Nightly News | April 27, 2012
>>> the baby boom generation loosely defined as those born from the mid- 1940s to the mid- 1960s has often led the way in modern times in terms of moden trends and now there's another one. census department figures show an astounding number of dorses. our report tonight from john yang .
>> for martha mcdowell's 33-year marriage there, was no happy hollywood ending .
>> we had this union and we believed it was for life, and all of a sudden, it's ripped, literally ripped apart.
>> robert said unhappiness in his 17-year union had been building.
>> i was frustrated, ready to move on, and that's when, you know, i started thinking about changing my life and doing other things.
>> two divorces, two different reasons, but one thing in common. they're pat of the growing number of married couples in their 50s and 60s calling it quits. researchers at bowling green university found the divorce rate among those 50 and older nearly doubled between 1990 and 2009 while the overall rate held steady. they say baby boomers may feel less pressure to stay married.
>> women in particular don't feel that they have to stay with someone they may not like very much, simply because they need to be supported.
>> he made wholesale changesen his life, moving from southern california to florida and starting his own business. at first, he says, it was frietdenning.
>> and then it became liberating. and you started realizing some of the freedom you had and some of the things that maybe you always wanted to do in your life.
>> after recovering from her initial shock, mcdowell has come into her own, working at a local college and participating in community theater .
>> i am right now enjoying the freedom and independence to do activities that i'm involved in.
>> both getting used to going solo at middle age . john yang , nbc news, washington.