Emotional Effects of Divorce

Coping with divorce is a big issue. Some may be happy after a divorce while others may be devastated after divorce. The latter group constitutes people who love others more than themselves and are more emotional than rational.

Divorce, disease and death

Divorce is painful for both the partners if both of them started with the promise to remain together in life. Some of the mental health indicators affected by divorce include depression, hostility, self-acceptance, personal growth and positive relations with others. Divorced people show higher rates of emotional disturbance, accidental death and death from heart disease, cancer, pneumonia, high blood pressure and cirrhosis of the liver. These deaths could be related to psychological functioning as divorce required a profound readjustment.

Anger and blood pressure

Some people harbor anger even after divorce, it is usually much harder for such people to accept the reality that the relationship has come to an end. In the course of normal conversation, a person’s blood pressure can rise dramatically. However, the rise is minimal when people are talking to their pets, spouses or close friends.

Stress

There’s evidence that divorce can also become an all-engulfing stress for many, even if they are getting divorced for the right reasons. There’s a need for internal and external reorganization after a divorce. The effects are not just short-term. Even after many years divorced people have trouble reconnecting with the opposite sex.

Remarriage

Women are stressed before divorce because of financial and social reason but men are stressed after divorce because they have to take care of so many things which they never had to deal with in the past. Those who form new intimate relationships soon after divorce are most likely to recover from divorce sooner than the others who remained unmarried.

Divorce, anxiety and parenthood

Rates of car accidents, alcoholism, drug abuse, depression and anxiety increase among men who remained single after divorce for a longer period. However, divorced mothers who must deal with such added stresses as poverty, continued conflicts with their former husbands or problems in child-rearing also face long-term risks to their emotional health. Divorced mothers of teen-age sons have an especially hard time, she and others have found, but mothers of very young children usually have difficulties too, particularly if they do not have outside jobs.

Contact with children

It’s hard raising kids alone. Soon after divorce parenting breaks down and becomes inconsistent and punitive. Children can complicate the lives of the divorced but their presence can also reduce the suicide potential of the parents.

Contact with ex-partner

The ”bonds of attachment” between former spouses last much longer than either of them would have expected, even for the one who most wanted the divorce. Divorced spouses often continue to be valuable resources for one another. When there is a moderate amount of contact between the spouses emotional disturbance are less.

Social Circle

Lack of friends or social contacts is associated with anxiety and depression among the divorced and seemed to be especially important in the longer run.