Can you divorce be good for you?
The short answer is yes! Or at least for some people.
Single people are happier
Research has found that single people are happier than those in bad relationships and the happiest are those in good relationships. Therefore by getting out of a bad relationship, you are one step close to being happier and to being in a happy couple (although it is probably too soon to imagine that).
Post-traumatic growth is a relatively new concept whereby people experience personal growth in the context of pain and loss.
You might have heard people describing deciding to “live life to the full” after an illness or the death of a loved one. Divorce has been shown to be one of the most painful experiences and many people also report changing how they live their life.
According to the theory, there are 5 areas of growth:
Relating to others – having greater intimacy and compassion for others.
You will often hear divorcees say that this experience made them a better person.
This is because you may become better at empathising with the pain and suffering of others having gone through it yourself.
Furthermore, you will also have thought about what went wrong in your marriage and how you may have contributed and so you will do things differently in your next relationship.
New freedom will allow you to do a whole range of things and meet a lot of new people. You might really appreciate this opportunity to lead a life more suited to you.
Once you have got through this, you will feel you can face anything. Some people who may have been bossed around in their relationship might decide to be more assertive in expressing their own views and desires.
You may also no longer be so afraid of being alone if you can embrace your single life and realise that when you live the single life properly, it is more enjoyable than being in a bad couple.
Your outlook might change in a more spiritual way. Not necessarily by being religious but by having a more accepting philosophy of life. For example, you might realise that you cannot change people and or control certain situations and so are far more relaxed, or you will appreciate things such as personal freedom more.
Deeper appreciation of life
Seeing a relationship go from good to bad can make you realise that the good moments must be treasured as they might not last. On the flip side, the bad times will also pass.
Have you experienced any of these benefits or others? Tell us in the forum.
Lucy Davis is a co-founder of divorceclub.com and a TV Producer. She divorced 7 years ago. She is a passionate advocate for exploring the potential for change and creativity that can result from the trauma of divorce.