Blog, Reflecting

Marriage or Divorce? Which One Will Kill You First?

kill billIt’s no secret that divorce sends couples on an emotional rollercoaster. Regardless of how amicable the split is, there are periods of grief, anger, denial, self doubt and sometimes, even malicious behavior toward each other.

Aware of the pain, grief, and fear divorce may cause to the couple, children, family, and friends, I have always advocated that staying in an unhealthy marriage or unfitting relationship causes much more pain and grief for all parties involved.

Divorce is not a get out of jail card, it is not a trial and error opportunity, nor is it a lazy act by couples that didn’t try, as many critics claim. In reality, divorce is usually the last option, the last chance to salvage any type of friendship or co-parenting relationship.

I know – I’m divorced.

Six years after my divorce, I feel content, healthier and happier with my life and with the well-being of my children. However, a recent study by the University of Chicago and Johns Hopkins University (as reported by suggests that I’m the exception.

“The study found that divorced or widowed people have 20 percent more chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, or cancer, than married people. They also have 23 percent more mobility limitations, such as trouble climbing stairs or walking a block. Further, people who remarried have 12 percent more chronic conditions and 19 percent more mobility limitations, but no more depressive symptoms, than those who are continuously married.”

The word “chronic” here is what bothers me. I can definitely concur that during the divorce process and for at least a year or two following my divorce, my health faltered accompanied by an emotional rollercoaster. The same applies when individuals suffer the loss of a family member or close friend. Grief is debilitating, but it doesn’t have to be “chronic.”

But, for some it is, and I wonder if it is a comment or two like this from the article that sends the emotional rollercoaster of divorcees from acute to chronic:

“By faith we know that in the beginning God created marriage for the good of spouses and the procreation of the race. Now research confirms that health is also better for people who stay married. No surprise. Faith and reason go together confirming the same truth: What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” – Fr. Thomas Dufner

Maybe it’s not the divorce that is to blame for “chronic” health conditions but rather the guilt and judgment from others.

– Shannon Philpott
Blog Entry: July 30, 2009

© Shannon Philpott, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Shannon Philpott and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


1 thought on “Marriage or Divorce? Which One Will Kill You First?”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s