Today in Science: Women Happier Than Men After Divorce

That old trope of the new divorcee being a wild man-eater or chronically depressed hag? Not true, as new research has found. According to the study published in the journal Economica, women are much happier and satisfied with their lives following divorce.

As reported by The Star , the two-decade-long study consisted of an ongoing survey of 10,000 people between the ages of 16 and 60. Participants were regularly asked to rate their happiness after major milestones, including divorce, death of a spouse, and loss of a job.

Researchers examined the psychological process of “adaptation,” or the way in which we adjust to new circumstances. They found that women are significantly more content than usual for up to five years following the end of their marriages. In fact, they are even happier during this time than compared to their average or “baseline” of happiness throughout their lives.

But why?

“Getting out of a long-lasting bad marriage is a possible explanation,” said lead author Yannis Georgellis, director of the Centre for Research in Employment, Skills and Society at the Kingston Business School in London, England.

Of note, men also felt happier following divorce. However, the increase was much less marked than for women. Doreen Fumia, an associate professor of sociology at Ryerson University, said one reason men may not be as happy as women following divorce is that they have to take on more of the domestic work traditionally done by women. Gasp. You mean, men actually have to do their own laundry and fix their own sandwiches? I’d be depressed, too.

“The second thing is men don’t have friendship circles in the same way women do. Women tend to have a support system in place and often the girlfriends are the people they have a lot of fun with and they are freed up to go out with the girls,” she said.

Men are headaches. We didn't need an academic survey to tell us that. However, if this research reveals anything new, it's that women should not be afraid to take that step towards divorce if they no longer feel fulfilled or happy with the relationship. There is light at the end of the tunnel... or at happy hour with your girls.