Welcome back and thanks for joining us against for this discussion about the impact of mental health on a marriage, and vice versa. In the previous two articles we talked about how depression can often lead to divorce, and the fact that many divorces happen as a result of mental health issues that were not, or could not be, properly addressed. Moving on we are going to be looking at how divorce impacts mental health.
As a society, we tend to have a mental image of a man, post divorce, finally happy to be free of his aging, nagging wife, and looking forward to the prospect of reliving his “glory days” with a younger partner in tow. In reality, however, this is more often than not, a complete misrepresentation of the truth. Recent studies are showing alarming statistics that divorce has a direct impact on a man’s overall health, and not in a good way!
Augustine Kposowa, a sociologist who studied the health of recently divorced men and women, found that men are nine times more likely to commit suicide after a divorce than women are. Interestingly, it’s not for the reasons you may suspect. Kposowa says that many people mistakenly assume it’s the loss of finances through alimony and child support that precipitates the choice, but it’s actually something else entirely. Men are committing suicide in higher numbers because of the loss of their children.
The idea of the happily divorced man, free of the burden of wife and kids, is primarily a myth according to research
Another finding in his study was the increased incidence of motor-vehicle accidents among men who are recently divorced. He attributes this phenomena to issues like a lack of concentration, poor sleeping habits, and in some more tragic cases: suicide “cloaked as an accident.”
The University of California, Riverside conducted a similar study which examined marital status and suicide, and their findings were alarmingly familiar. Post divorce, men are twice as likely to commit suicide as women are, they revealed. So what are the reasons discovered in this particular study? Well, just like the results Kposowa discovered, the loss of contact and relationship with children played a huge role, as it led to depression and feelings of disconnection and helplessness. But there were other factors as well.
Social integration was theorized as playing a role. Married men tend to be more social because they do things with their wives. Whereas after divorce, men tend to isolate themselves, which can lead to an environment in which they foster low self esteem and poor mental health. So what can be done to address this issue? Everyone has different approaches when it comes to a solution, but the two most common ideas are reducing the stigma of divorce, and making it easy to seek help when people are struggling with thoughts of suicide.
Join us next time as we look at ways to avoid the mental health struggles that often happen as a result of divorce. Until then, if you or a loved one have decided to end your marriage and you’re not sure what to do next, call the experienced family law attorneys at The Kronzek Firm, at 866 766 5245. We have spent decades helping people all over Michigan with divorces, custody concerns, parenting time, personal protective orders and prenuptial agreements. We can help you too.