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Divorce Happens

Q: Is divorce bad for your health?

Despite all your hopes and dreams for an eternal union at that magical moment when you exchanged your vows, many couples come to realize that life is not a fairy tale, and happily-ever-after is more the exception than the norm these days. Divorce attorneys can attest that after the rice and confetti is swept up and the honeymoon is over some couples start to feel like, well, the honeymoon is over.

Stress is ever present, working its destruction on even the happiest unions. There’s financial stress related to the long-term poor economy, including the inability to get or keep a good, fulfilling job and the pressure of repaying massive student loan debt (which can affect the young married students as well as their older married parents who may have taken loans out to help them).

College grads and young newlyweds alike may find themselves living with their parents—along with adult children who never flew the coop to begin with. Older couples may be “sandwiched” between two generations—taking care of elderly parents who can’t afford assisted living or nursing home care, and also caretaking their own young or adult children. It’s no surprise divorce rates are so high.

There are also unexpected events that add stress and test marriages, such as serious illness, infertility, infidelity, or unspeakable tragedies like we see in the headlines each day.

Long-term stress can manifest itself in physical illnesses as well, causing some to bail on the marriage for the sake of their health. But research suggests you may be jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

Can your health suffer from getting a divorce?

Several studies have shown that divorce can actually have a negative impact on your health in some or all of the following ways:

  • Increased Anxiety risk regardless of the factors that caused the divorce;
  • Increased Depression risk of 60% for those with a prior history (10% for those without);
  • Increased risk of Eating and Sleeping disorders, with extended sleeping disorders potentially causing High Blood Pressure;
  • Increased Heart Attack or cardiovascular disease risk for women, even if they remarry--yet only for men if they divorce two or more times!

In addition to the above, women surveyed often reported losing their health insurance upon divorce since the coverage was tied to their ex-husband’s employer, though the opposite could also be true. Many people without good or any insurance coverage fail to schedule routine physicals and put off office visits when they feel sick for financial reasons, jeopardizing their health or life.

But don’t dismay. Long-term studies indicate that by the two-year anniversary of the divorce, many report that they’ve adjusted to their new life and feel better both mentally and physically.

Speaking of life after divorces, if you are thinking of remarrying, you might want to consider a prenuptial agreement before the next trip down the aisle.

The Texas law firm of Stinson Moyle, PLLC specializes in family law, and handles all aspects of family and divorce law matters in Austin, Travis County, Williamson County and Hays County. Contact us online or call (512) 948-3688.