Sleep on it: in ‘Hope Springs’, Meryl Streep and her grumpy husband Tommy Lee Jones try to save their relationship with a course of intensive marriage therapy

Hope Springs“, the new film starring Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, highlights a growing trend among ‘silver wedding’ couples to turn to relationship counsellors….

The bit that made me smile was when Meryl pretended to look excited to be getting a subscription to cable TV after 31 years of marriage as her anniversary present ……. which is almost up there with getting a garden shed !

Here’s an article in today’s The Sunday Telegraph highlighting the growing trend away from pipe and slippers !

For Corinne, 63, the final straw, after 35 years of marriage, was the golf. “We’d been invited to my best friend’s grandchild’s christening, but my husband, John, refused to come because he wanted to watch the US Open,” she says.

“I couldn’t believe it! Since retirement, he never went out as it was. He sat in his armchair all day watching telly or surfing the internet. Now he was snubbing our friends. I decided I’d had enough of his laziness, of being so anti-social. I told him I was leaving.”

Corinne is far from alone.

We idealise the image of Darby and Joan, two sweethearts growing old together, but the truth is that while British divorce rates are falling in every other age group, among the over sixties, they are rising year-on-year. In 2009, 11,507 couples aged over 60 divorced, a 4%  increase over the past two years!

This month, a new film, “Hope Springs” , throws a spotlight on the issue. It tells the story of a meek empty-nester, Kay (played by Meryl Streep), and her curmudgeonly husband, Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones), embarking on a week’s intensive marriage therapy.

Paula Hall, a counsellor for Relate, who has seen and enjoyed the film, says it is an uncannily accurate reflection of the boredom of many long-term marriages and the indifference couples develop towards each other.

Read more here