The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Women happier after divorce: Study

London, July 4: Divorce makes the vast majority of adults involved happier than they were before ' and it makes women the happiest of all, according to a survey.

Although distressing, a break-up can be a “positive life change”, with women better able to cope with all its stages than men, it claims. While women are more likely to feel relieved, liberated, and happy, men are more likely to feel sad, devastated, betrayed, confused and even suicidal.

Among both sexes, 57 per cent of those who agreed to separate in the last two years say they are happier now, while among those who broke up two or more years ago, 74 per cent are happier.

The survey, which questioned 3,515 adults but did not study the impact on children, found that of those in the first two years since a split, 53 per cent of women felt relieved compared to 46 per cent of men, 46 per cent felt liberated (men 37 per cent), and 31 per cent were happy (men 22 per cent).

Among men in the first two years since breaking up, 56 per cent felt sad compared to 48 per cent of women, 23 per cent felt devastated (women 20 per cent), 29 per cent felt betrayed (women 22 per cent), 26 per cent felt confused (women 23 per cent) and 7 per cent felt suicidal (women 3 per cent).

In the first two years, 61 per cent of women said they were happier than before while only 51 per cent of men did. At two or more years since a break-up, 78 per cent of women said they were happier than before, compared to 69 per cent of men.

While surprisingly few of those questioned said they were unhappier than before their split, more men than women were unhappy.

Women’s greater emotional strength is perhaps apparent from the activities taken up after deciding to divorce.

In the first two years after a split, women were more likely than men to have undertaken positive activities such as spending more time with friends (51 per cent against 38 per cent) or with family (37 per cent to 30 per cent), or taking counselling or therapy (16 per cent to 14 per cent).

Men were more likely than women to drink more (33 per cent against 23 per cent), seek casual sex (23 per cent to 12 per cent), contact an old flame (13 per cent to 9 per cent) or join a dating agency (21 per cent to 14 per cent). Men were also more likely than women to find that their divorce affected their work. They were also more likely to work harder to distract themselves.

For both sexes, financial concerns topped the list of biggest three worries once they had decided to divorce.

Men were more likely to remarry first. Two or more years after a divorce, 15 per cent of men were remarried, against 5 per cent of women.

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