Do people get happier after they leave an unhappy marriage? There may not be an easy black and white answer here. Most people assume that they will be happier after a divorce because it will solve the underlying problem. However, studies show that divorced people suffer Higher psychological distress And less happiness than married people.
Most people assume there are only two options when faced with an unhappy marriage: stay and be unhappy or divorce and be happy.
But you have more options than just staying or going. Survival doesn’t have to equal misery. Leaving an unhappy marriage does not always lead to happiness.
Marriages are very complex and unique to every couple. What’s the worst situation one spouse can imagine is just a bump in the road to another?
Every pair in a marriage is also unique. You and your husband had different experiences before you met each other. Some of this formation has been useful and others you may still be working on because it gets you off the ground sometimes.
Then there are the experiences you had together. Some may have been good. while others did not. You and your spouse may even differ on which experiences were good and which were not.
Read what to do if you have an unhappy marriage but are afraid to leave
However, you have come to the point where you are looking for information about leaving an unhappy marriage, you need to understand what it means and what it does not.
Divorce is one of the most traumatic events you may encounter in your life. It’s painful in ways you might not be able to imagine if you hadn’t gone through it before. And if you have had previous experience of leaving an unhappy marriage, each divorce hurts in a different way because no two marriages are the same.
Divorce gives you the opportunity to live on your own or with someone new. If you have children, he will probably give them two homes – one with you and one with their other parent. And if you have children, it means that you will likely have a relationship with their other parent for the rest of your life.
Divorce may give you the freedom to do the things you stopped doing when you got married. However, you have to choose to do it and for some, this is a tough choice.
Unfortunately, leaving an unhappy marriage does not guarantee that you will be happy or even happier. This is because it may not just be your marriage that is making you unhappy.
Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between the unhappiness in your life or part of it and the unhappiness in your marriage. It may be easier to see your marriage as a problem than to look for other potential sources of unhappiness.
Other potential sources of unhappiness can include work, other relationships with family or friends, parenting, an empty nest, a physical or mental health challenge, lack of a sense of purpose, what’s going on in the world, comparing your life to someone else’s life, and many more.
On the other hand, it may really be your marriage that is making you miserable. Perhaps you and your spouse have become fundamentally incompatible. Perhaps something unforgivable happened. Maybe you forgot how to communicate in a nice way or at all.
Read Is unhappy marriage better than divorce?
Even if your marriage is the root cause of your unhappiness. Leaving now may not be the correct answer. Marital therapy may help improve things. You probably know that things will never get better and you need to start working toward an exit plan.
Only when you ask yourself the hard questions about what is causing you unhappiness will you be able to make the best choice regarding your marriage. With the answers you discover, you will be able to tell whether leaving an unhappy marriage or making an unhappy marriage will bring you happiness in the end.
written by Dr. Karen Finn
Originally appeared in Dr. Karen Finn