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The Upside to the Hardship of Divorce

Going through a divorce can often take over your life and become an emotional drain. Nearly every day may be consumed with making decisions about support, custody, and dividing assets, as well as trying to get on the same page as your spouse about these issues. In addition, you have to deal with separating your life from your spouse’s life and all the daily changes that come along with that. While the road may be long and difficult, a fairly recent study suggests that getting through the hardship of divorce may actually benefit you in the long run.

A 2013 research study, published in the Journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, asked nearly 15,000 adults about their exposure to adverse life events, including divorce. New Study Says There’s An Upside To Experiencing Hardship, The Huffington Post, December 6, 2013. They then presented these adults with “real-life positive scenarios…to determine their ability to enjoy positive experiences.” The researchers found that people who had previously experienced hardship, such as divorce, “were more likely to appreciate life’s small pleasures.” On the other hand, those who were still in the middle of a hardship such as divorce had a “diminished proclivity for savoring positive events.”

 These results are not surprising. A person in the midst of a divorce is likely so consumed with the process and attempts to reach a resolution that they are unable to find any joy in the little things. The good news, however, is that all divorce cases will eventually come to an end (though often not as quickly as desired). Once a person has experienced the low of divorce, it naturally follows that they will appreciate the little things a bit more. A small thing like sitting outside on a beautiful day will likely feel amazing to a person who has gone through a horrible divorce and come out on the other side. Conversely, a person in the middle of a divorce may not be able to enjoy the same beautiful day because his/her mind is consumed with the pending court case.

 The lesson to take from this survey is, if you are going through a divorce, just put your head down and get through it. While the pending action and everything leading up to the final divorce decree may seem horrible (and often it is), if you can come out the other side you will likely enjoy other life experiences even more.

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Divorce
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