Happily ever over: Our latest research into life after divorce and the Post Traumatic Growth effect
As a specialist family law firm, we have years of experience supporting and advising couples that have made the difficult decision to end their marriage. Whether it has been a long time coming or a sudden shock, parties can feel confused, overwhelmed and vulnerable. But, is there a light at the end of the tunnel?
The breakdown of a marriage might not be everyone’s dream of happily ever after, but at Maguire Family Law we have carried out a recent study which reveals that going through a divorce can help people improve nearly all areas of their life from their health and fitness to job, career and finances. It appears that divorce can lead to Post Traumatic Growth.
What is Post Traumatic Growth?
We are familiar with the concept of Post Traumatic Stress, however there is another positive side to stressful and distressing situations. Post Traumatic Growth, or benefit finding, is a positive psychological or life change experienced as a result of adversity and other challenges. It can be manifested a number of ways. At Maguire Family Law we felt it was important to understand the Post Traumatic Growth effect and how this can manifest in people who have experienced divorce.
We surveyed over 1,000 divorcees and investigated areas including health, quality of other relationships, careers and general outlook on life. The results paint a positive picture of life after divorce and found that over half of respondents (55 per cent) experienced post traumatic growth – a positive psychological change experienced as a result of going through a period of adversity to rise to a higher level of functioning.
Catalysts for this dramatic self-improvement include developing a greater appreciation for life (65 per cent), improved relationships with family and friends (50 per cent), more time to spend enjoying hobbies (60 per cent) and even a better sex life (38 per cent).
Throughout the project, we worked alongside another professionals to offer more insight into the psychological effects of divorce and it’s perhaps no surprise that over half of those surveyed said their mental health and wellbeing improved following the completion of their divorce.
The Divorce Coach, Sara Davison, commented: “Divorce is now widely accepted as the second most traumatic life experience, second only to the death of a loved one. But, as this new research shows, the end of a relationship can be the most empowering, life-affirming event to ever happen to you. Leaving a partner is never the easy option and, even in the most amicable situations, it has a huge ripple effect across people’s lives affecting mental and physical health, lifestyle, daily routine, children, work life, friends and family.
“The good news, as I see so often on my Retreats and in my clinic, is that the personal growth following divorce is enormous – it helps people’s outlook on life, shifts their mindset and puts them into action. From getting fit, to taking the trip of a lifetime or starting their own business – this proves the age-old adage that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
Research found that the average time for experiencing the benefits of post traumatic growth was 14 months after the divorce.
James Maguire, our founder and managing director, said: “We carried out this research because we wanted to find how we can support our clients going through a divorce. A third of respondents said a good lawyer can help guide them through the process in a way to help them go on to improve their lives. For those who didn’t experience post traumatic growth, one of the reasons cited was that the divorce process was too stressful and messy. We know it can be really difficult, and that is why providing the best possible support during the legalities of the process is so important to us, it not only helps during that period, but it can also set you up to go on and improve your life in all kinds of different ways.”
We are delighted that Marie Claire have picked up on our survey in their feature here.
Keep your eyes peeled for more on post traumatic growth over the coming months and click here to register to receive access to the full report publication of the our study findings along with news and updates from the team here at Maguire Family Law.
All press and media enquiries should be directed to Sophie Chadwick: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0161 393 6121 393