Reviews: Gray Divorce: What We Lose and Gain from Mid-Life Splits

"In Gray Divorce, Jocelyn Elise Crowley investigates the reasons for and consequences of midlife divorce for American women and men. Nowadays, one in four divorces in the United States occurs at or after the age of 50. This new trend, which Crowley coins “gray divorce,” emerges with the increasing acceptance of divorce, spread of no-fault divorce laws, and growing life expectancy among Americans. While current studies on later life divorce mostly rely on survey responses, this book is based on in-depth interviews with 40 men and 40 women who were once in heterosexual marriages and experienced at least one gray divorce. The book is a pioneer in examining this recent phenomenon through rich personal narratives."

—Xuemei Cao and Stacy Torres, Gender & Society, December 2018


“Research shows that gray divorces pose a significant health and financial risk for those couples who come apart later in life, as well as their family members.  And I know firsthand just how painful and devastating it can be.  As a relationship expert and modern love doctor, I’ve worked with hundreds of couples who’ve experienced gray divorce.  I believe Gray Divorce illuminates, through its stories and information, many of the reasons for this new phenomenon.  It’s my deepest wish that by understanding gray divorce, we can also create new ways to prevent the harm it can cause and promote healing for those who experience this life crisis.”

—Dr. Brenda Wade, Author, Psychologist, Five-time National Television Host, Regular Expert Guest on The Dr. Oz Show


“The coming "tidal wave" of mid-life divorce will stress the fabric of our society.  Fortunately, Dr. Crowley has delivered a great, data-supported read on this critical, little-understood subject.”

—Eddie R. Hartman, Co-founder of LegalZoom


"Jocelyn Elise Crowley tells the fascinating stories of couples all over the country who are experiencing a 'gray divorce,' or divorce over the age of 50.  Some of the stories will make you laugh, while others will make you cry.  By the end of the book, you will be cheering for them all to make exciting new lives for themselves.”

—Vikki Ziegler, Family Attorney and TV Personality


“Dr. Jocelyn Elise Crowley eloquently describes some of the intimate stories and causes behind gray divorce, a relatively new cultural phenomenon.  As the author of Your Best Age Is Now, I was fascinated to learn some of the more intricate and in-depth reasons why some mid-lifers are motivated to make this marital choice.  Dr. Crowley describes for her readers the more private portrait behind the often two-dimensional statistics described in the news.  And in doing so, she provides a more relatable and empathic picture of the reasons behind this complex and difficult decision.  Fortunately for us, her book reads more like a page-turning novel than a straight psychological textbook.  Crowley’s book is a must read for anyone interested in the psychodynamics and challenges behind the midlife divorce and the real life trials it can pose for those who find themselves in this situation.”

—Dr. Robi Ludwig, Psychotherapist, TV Commentator and the Author of Your Best Age is Now 


“Jocelyn Elise Crowley has written an incredibly insightful and engaging examination of the growing phenomenon of ‘gray divorce’.  She is at the forefront of observing the trend that everyone will soon be talking about it as it impacts more and more families. Gray Divorce excels in making us understand what makes long-term marriages fail and can be reverse-engineered as a guide to making marriages work.”

—Francesca Hogi, Today Show Relationship Expert, Matchmaker and Love Coach


"Highly appealing to scholars, students, and educated general audiences."

—Dr. Barbara Risman, author of Gender Vertigo: American Families in Transition


“Gray Divorce: Blame the doctors for allowing people to live longer; blame the chemists with their little blue pills that allow a sexual rebirth; blame capitalism, which after all is a raging success that allows the privileged few to have serial marriages and divorces and pay for discarded wives, children they put in boarding school, etc.  But there it is--it’s a reality of life and it’s going to get worse or better depending upon which side of the age barrier you live. 

Jocelyn Elise Crowley has done a brilliant job describing the landscape of Gray Divorces.  Celebrity divorces are described, let us say “mature” or at least fraying at the edges.  She then goes into the statistics and demographics of divorces, and then personalizes it with interviews with everyday people.  The bottom line is that it’s acceptable and alive and well in America, and people who are bothered by it are just going to have to suck it up.”

—Raoul Felder, Nationally and Internationally-Recognized Divorce and Family Lawyer, Named One of the100 Most Powerful Lawyers in America by New York Law Journal


"Gray divorce will only become more prevalent in the coming years, and our ability to understand, as well as help, the millions of people going through divorce at older ages depends on insightful social science research like that presented here by Jocelyn Elise Crowley.  She uses compelling individual stories to show how the causes and consequences of gray divorce differ for women and men, and to build a case for personal and social intervention to help individuals and families in this situation.  This is a valuable book about a subject of great -- and growing -- social importance."

— Philip N. Cohen, Author of Enduring Bonds: Families and Modern Inequality  


"We should all be incredibly grateful to Jocelyn Elise Crowley for her most important book.  Gray Divorce is a must read for everyone over 50 and everyone close to someone over 50, as well as for physicians, therapists, clergy, and others who work with them.  Crowley has done us a great service by showing what’s at stake, the losses, the gains, the changes that come with a gray divorce.  Millions are in that “before it’s too late” category of wondering if they should end their marriage now or hang in there for the duration.  This book will help them feel they have a wise companion to help them through a most confusing and stressful period.  My greatest admiration and gratitude to Crowley for this book.”

—Mira Kirshenbaum, Clinical Director of The Chestnut Hill Institute, Author of Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay and “I Love You but I Don’t Trust You"

"A seminal work of impressively articulate scholarship, "Gray Divorce: What We Lose and Gain from Mid-Life Splits" is essential reading for academics and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject. While an unreservedly recommended addition to community and academic library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Gray Divorce" is also available in a paperback edition (9780520295322, $29.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.17)."

—Margaret Lane, Midwest Book Review