Does divorce help adults become happier?

For many people, the willingness to maintain a marriage that may be failing seems difficult. For others, holding onto an unhappy relationship could prove beneficial.

There is no question that filing for divorce is a heartbreaking experience for both spouses, including the rest of the family. However, it is crucial to ask this question: Will divorce make you happier?

19-year-old Zoe Palantzas, dealt with her parents divorcing three years ago and believes the question should be why do couples get divorced from the start?

“I think people get divorced because they aren’t happy with their lives, and they don’t like who they’ve become,” Palantzas said. “Obviously someone that isn’t happy with their relationship will turn to divorce to regain that happiness.”

Studies show that couples who divorce are really no happier than those who stay married. At first, one thinks that divorce is the only answer and will rid a relationship of pain and stress.

Doctor Dan Blomme, councilor for students at Durham/UOIT believes that no partner being relieved by divorce really ends up happy.

“If you bring in whoever else is affected by the divorce, children, etc., it results in more negative emotion,” Blomme said. “If you do the emotional math, even if one of the individuals in the marriage are happier, the divorce still creates negativity.

Statistics show, that 35% of children in Canada are affected by their parents divorce. Research has proven that couples facing divorce will turn to counseling or consider staying together because of other people involved, including their children.

Tina Nunes, divorced mother of two, admits that her separation a couple of years ago has affected her kids immensely. Therefore the decision made for divorce has not benefitted her and her family.

“I can see that my children have been seriously affected since the divorce,” Nunes said. “The younger one blamed himself for what happened, and my oldest took on the role of the father figure.”

She believes that when a parent see’s that their children are being negatively affected by divorce, it renders the parent to be unhappy and feel regret to making the rash decision of divorce, instead of putting in effort to save the relationship.

In contrast, if the relationship was abusive caused by alcoholism, infidelity, and emotional neglect then the divorce results in a safer environment for all parties, in addition to the feeling of happiness and relief.

Sources say that in some cases, filing for divorce is the right decision when it comes to ones safety, but for others, it creates a life full of resent and doubt on the possibility to work on the marriage.

“Divorce adds the potential for a whole new set of problems with your ex-spouse,” says Blomme, “when you are unhappy in your marriage, it’s easy to underestimate how difficult the problems of un-marrying can be.”

He says on average, people consider the choice of divorce as a quick and easy way out of their marriage problems. Little do they know that divorce comes with prolonging issues such as, various emotional responses, reactions of the children and other family members, moving households, financial struggles, and the list continues.

“My life has definitely changed after my parent’s divorce,” says Palantzas, “I have a stronger relationship with my sister, which is something positive that came out of this, but with every family festivity brings me heartbreak.”

She says the family dynamic is not the same and she wishes her parents could have agreed to see a councilor to work out their problems.

Palantzas’ parents admit that come every festivity a bit of nostalgia is felt as they look back and realize that more could have been done to salvage the marriage.

Nunes says that for obvious reasons divorce is something that people decide on going through with in order to feel that sense of security and happiness that they were lacking.

“There will always be that thought of what if, or the feeling of hope of wishing that we stayed together for our children and families,” Nunes said.

Happiness cannot be defined and is an emotion kept within. Divorce is decided by two individuals who’s expectations in marriage have not been met.