modern Love column looks at divorced 50-somethings. It’s a quick coffee read, a rich blend of a good story about the Rev. Christine Shiber, who divorced after several decades of a bad marriage.  The focus of the profile isn’t on the fact that one marriage counselor told Shiber that there are three components to today’s successful marriages: business, parenting and coupling.

Yet the mention caught my attention.

Shiber says that she and her husband were great at the first two: “We put so much into our jobs and into the kids, maybe there wasn’t much left over for each other,” said Ms. Shiber, 57, a Methodist minister based in the Oakland, Calif., area whose ex works on the business side of the church.

The third point is a key theme of contemporary analysis of what goes wrong in today’s marriages. Women, in particular, agree that investing in the marriage comes last on the To Do list. Stressed, too tired and often resentful, the majority of women say they need a break from the demands of nurturing marriage, expecting to take up that objective when the kids are grown.

Men aren’t blameless in marital neglect. But they do give different answers to the same set of research questions, on the priority of togetherness and sexual intimacy in their marriages. A