What’s More Stressful, Divorce or Separation? Virginia Divorce Lawyers Have a Surprising Answer

Our Virginia divorce attorneys strive to get results for our clients not just over the short term but also over the long term. We want people to thrive months and years after the legal fireworks have subsided. To that end, we try to pay attention to surveys and studies about marriage and divorce and report interesting findings to you here on this blog.

Here’s one recent survey that’s quite surprising; it suggests that separation is substantially more stressful being divorced. A Gallup survey of over 130,000 adults across the United States assessed people using an index called the “Healthways Well-Being Index.” Researchers determined that people in the throes of separation were substantially more stressed than people who were married or already divorced.

Of the people surveyed, 38.6% of married people admitted to being stressed on the day of the survey, while 44.1% of divorced people said they were stressed. But 51% of people who were separated – but not yet divorced – said they were stressed.

The Gallup study’s author, Dan Witters, offered his thoughts: “at least when you are divorced, there is closure…you can both move on with your lives.” People who are separated also tend to be more likely to use drugs and prescription medications. Of those surveyed by Gallup, 29% of the separated cohort said they had recently used drugs or medications, while only 17% of married people said the same.

Here’s the bottom line: human beings generally abhor prolong periods of uncertainty. We need consistency and stability of routine to stay stable and happy. The process of getting divorced disrupts stability, and this disruption could possibly explain the temporary reduction in levels of happiness and self-esteem.

However, there is a silver lining. This phenomenon seems to be relatively universal. As Witters told the Huffington Post: “don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you’re in it alone or what you’re experiencing is unique… I think that there can be a comfort in knowing that this is pretty normal and that this is something that most people go through.”

Fortunately, you do not have to “go through” the uncertainty alone or indefinitely. The experienced Fairfax, Virginia divorce attorneys with DiPietro Family Law Group, PLLC would be happy to help you formulate an effective and responsible strategy for handling your separation and advocate for you compassionately but aggressively in the legal system. Call us at (703) 370-5555 to schedule a consultation.

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