Divorce & How it Might Not Be the Worst Thing Ever

So, it’s official – you are getting divorced.

You might be experiencing a range of emotions and asking yourself, other  than not being married to your ex, is there an upside to this? Lots of  literature and online resources focus on the impact that divorce has on  children – and that’s not a bad thing. Kids are often the people who don’t have any say in how their lives are unfolding during a divorce. However,  whether or not a couple has children, their individual health and happiness is key to their overall well-being.

So, how can divorce be a good thing? Well, there are a some benefits you  might not have thought of and hopefully, you’re already experiencing one or  two of these without even knowing it.


Whatever the dynamic of a marriage, it’s a busy relationship. Entertaining as  a couple, obligatory events, managing a household where two very different  people have to comfortably co-exist and caring for pets, aging in-laws and/or  children – all of these leave very little time for relaxation and self-care. Now  that you’re getting divorced, even if these responsibilities haven’t gone away, they are either being shared or the decision-making about them has shifted.  You are now in control of how you schedule time for yourself. Now, time you  might have spent preparing a meal for your spouse, managing their calendar  or doing their laundry is time you can reclaim and spend as you see fit. Sure,  the dog still needs walking, but now, it’s up to you when you take that stroll.  Relax, you’re in the driver’s seat again and there’s no co-pilot.

Becoming More Self-Aware

If you’re interested in learning more about yourself, a divorce is going to  accomplish that goal – maybe at somewhat lightning speed. You now have  the opportunity to explore what you need to be happy without having to  consider the other person’s need and desires. This is your chance to pick up  that neglected hobby, research topics you’ve been curious about, pursue a  new volunteering opportunity or even adjust your work schedule (more or  less, that’s up to you). You will also be developing coping skills as you  experience the highs and lows of divorce. You’ll learn what works best for  you when managing stress, what obstacles you can face and overcome, and  what you don’t want in future relationships. Overall, you’re going to benefit  from knowing yourself better and becoming more comfortable and confident  in your own skin.

 Improved Physical Health

No matter who you are or how great your stress-management skills are,  unhealthy relationships negatively impact your mental health which takes a  toll on your physical well-being. Being in a bad marriage – whether it’s bad  because of abusive behaviour or whether it’s just bad because it’s been over  for some time – drains your energy and leaves very little “gas in the tank” to  enjoy life. Research shows that chronic stress increases your risk of terminal  illnesses and premature aging. When you make the difficult decision to end a  bad marriage, you are empowering yourself to live a healthier life. The  reduction of the stress from the broken relationship will actually re-energize  you to go through the process and live a better quality of life. Maintaining  your mental health directly impacts your physical health and it is imperative  that you are healthy throughout your divorce.

Becoming a Better You

Even if it doesn’t feel like it right now, you are becoming a better version of  yourself. If you have children, you’re becoming a better parent because you  chose to offer them parents who happily live apart instead of parents who  stay together unhappily. If you care for aging family members, you’re  becoming a better caregiver because you’ve made a difficult decision in your  best interest and can devote even more time to caring for them. If you have a  pet, you’ve decided to take good care of their owner and reduce the stress  that they could feel in the home during the relationship breakdown. Being at  the beginning of this chapter in your life often leads to pleasant surprises that  you didn’t expect such as reconnecting with friends and family or even  developing a better relationship with your ex out of a new found mutual  respect for one another. You now have the freedom to realize your dreams,  big or small. This is the best time to become your best self.

Divorce is difficult, but in many cases necessary. The end of your marriage is  not the end of your existence. With some perspective, it might not be the  worst thing that’s happened to you; and, with the right supports, and a little  bit of luck, it can be the beginning of you curating your happiest and  healthiest life.