Divorce Is Depressing (For Men At Least)September 15, 2011 1 Comment
In Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert’s divorce catapults her into a journey of self-discovery. If the protagonist was a divorcé, would the theme of autonomy still be so strong?
A recent study says no. The story will change depending on the individual, but it seems the end result is similar — men don’t cope with divorce as well as women.
There are exceptions, but “men often bear the financial brunt of divorce.” They may have to pay spousal or child support and, on top of it, they dish out the dough to set up a new life of their own.
However, the worst part of divorce is the emotional aftermath. It may be a stereotype, but it’s not exactly socially acceptable for men to call their guy friends to have a cry fest, whereas it’s expected for women. A good cry can be healing, so if men aren’t blowing through the tissues, I can see why they might suffer longer.
The crux of this research is that women appear to thrive after divorce. They take it as an opportunity to find or to re-invent themselves. In this process, some find a renewed sense of self-worth. “Divorce was a kick-start to my life. I don’t think I will marry again, and I have discovered I don’t need a man to make me happy,” said Paula, a happily divorced woman.
Women want more than love and marriage, and maybe after a divorce they come to this realization. They have plenty of personal and professional goals they may have neglected throughout their relationship. After a bad breakup, independence can feel freeing.
But even though “more women than ever are initiating divorce” (according to the latest UK figures), it’s too simplistic to say that they’re all coping well with the process. Some are miserable and some throw divorce parties. It just depends on the person.
Whether you look on the bright side or dark side, breaking up remains hard to do.
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