“What are the benefits of being divorced?” It seems like an odd question to ask, particularly thinking about the emotional challenges facing people during and after the divorce, as well as the financial challenges it can bring. But in moving from the uncertainty of contemplating divorce to the certainly of a finalized divorce, many people can begin the glorious process of moving on and moving past it.
There’s a great article we came upon in Reader’s Digest, called “These Are the Top 10 Benefits of Being Divorced,” that capture a lot of what we recognize in our clients who go through divorce, and echo a lot of what we tell clients at those times they need perspective the most.
One of the most heartening benefits that author Lauren Cahn listed was being able to see that her marriage was a success. In our society, we often characterize marriage as a failure because we expect it to last forever. We know that, statistically speaking, one in two marriages end in divorce, which makes for an extremely high failure rate is lasting forever is the only measurement we have to go by.
But what about the wonderful children that are created as the result of a marriage? What about the growth that people experience being in a long-term relationship, and taking on all the responsibilities that marriage brings? If marriage is looked at with that lens, as Cahn does, it allows people to see a marriage as successful even if it ends. In fact, the couple who realizes that divorce is the healthiest choice for the both of them to be happy and grow can in itself be a success.
Another benefit Cahn cites that’s worth contemplating is loneliness. We think of marriage as the antidote to loneliness. So many single people focus on dating as a path to marriage, after all, with the idea that if they date well and find the right partner, they won’t have to be lonely anymore. But she points out that people within unhappy marriages can feel lonely – perhaps even more so than if they were actually uncoupled and spending times with friends or pursuing interests.
She also talks about divorce being what allowed her to be honest with friends again and repair those relationships. She even talks about being able to maintain a friendship with her ex, where they were able to rediscover what made them first begin to like each other, without the pressure of having to make a lifelong relationship work. In other words, the marriage was emphasizing the differences between them, and divorce allowed them to understand once again what they had in common.
Divorce is one of the most “your mileage may vary” experiences people go through – some people have an incredibly difficult time getting back to normal or even a “new normal,” whereas others have an easier time recovering. Thinking about divorce’s benefits can provide some of the positive outlook that will help you through whatever challenges it presents.
And while The Law Office of Lisa A. Vance is first and foremost concerned with delivering a decree that addresses your legal and financial concerns, we also want you to be in a better emotional place as a result of your divorce. The work we do, combined with the perspective we bring, aims to do all of that.