When people talk about the effect of divorce on mental health, the perspective often highlights the negative consequences. For example, reports about isolation and depression after divorce can make it seem like a process that will make you miserable.
However, the short-term psychological consequences of an interpersonal trauma like a divorce pale in comparison to the benefits a divorce can actually bring to someone’s life. While going through a divorce may mean depression or other unpleasant experiences in the near future, could it benefit your mental health in the long term?
Divorce can let you pursue your passions and personal joy
The way that you live your life is likely a reflection of your own values and the preferences of your spouse as well. For example, your marriage might stop you from traveling if your spouse doesn’t like airplanes or keep you from living in the kind of house that you want.
The compromises that you make to keep a relationship functional can drastically diminish your own happiness and sense of self-actualization. You are no longer the person you were when you got married, letting go of an old relationship with old expectations can help you grow into the man you want to become. You will also be free to seek companionship with someone new who may have more in common with you now.
Leaving an unhealthy marriage will reduce your stress levels
Do you feel like you walk on eggshells at home? Could something as small as a poorly phrased comment or a dish left on the counter enough to prompt a massive fight and disrupt your day?
The more frequently you and your partner clash, the greater the negative impact of your relationship on your mental health. If your spouse emotionally or verbally abuses you, the stress and trauma of your relationship will do far more damage than the temporary trauma of divorce. Filing for divorce can be very beneficial for those mistreated by their spouses.
It is never too late for you to move on from a relationship that holds you back or that makes both you and your spouse unhappy. Provided that you have realistic expectations, pursuing a divorce can be very positive for your mental health and happiness.