In some cases, the decision to seek a divorce is mutual and both spouses are able to leave their relationship happily. In other cases, however, a divorce can have profound impact on a spouse’s happiness. Although many people might guess that the happiness of women is more likely to suffer after divorce, a recent study indicates that this is not the case. In fact, women are much more likely than men to be happy after their marriages end.

Researchers at Kingston University in London surveyed approximately 10,000 people in the U.K. between the ages of 16 and 60 for 20 years. The survey was designed to gather information about participants’ happiness before and after major life events. The findings of this study were published recently in the journal Economica. Among other things, researchers discovered that women are likely to be much happier than men after a divorce. This happiness can last for up to five years after the marriage ends.

Data indicates that men are also likely to experience a slight jump in happiness after a divorce, but the increase is far smaller than that experienced by most women. 

The findings of the study are somewhat surprising, particularly since women are generally more likely than men to find themselves in financial difficulty after a divorce. Researchers speculate that, in some cases, women who are in unhappy relationships have an increased sense of liberation after they leave, which in turn increases their feelings of happiness.

The findings of this study contradict the findings of one controversial study, published just over a decade ago. The study, published by the Institute for American Values, found that couples were no happier after a divorce than they were during their marriages.

Source: Huffington Post, “Women’s happiness levels increase after divorce, according to new research,” July 11, 2013