As Chris Pratt knows, getting divorced is no fun. If you’ve been married a long time and the decision isn’t mutual, getting divorced can feel like losing a limb. Previous studies have even shown that splitting up can even shorten your lifespan, largely because people tend to adopt bad lifestyle habits like smoking and substance abuse to deal with the pain.
Still, divorce has one big benefit: the opportunity it gives you to start a new life. After all, people don’t get divorced after one bad day. If you’re going your separate ways, chances are you’ve been unhappy for a long time, and splitting up offers you the chance to travel, pursue a new hobby, and find happiness with someone else.
But there’s another upside to divorce people often don’t recognize. Anyone who says that they’re just staying together “for the kids” is making a fairly dicey gamble. A 2015 University Central Florida study of 233 college students from divorced and intact families found that those who came from “broken” homes actually often had more successful relationships than those whose parents stayed together. Another study found that some children who experience divorce actually learn from their parent’s mistakes and use those lessons in their love lives, leading one expert to conclude that “divorce can strengthen kids’ ability to sustain successful relationships, but only if their parents stay supportive throughout the ordeal.”
This research indicates that growing up in a “good” divorce has more of a positive impact than growing up in a “bad” marriage. After all, kids are intuitive, and as much as you may try to hide it, they pick up on tension between their parents, and it can cause disrupted early brain development, sleep disturbance, anxiety, depression, and other behavioral issues.
There’s also no rule stating that your divorce has to get ugly. In fact, in recent years, it’s become increasingly popular to take a “divorce selfie” that proves that the split is amicable and that, just because two people decided to no longer live, together doesn’t mean they don’t still love and respect one another enormously.
So, if you’re thinking about getting a divorce, know that all the research shows that being a good parent has a much bigger impact on a child’s life than having a longterm union. And for more amazing parenting advice, be sure you know all about these 30 Things Parents Have to Worry About Now That They Didn’t 30 Years Ago.
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