Psychological Effects of Divorce on Women


Divorce is not only physical or legal process but an emotional one too. During the first six months of separation, women experience a lot of feelings. Women find themselves on a roller coaster of emotions. One day, they may feel happy about their new life and new-found freedom, while on the next day they may feel lonely and cry at the loss of the life they once used to have. Here are the main emotional reactions a woman feels after divorce and the ways to overcome it:

1. Anxiety:

A woman feels a great deal of anxiety after a divorce. Anxiety is quite different from stress. A person may get stressed or nervous while giving a speech or a business presentation, but the effect of that stress is temporary. Whereas, anxiety rises with time. It gradually consumes a woman in the never-ending thoughts of the uncertain future and that uncertainty leads to insecurity. At such times, it is necessary to recognize the symptoms and take necessary action to lessen anxiety.

2. Depression:

Divorce is devastating for both men and women. But women experience depression more than men because of the financial burdens a divorce brings. Women are solely or mostly dependent on their husbands for financial support. An article published in the American Sociological Review revealed that the average married woman is richer or has more money than the averaged divorced woman. Thus, a woman faces economic vulnerability after separation. Despite this, there are several things a woman can do to handle anxiety or depression, including opting a healthy lifestyle, exercising or can also take help from the counsellors such as Chicago Divorce Mediation that will assist in making wise and informed decisions about the separation.

3. Guilt:

Whether you instigated the divorce or your spouse forced upon you, guilt is natural. Women generally feel that they are responsible for the demise of the marriage. Certain questions such as: why did the marriage not work out? Did she not put enough efforts to save the marriage? Who will take the custody of children? Will children suffer from this separation? And many more questions cripple the woman’s ability to cope with the situation. In such times, a woman needs to relax and think deeply about her priority. Try to get to the roots of your guilt to recover from stressful situations. Accept the fact that it is normal to have such emotional reactions. If you said any ill words to your spouse or children, ask your ex or children for forgiveness. It will help to fix the past, encourage friendship after separation and ease feelings of guilt. However, if the feelings of guilt are still overpowering, it is wise to visit a doctor for counselling.

4. Fear:

The emotional effects of separation on women are far-reaching, but the most basic feeling is fear. You might be fearful or terrified about the problems that separation will bring in future. Even if it were you to end the marriage, you may tolerate the blemishes of a broken marriage. The other worries that an unhappy relationship will bring is difficulty in finding a right partner or trusting a man again or a fear of being rejected by someone. Easy to say, but hard to do: do not worry. Write down all the consequences, both the good and the bad. Try to find out how you would handle if such situation occurs. Keep in mind about the most frightening or the worst possible conclusion and accept it.