I was talking to a friend of mine the other day who was a keen ‘people watcher’ as he calls it and he asked me “are men happier after divorce than women?”. He was confused as I seemed happy and well adjusted (now), while he knew another guy who was a total mess and lost his job recently and he had been divorced for 2 years! He of course had seen a number of divorced women in various states and was just not sure who was better off in terms of happiness at least.
I had to think about it for a minute and said I would get back to him because this is a pretty complex subject. I decided to see if there were any statistics and found a number of studies, some official some more anecdotal, that suggested that women are generally better off than men after divorce emotionally.
This did not surprise me though as men have so little support after divorce while women, on average, have a huge amount more social support AND support from various organisations. Men on the other hand are often left to their own devices which is a recipe for poor mental health unless you have a huge capacity for forgiveness, self respect and moving on. However I don’t think that it is as simple as saying women are happier after divorce as anyone can be happy after divorce if they understand how to be happy and not dwell on the negatives of divorce. In that regard, I think that men and women have exactly the same opportunity.
When I met my friend again I told him that women on average were happier, but it had nothing to do with coping skills of genders. It only had to do with education on how to cope which women generally came out on top. Men who learn how to cope and find the information and support on how to live happily after divorce and how to forgive and move on will be just as happy. So are men happier after divorce? … they can be just as happy if they choose.
So if you are a guy going through this just remember a few points.
- Only YOU can choose to make YOU happy. Letting other people control how happy you are is a recipe for disaster
- Resentment and bitterness do not help YOU in any way at all. IT also does not hurt those who hurt you either!
- Money does not make you happy
- Happiness is a choice which anyone can choose no matter the circumstance!