WalletHub markets itself as a “one-stop destination for all the tools and information consumers and small business owners need to make better financial decisions and save money.” Since its inception on 2012, however, it has evolved a bit to include more than just reviews and listings. One of those changes was to incorporate some Gallup poll statistics and the findings of a study by the National Academy of Sciences in the United State of America to create a list of which states are the happiest. If their information is correct, then Tennessee might be in some trouble; we ranked 47th out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. One of the areas we ranked highest was in divorce, with the “ninth-highest divorce rate” as reported by GoKnoxville.
Now, I don’t know if this survey is all that accurate, or how unhappy we really are based on some of the factors the survey used – but I do know that people divorce for a lot of reasons, and not all of them fit so neatly into little packages. I also know that a divorce can have some very serious effects on your life in a lot of unexpected ways.
Divorce and its effects on your mental well-being
Some couples who divorce are really angry; some are thrilled to death. (The Huffington Post has two pages of articles on “Divorce parties,” so it’s safe to assume that not everyone sees the dissolution of their marriages as a bad thing.) But for a lot of my clients, the main feeling was one of sadness. Some people can fall into a deep depression; others may feel grief the way you would if someone you loved died. The truth is, mourning the loss of your marriage – even a marriage that made you unhappy – is a perfectly natural thing. And it could also be why we Tennesseans seem unhappy when it comes to marriages, too.
Another perfectly natural response is loneliness, which might also equate to unhappiness. Some people put themselves into isolation, so they can grieve on their own. Others feels the loss of certain social statuses or of their lifestyles more acutely, as if they were moored out on an island somewhere. It can also be really disconcerting for individuals who were married for a really long time, and who identified as part of a couple, to feel as if their identity has changed, or that they have lost a piece of what made them who they are.
In the end, most divorces are sad in some way, even if you feel happier with that part of your life being over. But if it’s a bittersweet feeling, that’s totally normal. After all, who you were might be different than who you are now. And if Tennessee residents feel less happy, it might only be temporary, as we look for a new way to define ourselves and begin to take steps towards healing.
If you are thinking of getting a divorce, I want to hear your story. As an experienced divorce lawyer, I know what it takes to help my clients all over Blount and Williamson Counties reach their goals. Please contact my firm, Kevin W. Shepherd, Attorney at Law, at the Maryville or Franklin office location, so I can help you through the process.