Divorce isn’t just about the money and the kids. It seems it is also about the health. I recently learned of a study that shows that divorced women reported more physical illness than married women, or divorced men. She opines that it almost makes sense that women would be more distressed (or exhibit more outward signs of distress) since women as a group tend to be more emotionally attached to their marriage and family. (That is not to say that there aren’t men who are as well.)
There is nothing wrong with being attached to one’s husband and family. However when a marriage ends its important for people–women in particular–to take extra care of themselves–of their physical and mental health which is so hard to restore once it is allowed to deteriorate to a certain point.
It is important to have support during and after a divorce in New York or anywhere for that matter. I recommend that clients try to get help from a therapist. If a client can’t afford a therapist, work on themselves by journaling–a really powerful tool to fight depression and emotional distress. I also recommend exercising and reminding oneself: “I am not defined by this relationship.”
Really, that is the bottom line, she says. Each person is an individual and if a marriage ends, he or she can and must carry on, and will carry on. He or she deserves to and will find happiness again.
Finally, you can and must preserve your health because there is only one you.
Originally published November 1, 2006