Survey: Separation is More Stressful than Divorce for Women
Are you having challenges with your spouse, but you’re not sure whether divorce or separation is the answer?
When relationships get rocky, couples may often separate instead of overreacting with a divorce. One would think that such an action would benefit both parties. Survey results recently released by Gallup indicate otherwise. Those who’ve separated feel more stressed than those who’ve opted for divorce. Women are especially stressed by the decision to separate.
51% of Separated Americans Reported Stress
Gallup surveyed 131,159 adults across the United States to determine stress levels of couples in three different groupings: married couples, separated couples and divorcees. The survey results showed that those who are separated are the most stressed. A robust 51 percent of separated Americans reported feeling stressed. Gallup reported that 44.1 percent of divorced Americans experienced anxiety and only 38.6 percent of married respondents were stressed.
Of particular importance is the fact that more separated women felt stressed compared to women who had divorced. Most people will be surprised to learn that separated women were more stressed than married women by 16 percentage points. Separated men experienced stress more than married men by a mere 10.5 percentage points.
Separation May Harm Your Happiness
The data is quite surprising as most people assume that a period of separation for a couple experiencing difficulties would provide hope for the relationship. It appears as though the separation can actually make life worse. This data shows that couples who are temporarily separated are under duress as they are caught in limbo between a breakup and a united marriage.
Divorcees likely reported lower stress levels than those who had separated because their lives had resolute certainty and direction. When ties are completely broken with a former significant other, it allows for the type of closure that can’t be achieved through a mere separation.
Ladies, Think Twice before Getting Separated
Separation takes much more of a toll on women than actual divorce. The data shows that there is significant value in moving on, regardless of what direction it is toward. The data also goes to show just how deeply entrenched women become when involved in a relationship. Men don’t seem to develop as deep of emotional bonds with spouses.
The wage gap between men and women also likely plays a part in the survey’s findings. It’s much more difficult to support oneself when being paid a significantly lower wage for doing the same amount of work and bearing the same responsibility as men.
Women also have a close maternal bond with their children so a period of separation can really weigh on their psyches. A separation between parents weighs particularly heavy on the children so mothers are more likely to absorb that stress. Add in the fact that mothers are awarded child custody more often than fathers and it is easy to understand why women in the midst of a separation are nervous about an uncertain future.
Are You Thinking of a Separation or Divorce?
If you’re weighing a separation versus a divorce, we can help! Our divorce lawyers understand this is one of the most difficult times in your life. At Colgan & Associates, we work hard to learn about your situation and help you make the best decision for you. Contact us today for a consultation and put our years of experience on your side.