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Does a divorce make unhappy people happy?

This is a tough question. Sometimes people who are unhappy blame their spouses for their sadness and sorrows. A divorce removes the spouse, but the sorrows remain, and may indeed be multiplied by the loss of a partner incorrectly blamed for the problem.

Happiness, it should be remembered, serves the individual. It is fleeting and ephemeral. A divorce may indeed remove the cause of unhappiness, e.g., an unfaithful husband, but whether or not that makes his spouse happy remains to be seen. So often in human affairs men and women pursue a goal only to find that upon obtaining it that it was not what they wanted at all, or that it was what they wanted but that something else has changed. For example, the removal of a straying husband may mean that a woman and her small children now live with pillar-to-post finances. This is not fair, of course, but life is unfair. Whether the change makes this woman happy is hard to say in advance.

In short, a person may indeed find some measure of happiness after a divorce, but experience suggests that few are made happy by a divorce. Indeed, the problems created by a divorce often become as intractable as the difficulties of a problem marriage.

Moreover, the aftermath of a divorce is often a long march across desolate emotional and financial terrain.