POST 50
12/19/2012 08:40 am ET

In The Middle: Why Elderly Couples Fight

George and Gracie (let’s call them that because using their real names would make them even unhappier than they already appear to be) are in their 80s and have been married for more than 65 years. Until recently they seemed to ride the waves that are inevitable in any marriage that spans nearly seven decades; through good and bad, they were partners and best friends.

But lately -- ever since her hospitalization and his fall -- they have been arguing more bitterly than usual (“Do you have to make such a mess in the kitchen?”), criticizing each other (“Why haven’t you dealt with the insurance company yet?”), withdrawing from each other, and generally making each other more miserable, more often than ever before.

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