Marriage and Family Therapist
Cyndi Sarnoff-Ross is a licensed psychotherapist with almost twenty years of clinical experience in the fields of clinical psychology and organizational management. She has worked extensively with a wide variety of…
Does Divorce Leave Woman Happier than Men?
Posted in Healthy Relatio... by Cyndi Sarnoff-Ross on Aug 21, 2013
Divorce is never a happy thing and certainly in my business it is not the intended goal. But the reality is that sometimes differences are truly irreconcilable and people who have once chosen to be joined in matrimony make the decision to call it quits.

It was once thought that divorce in general was harder on women because of the financial ramifications, but as gender roles are changing so too is that notion.

A study in the journal Economica that was done by researchers at London’s Kingston University has given us a new look at the question of who fares better in a marital split. It turns out that women appear to be more content in 5 years post-divorce than at any other time in their lives.

The study took place over 2 decades and followed 10,000 people in the UK ranging from age 16 to age 60. They wanted to measure happiness levels following major life events.

Both men and women reported being happier just after a divorce but the increase for men was only slight while women had a large jump in their level of happiness.

A previous study done by the conservative Institute for American Values showed very different results. This group reported that unhappily married adults remained unhappy even after they divorced. Something seems amiss with that report in my estimation. Those results sound suspiciously like a means to encourage people to stay married at all costs because of conservative ideology.

I have always said that people get married too easily and too often and get divorced too easily and too often. No one should take either of those life steps lightly. It may be that women feel more trapped when they are in an unhappy marriage because of finances or societal pressure and when they divorce they experience a liberation of sorts. Men too often feel liberated once they are out of an unfulfilling relationship but clearly the variables are different and this recent study may offer some insight into this issue.

It is truly my hope that any married couple that is struggling to remain united would seek counseling before making the decision to split. The process of couples therapy doesn’t always result in a happy union, but more often than not it gives couples the tools they need to facilitate better communication and greater intimacy. In the end, should the couple choose to divorce, they can do so with the knowledge that they gave the relationship an honest chance to survive and they are likely to have fewer regrets when they look back.

- Cyndi


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I caught my ex wife having an affair with our siding contractor; she had been lying to the kids an I for a year. She continued to lie about it while we were in couples counseling. The divorce court gave her $3000 per month in spousal and child support despite her making $94000 per year working half time. Family Law here also says that moral behavior can't be used against her in a divorce case, so she was given primary custody of our kids. She recently married her affair partner, her third marriage, and I still pay child support to improve the lifestyle of her snug little family: my kids, her OM, and herself. They get 20% of my income.

So, who is happier? Certainly I am better off out of this mess but losing time with my kids is emotionally devasyating. Then, I have to pay these jerks too and hear the family court system tell me my kids are better off with my cheating wife and her lying boyfriend/husband.

If you ask me, they are laughing all the way to the bank.
By satcom66  Sep 03, 2013
I am currently legally separated. I filed last year, pulled out of it. We got back together and we both went through counseling. I've tried and tried to make it work. But, how can I get motivated when I am not interested in getting motivated. No amount of counseling has changed what's in my heart. Though we've been together 33 years, I married too soon and just thought no one else would want me. I went through some relationships before. One I was engaged to, but when she moved, she called it off. I just can't do this life anymore when we are two different people with so many differences it boggles my mind how we have been married for so long. Nothing she does interests me in the slightest and we are so different athletically. I have to move on. It's going to be hard but, at least my only child is married and successful. I didn't think I would ever be in this situation. I'm not happy about it but I have to get happy and love myself again before I get in a relationship after this. Forward, always forward.
By hopelessromance  Sep 03, 2013
Does divorce leave anybody happy? should the question be less sad instead of more happy? ahh but maybe some women are actually happy about failed marriages.
The variables of whether or not there are children, how many and their ages at time of divorce, and yes, finances, if a guy is paying alimony till it hurts, and can't afford to marry again, and the woman is collecting enough to never have to work again, yes, that's a variable that should be taken into account.
Most of the time the woman gets the kids, and the man misses them, and the poor kids are the real victims.. how happy are they?
By xa1nbowxR  Sep 01, 2013
Men are a lot of work. They crave our attention, just like "see Mom, no hands", they never grow up. Most are irresponsible in everything but their work. My husband of 48 years is a great support guy and I lucked out, not getting sick, but in keeping a husband who gets so little help from me. Most men leave sick wives, and I've had some terrible illness, but he's stuck by me and visits daily when I'm in the hospital. I don't know how I could manage without him, G-d forbid!
By Abotsd  Aug 26, 2013
Thanks for the article can be food for thought that people can recover from relationships and live a happy life again. I think it works both ways but I'm sure some women have been through hell and back, never mind the fact some countries don't have respect or treat them as equals. This is most unfortunate.
By sweatingbullets  Aug 25, 2013
From what I have seen, women usually get a good chunk of cash that the men have to pay out. How can that not make someone happy? The people paying out the cash, how can they be happy? Just wondering if the survey took that into account? Is there anyway to find out who funded the survey? I have met men that are divorced and broke with no furniture while their ex lived high on the hog. What a messed up world we live in.
By sweatingbullets  Aug 25, 2013
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