11/08/2013 10:58 am ET

When Nest Emptied, Discontent Entered


When their last child left for college, Arlene Petty, now 64, felt resentment about her decades-long marriage to Ed Petty, also now 64. Facing an empty nest, she asked for a trial separation. In hindsight, both would have done things very differently.

Marriage: In 1974 they began living together and married in 1976. They divorced in 2004 after 28 years.

Age when married: He: 26. She: 27.

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