The "silver" divorce: success or failure?

Can the “silver divorce” be characterized as failure? By any definition? The conventional wisdom seems to be that divorce is a form of failure. Period. If you don’t stay married for better or worse in sickness and in health till death do you part, you failed. That is one view.
But I was reading an article in Newsweek the other day and they make a good point. They used the divorce (or separation) of Al and Tipper Gore to make the point that, for the baby boomer generation who got married much younger on average and are living longer, it is totally unreasonable to expect folks to stay with one person for upwards of 70 years (and without straying!). Thus it is not that the marriage fails, after say, 40 years like the Gores. It is that it was successful for as much as, say, 35 years (assuming the Gores started to get unhappy starting about 5 years ago).
That is a great way to look at it. In my generation, if a marriage lasts ten years, that’s a smashing success as far as I’m concerned. When you’ve got folks making it to 40 and 50 years of marriage without killing each other, that is divine providence. And if at the 40 year mark, on their 60th birthday they wake up and realize they want to do something different  with the remaining 20-40 years they have left (and to do it either alone or with a totally new person) what is so wrong with that? Why is that such a failure?
I think Newsweek got it right. We have to redefine what marriage is (“new marriage) and we have to redefine what divorce implies about marriage (new divorce). That is just the new world order as I tried to argue in this post, whether we like it, or are ready for it, or not.
Read what we said here about successful marriages:
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