People often think of divorce as a completely negative experience. They may believe they are a failure because they couldn’t make their marriage work. But there are mental, emotional, financial, and other benefits of divorcing when you are in an unhappy marriage.
Before we talk about how divorce can be a good thing, though, our divorce lawyers are also realists and understand that the process of ending a marriage is stressful. Many people initially experience bouts of anxiety. They worry about the effects on their children and what family and friends may think and whether their reputation is a risk. They may feel uncertain about what the future holds. To put it bluntly, divorce can freak people out at the start for a lot of reasons.
If you are considering divorcing or are currently in the midst of one, focusing on the positives may help you get through it more easily.
POSITIVE ASPECTS OF DIVORCE
Believe it or not, the first months of separation or divorce can be a relief. The relationship you recently ended may have been loaded with tension and unhappiness for a long time. Divorce results for many people when the years of cumulative stress and tension are no longer tolerable and they cannot live with it anymore. When the environment is changed, there can be an instant sense of peace and a feeling of gaining control over your life and future even though it looks and feels different, the intolerable is not driving force in how you are living your life.
Doctors agree that stress, like the kind you experience 24/7 when you’re living in a bad marriage, is a major contributor to many serious conditions and illnesses. Chronic stress can cause high blood pressure, heart disease, and other health problems. It can disrupt your sleep patterns and weaken your immune system, leaving you more susceptible to colds, viruses, and infections. Stress can also spur bad habits like smoking, drinking, binge eating, and even drug use, further affecting your well-being.
Our bodies developed a fight-or-flight stress response back when we had to worry about fighting our enemies in battle or outrunning saber-toothed tigers. We needed those hormones to literally help us survive. Unfortunately, those are the same hormones that flood our system during an argument with a spouse. If it only happens every now and then, it’s not a big deal. But, let’s talk real . . . your marriage probably wouldn’t be ending if the stress only came every now and then. Leaving a marriage in which you feel stressed, depressed, and lonely can greatly reduce stress and potentially lead to better health.
If you’re already stressed out and overwhelmed by going through a divorce, you’ve got a lot of good to actually look forward to. Things really can be better after divorce.
More Independence and Control
With the end of a marriage comes the freedom of making decisions for yourself without having to compromise or argue with your spouse. You can do what you want to do! You can travel where you wish, buy what you want within your means, spend time with the people you wish to spend time with. With more free time and significantly less angst, you’re more likely to look up old friends and even pick up old hobbies and pastimes that went by the wayside during your marriage. You may discover new interests and meet people you would never have had the opportunity to get to know if you had stayed in an unhappy marriage.
You may also benefit by being in control of your own financial situation, especially if your soon-to-be former spouse was financially irresponsible. You can establish your own financial priorities and manage your own budget, without engaging in arguments about money.
Better Adjusted Kids
While spouses sometimes stay together for the sake of the children, if the relationship is tense and antagonistic, staying together can cause more harm than good. Children can sense if their parents are unhappy; and while the initial split between parents and the ensuing child custody proceedings may be very difficult for them, once they are no longer living in a stressful home environment, it can benefit their emotional and phycological health. They may even be better focused on school and finally feel a sense of relief to engage and show up authentically with friends, family, and want to do more activities. Of course, every child and every family situation is different. When you do go ahead with divorce, look for ways to have fun with your kids and make an effort to make new memories with them.
When you leave an unhappy marriage, you open up new possibilities, including entering into a more satisfying relationship. While soon after divorcing you may enjoy your newfound freedom too much to consider settling down again, at some point you may wish to become serious with someone. If you are in a bad marriage that has lost its joy, by leaving you allow yourself the opportunity to meet someone new and regain the joy in life and love that you had lost. You may also find yourself working to get into better physical shape when you are thinking of dating, which is an added benefit. Believe it or not, you could be giving your ex spouse the same gift of relief and freedom and to be the best version of herself like she was when you met.
CAN DIVORCE BE A GOOD THING?
Though very few people will say that they enjoyed going through a divorce, the stress and other bad feelings you may be experiencing now will fade with time. And when they do, you may well find yourself feeling better than you have in a long time. You may feel more in charge of your life, empowered, ready to have fun, and emotionally and physically healthier than you have been in years.
So to answer the question can divorce be a good thing? Yes, definitely. But you also need to take care of yourself during and after the marriage break up.
Have a Support System in Place
One of the best ways to protect your physical and mental health is to have a strong support system in place. Surround yourself with friends and family and, if you have kids, try to see them as much as you can, for both your sake and theirs.
For many people, especially men, leaning on a support system can feel unnatural and forced. Men don’t tend to cultivate relationships like women do, and even men who had strong friendships with other married couples while married can find themselves losing touch with their married friends. Being intentional about spending time with people who care about you can help alleviate a lot of the stress.
Make an effort to reach out to friends and initiate getting together. Consider expanding your social circle by getting involved in an activity or organization you enjoy.
Focus on Your Health
Prioritize your health and well-being. Instead of letting healthy habits slip away, make a real effort to get regular exercise, and to cook healthy food. Go see your doctor for a physical exam, and get a doctor if you don’t already have one. Monitor your alcohol consumption, and don’t let tobacco or drugs become a crutch. If you are feeling stressed, go for a walk or call a friend, but don’t turn to bad habits that can negatively affect the new life you are starting.
GET HELP FROM AN EXPERIENCED DIVORCE LAWYER
If you’re considering divorce, the attorneys at [MFR] Men’s & Fathers’ Rights Divorce Lawyers in New Jersey can answer your questions and guide you through the process. We will work hard to try and make your divorce as stress free as possible. Call (201) 880-9770 to arrange a consultation and learn how we can help you move on with your life.