Part 2: Are Women Actually Happier After Divorce?

In heterosexual partnerships, women are more likely to ask for a divorce than men. But are women necessarily happier after getting divorced? Separating from a long-term partner is never easy. However, once the dust settles, the truth is that most women do report feeling happier after a divorce. Being single is a much more favorable situation than being married to the wrong person.

Why do so many women end up finding happiness after getting divorced, even though living independently can pose its own unique challenges? Simply put, many women take this opportunity to put themselves first, often for the very first time. It can mark the start of a powerful new chapter. Here are a few things that lots of women do after getting divorced to cultivate happiness and stability again.

Turning To Support Systems

Women often have strong support systems in adulthood. They tend to have close female friends whom they can turn to when times are tough. Women who have been recently divorced might also lean on their parents, siblings, and extended family. Furthermore, women face less stigma if they choose to see a therapist. Lots of women decide to work with therapists after going through a divorce. Talking to a therapist can help you process the emotional fallout after a divorce and begin rebuilding your life.

Staying Open To New Experiences

For some women, divorce opens the door to a brand new life. Women might take this chance to move to a new city, travel, pick up a new hobby or take classes that they didn’t have time for previously, or simply spend more time relaxing. By staying open to new experiences, women often see how much space they have in their lives to now do what they truly love.

No Disputes Over Domestic Labor

Even today, when most men and women both work full-time, most women still end up spending more of their time on domestic labor. This imbalance can become especially frustrating for women who have children. They might feel they’re responsible for all of the childcare responsibilities, even if they have a full-time job on top of it. Some of these women will find that co-parenting arrangements are more equitable than living with their spouse was. A woman who is divorced will only have to care for herself and her children if she has them.

Focusing On Self-Care

Getting divorced does not automatically mean that a woman will suddenly have endless time for self-care. But a woman might choose to use some of her new free time simply to pamper herself or indulge in activities that she couldn’t before. Time that might have previously been spent doing household chores for a spouse, or going out for date nights, can now be spent any way she chooses.

Letting Go Of Gendered Expectations

Finally, marriage comes with a whole set of gendered expectations, even today. Some women do not necessarily want to get married in the first place but end up tying the knot anyway—yet after a divorce, they can finally live the way they want. Sometimes, the label “wife” can feel stifling and limiting, especially if it comes with strict expectations within a woman’s family or wider culture. Divorce means letting go of that label and the associations that come with it. A single woman can define herself and her life as she wants rather than conforming to a specific label.
Are you trying to find your feet again after going through a divorce? Working with a therapist can help. Reach out to us to find out more about scheduling your first session for therapy for women.