Men Unhappier Than Women After Divorce

People get divorced because they’re unhappy in their relationships and they feel they deserve more. But many are also unhappy after the papers are signed. And men, it seems, struggle more to remain upbeat than women.

Men who have been separated after marriage aren’t as happy as their female counterparts, according to a new survey by Style magazine. Less than one third (32 percent) of men said they were “much happier” post-divorce, while over half of women (53 percent) expressed the same sentiment.

The survey included 1,060 divorced men and women in Britain. The participants, with an average age of 54, answered more than 30 questions about their lives and the end of their relationships. Following a divorce, men were more apt to use negative  words such as “failure” and “disappointment,” while women were more likely to use positive words such as “glad,” “celebration,” and “excitement.”

Just under 50 percent of men were happier to be single and not looking for a relationship, while 61 percent of women felt the same way. Seventeen percent of men admitted to harbouring feelings for a former partner compared to just eight percent of women. However, men were quicker to start dating again and 30 percent more likely to have embarked on a new relationship.

When people do divorce, one of the common causes is that people change. But relationships also fail when the couple is mutually unhappy or when someone cheats. The study found that one-third of couples split after just five years together.

Over half of those surveyed said it took them less than six months to decide if they wanted a divorce. Men were quicker to make the decision than women, although longer-lasting marriages and those involving children took more time. As for people’s feelings about the stigma of divorce, 86 percent said it wasn’t something to be ashamed of. Many even had celebrations after signing the papers.

Between 38-41 percent of Canadians will divorce before reaching their 30th anniversaries, and second marriages are more likely to end in divorce, according to statistics. The average Canadian marriage lasts 13.7 years. Michael Butterfield of Butterfield Law considers seven years a “long marriage.”

The takeaway is that even if you’re unhappy in a marriage, getting divorced won’t necessarily make you feel better (at least not initially). It’s important to take time to process your feelings, rediscover who you are as a person, and be patient. Before long you will start to feel whole again and able to move on.

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