Being a divorce lawyer also fascinated by celebrity divorces and all things 1970's, I could not help but share my thoughts on the divorce of a 70's act whose music I (only semi)ironically love: Captain and Tenille, separating after 39 years.
There is, I have noticed, one are main reason why people divorce after so long a time. And while Mr. Captain did state that he did not know why she filed, I would be shocked if he was blindsided. Divorces after that long a time are rarely due to hot issues that cause constant tension. I have found that the one reason people divorce later in life is this: the fear of death. Let me explain.
Once a person hits their autumn years, it is hard not to wonder how many years they have left on earth. a person at 73, like Tennille, can hope for as much longevity as possible, but it is hard to imagine her living another 39 years. Life is short, and many marriages continue on long past the expiration date on inertia alone. Eventually, one spouse sees the end coming, and they have the following realization: their time on earth ain't long, and they would rather spend whatever time they have left away from that person who they have tolerated, resented, or just hated for the last however many years. Sometimes that inertia is so strong they stay in the same house for awhile, like the Captain and Tennille did. Sometimes the parties decide they can't take it, and stay together out of inertia; usually, however, after that long a time, when a person actually files, it's all over but the paperwork.