Psychological effects of Divorce on Adults

Psychological effects of Divorce on Adults

Life after a divorce may seem dull, make you shattered, and give you goosebumps, but understanding that isn’t the end of it makes you stronger. 

Divorce can cause a substantial effect on the life of an individual, losing a spouse through a divorce may come with emotional as well as psychological difficulties. It’s most commonly predicted by emotional or psychological separation before the legal one. 


As it’s never a prepared procedure, the consequence makes both the partners suffer from imminent and painful stages of divorce. People who go through a divorce may face a variety of psychological issues, including stress, lower life satisfaction, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and many more underlying issues. 

Divorce not only happens to be a long and tedious process but it also involves mutual blame-casting and sometimes the parties are forced to give a testimony on so many small details of the marriage, it’s heartbreaking and exhausting. 

Some of the experiences of both men and women in divorce:

For Women:

  • Divorce is initiated by women twice as often as men
  • Women are given custody of children in 90% of the cases
  • No child support is given to 65% of the mothers after divorce
  • It’s seen that someone experience less stress compared to men because (1) Women feel more relief than men when marital issues come to an end, (2) Women are more likely to be relying on social supports such as family and friends and seek help than men do, (3) Women experience an increase in confidence and add new roles into their lives than men
  • Working mothers who place their children in daycare experience greater stigma than men in our society do. Men with similar positions attract compassion and support for putting children in child care. 

For Men:

  • Men are usually seen to be dealing with greater adjustment issues after a divorce than women. The causes for this are correlated to the decline in intimacy, loss of social connection, disturbed finances, and parental role.
  • Men generally marry more quickly than women do,
  • Men are usually more negative about divorce than women are. 

Let’s have a look at how divorce affects an individual’s emotional and psychological health.

Emotional and Psychological Effects of Divorce on Men

It’s often seen that women initiate divorce more frequently than men do. And for men to be served with divorce papers can come as a shock. The conversation before the whole divorce process can be heartbreaking and can be a surprise. It’s often seen that the initiating partner has had the time and the right energy to process their emotions and the surprised partner does not. 

Certain common emotional and psychological effects seen in men after a divorce are

  • Guilt
  • Anxiety/Stress
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Substance Abuse
  • Identity crisis

It’s absolutely wrong to say that divorce has the same effects on everyone. Yet, it’s true that most people bounce back from it. A study on divorce and depression found that for most people, certain symptoms are temporary. The major concern here is for the folks who have had depression before. 

Men also struggle more in handling the emotional aspects of divorce. Men are less likely to seek social support from friends or family than women. Theorists say this as women have more support networks than men hence they handle the emotional aspects of it well than men do. Women also tend to rely on their social support for advice than men do. 

Emotional and Psychological Effects of Divorce on Women

As women are more likely to reach out to their support systems for support, this is considered to be invaluable in overcoming the emotional effects of a divorce. Women experience more identity problems than men after a divorce. While in marriage, women mostly focus their attention on becoming a perfect wife and after a divorce, they may face a second self-identity. Although, overcoming this would be a very positive thing for them as working towards a new self-identity leads to a person becoming emotionally and psychologically healthy. 

Majorly seen effects of divorce on women are

  • Moderate to Severe Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Sleep disorders
  • The high amount of stress
  • Emotional and Behavioral problems

Studies indicate that after separating, women experience a greater decline in household income which puts them at a greater risk of poverty. This could come as a shock and become very distressing for them. Overcoming this could require therapy, in most cases. 

Positive Health Effects of Divorce

As long as you’re emotionally, physically, and mentally healthy, divorced or not divorced isn’t the primary factor to look at. Let’s look at the brighter picture and see how divorce can be a healthy result for many. 

Relief is one of the major benefits people experience after a divorce. If a marriage has been tough and rough for a long, it can be a big relief `to both parties, even if they wouldn’t agree to it.

One of the major positive effects of divorce is The Expansion of Self-Identity. As we take on the new roles and go on about life, many people focus on advancing their careers, picking up a hobby they never did, or going out more often with family or friends. In the starting, this could all sum up to escapism but after a while, all of these experiences lead to a positive effect. 

Therapy and Divorce

As they say, no happy marriage ends in divorce. Looking after yourself during the process of it and afterward is very crucial. Therapy helps individual regain their self-identity and work towards short and long-term goals. Many therapies are considered to be effective in dealing with such issues, such as CBT, BDT, and more. If you’re struggling to become your happiest self after a divorce, booking a session with a therapist could majorly help. 

In some cases, it’s often seen that people have a difficult time knowing how to act around their partner after deciding to end the relationship. They may experience guilt and difficulty over how to set healthy boundaries. Also, after the whole process of divorce is over, individuals need to rebuild their lives and work towards their future. Online Therapy kicks in here, to help the client start this process and work towards individual goals smoothly as divorce is considered to be a devastating event in one’s life. It can be shattering for many and online counseling can immensely help here. 

To make the clients understand that divorce is a big loss (come to realization), help in making the clients process their emotions (which include shame, guilt, frustration, and anger), communicate their needs, establish new boundaries and rebuild their life, a therapist plays a major role. 

Seeking help is a sign of courage. Don't let self-limiting beliefs hold you back from a life you deserve. Avail online therapy to become happier and better. Learn how



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