A divorce, on paper, is nothing more than a legal document that ends your marriage. It separates your assets and your responsibility to one another.

It’s not the legal aspects of divorce that cause the majority of problems in a divorce case, though. It tends to be the emotional and psychological impact of the divorce that makes the biggest difference to the couple going through it.

There’s no question that going through a divorce can be traumatic for the people involved. For example, one spouse might feel like a failure or guilty for being unable to remain in the relationship. Another may be hurt about an affair or being left when counseling and other possible solutions haven’t been tried.

People who go through a divorce are likely to go through several psychological issues. Some of them include:

  • An increased mortality risk (due to stress)
  • Increased stress
  • Depression
  • Increased medical visits
  • Lower life satisfaction

The process of divorce can be exhausting as well, because people may have to relive the reasons for the divorce while going through a long, drawn-out legal process.

Another reason why divorce is stressful is that it takes away your ability to care for someone else. This is called communal orientation, and it’s a need most people have. When you lose the responsibility of caring for a partner or spouse, it can leave you reeling and wondering what your purpose is, which is an unintentional consequence of divorce.

Divorces don’t always have a negative side effect on the people involved

As you may suspect, divorces don’t always have a negative effect on those who are involved. The outcome largely depends on the ways in which you’re able to cope. It also depends on what your married life was like before separating. For example, couples who live apart or who have little involvement with each other may find it easier to divorce and walk away than those who were more dependent on one another and focused on making the marriage work.

In a study out of the University of Arizona, it was shown that the level of life satisfaction after a divorce was linked to the quality of the marriage. For instance, if a woman was unhappy in her marriage, she’d be more likely to be happy after divorcing and vice-versa.

Divorces can be complex and have many psychological effects. If you’re about to go through one, your attorney can help you cope with the legal aspects, so you can focus on your psychological health.