Some people have expressed concern that getting a divorce may lead to a lower life expectancy. If this is impacting your thinking as you consider a divorce yourself, it’s important to dig into it a bit more and discover what these findings really mean. Things are not nearly as dire as these reports make them seem.
First of all, you should consider the fact that illness — or any medical issue — can itself lead to divorce. It’s a leading cause in the United States, and this can’t be overlooked. It could mean that the reduced life expectancy isn’t caused by the divorce, but the real cause of that reduction — illness — is also the cause of the divorce.
For instance, say someone suffers a traumatic brain injury that changes their personality and makes them far less healthy and stable than before. They require constant care. This takes a toll on their spouse, who eventually divorces them. When they later pass away from the TBI, it is not because they were divorced, but because they suffered the initial brain injury.
You also need to consider other reasons for divorce, such as job loss, financial trouble and drug addiction. In the same way as an injury, all of these can reduce life expectancy. They can also lead to divorce. Once again, it is not the divorce itself that makes someone live a shorter life. What studies are really uncovering is that those facing these health concerns are also those who are more likely to end their marriages.
What this means for you
For you, this means that you don’t have to worry about these studies while you consider a divorce. That divorce is not going to shorten your life or reduce your quality of life. Just make sure you focus on your health after the split and you should see no negative impact.