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Lesson 3 - The Emotional Implications Of Divorce

If you’re considering divorce then I’m sure you’ve heard that divorce makes people happier after they leave a sad marriage?

Studies appear to suggest that this is a myth, because evidence points to the contrary. According to the Institute of American Values, when divorced couples were rated with couples who stayed married on 12 parameters of psychological well-being, it was discovered that on average, couples who divorced were no happier five years after the divorce than were equally unhappily married couples who stayed together.

There are other reasons why divorced individuals don’t end up happier:

• Depression symptoms do not necessarily diminish with divorce, nor did divorce raise people’s self-esteem;

• Unhappy marriages were less common than unhappy spouses;
• Staying married did not typically trap unhappy spouses in violent relationships.

Then there´s the litigation aspect of the divorce. A significant number of couples want to settle their divorce with the least possible hassle, but divorce lawyers don´t always cooperate. Many come up with petty arguments to justify getting embroiled into lengthy and expensive legal battles, and they drag out the paper work.

For divorcing couples who become emotionally and financially spent, is the courtroom drama really all that worth it? Couldn’t couples just talk about their differences without third parties who are in it to line their pockets?

Many lawyers, and those who care to admit it, agree: a painless divorce, like painless dentistry, is non-existent. And the trauma – legal or emotional – continues to be felt long after divorcing couples have left the courts.

Explaining why divorce costs time, energy and money, a lawyer from the law offices of E. Carroll Strauss had this to say:
“And whether we notice it or not... marriage is way more like "Joe and Wilma, Inc." than "happily ever after." When we say "I do" we then enter into an economic partnership. We buy cars, houses, books, big-screen TVs. We make babies. We make plans. We make assumptions. We get disappointed…..Like shareholders, we have invested in the partnership. We invest time, we invest money and we invest emotions. We invest all of these in hopes, and we invest all these things in dreams, and we invest all of these in security. Rare is the man or woman who can walk away from these investments... so de-investing is painful.”

No matter how much you would like to believe the opposite, divorce is rarely a painless event. Except for rare cases such as when there is abuse, divorce is not the best option.

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