A New Way To Think About Your Divorce

A New And Optimistic Way To Think About Divorce


Jay P. Granat, Ph.D.


Approximately half of all marriages in America end in divorce.

This statistic has been reported frequently by the media for perhaps

thirty years.

This rate of divorce causes many people to believe that marriage is an unstable

institution and that relationships are difficult to maintain. In addition, many

people who are going through a divorce erroneously feel that they

have failed or are failures because their marriage has ended.

There is no question that a divorce is a painful experience for the husband,

the wife and the children.

However, it is important to consider whether people, are in fact, happier one

year after their divorce is finalized as compared to how they were feeling while they

were in the midst of an unhappy and unfulfilling relationship.

I have counseled hundreds of couples for more than twenty four years.

And when I ask people who are going through a divorce how they will feel

three months after the divorce is complete, they invariably say that they

will be getting back on their feet. When I ask them how they will feel a

year after their divorce, many of them genuinely believe that they will be well

on their way to being fine. They talk about dating, moving, finding a new job

and about getting on with their lives. They typically smile and communicate a

a sense of joy, hope and peace.

Many years ago, I treated an elderly couple who had been married for

more than fifty years. When I asked them when their problems began, they

both agreed that they had been unhappy from the beginning of their marriage.

For me, this was a very sad thing to hear. Imagine disliking your spouse for

half a century.   In addition, while the elderly couple reported that part of the

reason they had stayed together was “for the children.” They realized that their

grown kids had experienced much pain, because their marriage was filled with

so much anger, hostility and resentment.

Now, I am not suggesting that couples that are experiencing conflict

should immediately file for a divorce. I am simply reminding people that is

not their marital status which determines real happiness.

Perhaps the media ought to spend more time reporting on what might

be thought of as a “happiness index” as opposed to how many people are

married or divorced.   This index should evaluate people who have ended

an unfulfilling relationship in terms of how they are feeling post-divorce as compared

with how they were feeling while they were married.

It seems to me that happiness, peace and contentment are the universal

goal that we are all searching in our lives. I believe it is better to be happy and single than to remain trapped and stuck in an

fulfilling relationship.

Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. is a Psychotherapist and Licensed Marriage and Family Counselor.

He is the founder of www.DrJayGranat.com, 101DivorceTips.com and www.StayInTheZone.com.

Granat has written six books and developed 12 self help programs. He has been featured in

many major media outlets including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and

Good Morning America.







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