Many of you have either gone through it or are going through it now. It’s emotionally and financially draining, wreaks havoc on your children (if not carefully handled) and turns your spouse into a bitter and spiteful person (if she wasn’t already).
Mine was official in April 2014 and while I didn’t celebrate it, it was a significant turning point in my life.
You see, I spent 8.5 years in a marriage that probably shouldn’t have lasted half that long. It was rocky from the start and never really recovered. That’s a long fucking time to be unhappy..
How Divorce Affects Your Health
I don’t have to tell you that being in a lousy relationship affects every part of your life. It changes the way you look at life and at the world in general. And not in a positive way.
I remember being so unhappy that I literally didn’t want to do anything. I just wanted to crawl into a hole and sit there. I felt like I was Adam Sandler in the movie Click where he zones out for long periods and his life methodically moves past him. That was me. I was checked out.
I didn’t eat well. I rarely exercised. And I only did what I had to do to pay the bills and get through my day. Not the way to live.
And to be very honest, I truly believe that had I stayed in my marriage, I would have died early. I think the enormous stress, a lack of personal care, and a disregard for my health and well-being would have led to an early heart attack or something similar.
Making A Change
If you are stuck in a bad marriage, I’d ask you to carefully think about your future. I’d never recommend getting divorced, especially when you have children, but you have to think about your happiness.
Some of you (and me included) think that sucking it up and dealing with it is part of life. It doesn’t have to be.
But ask yourself this: Is your personal sacrifice worth more than your personal happiness?
In some cases, change is exactly what is needed. Not just for you, but for your kids. Grinding out a marriage that has little hope of succeeding is just making things worse for everyone.
How Divorce Can Lead To Better Health
The act of divorce doesn’t lead to anything except a shitload of bills and some happy lawyers but what happens after you are is where things can dramatically improve.
Sure you can choose to mope, think about all the good times you had, and all the other negative bullshit, but that will drain you very quickly.
I know because I did it for many months and looked and felt like shit. But I knew there was a better way to live; a way that included happiness, energy, joy, abundance, and love. I knew I could look great again and feel even better. And I desperately wanted that.
And I know you do too.
So once you decide to take control of your new life and start living, a lot of good things will happen. First and foremost, your health and fitness can drastically improve.
I mean, you get a new lease on life, right? You can live as well or as poorly as you choose.
Here’s how your health will benefit from your divorce
- You will be happier. Being in a toxic relationship is very taxing on your emotional stability not to mention the effect on your dopamine, endorphin, and serotonin levels.
- After a separation or divorce, the natural tendency is to let yourself go. We get depressed, have regrets, and often times are overcome with sadness. This of course is not healthy, but gives us a low point from which we can rise. And often the dramatic change we need to turn ourselves around is just the motivation we need. A motivated dad can do just about anything, I’ve seen it and believe it.
- Your blood pressure will improve. Being stressed out all the time has the effect of causing hypertension, which of course can lead to heart conditions. No bueno.
- Stress leads to an increase in the hormone cortisol, which has a catabolic effect on your body. We want more lean muscle, right? Being stressed will work against your ability to build muscle. More muscle equals a better metabolism and we all want that!
- Your kids will be happier because they will see you happier. My girls got used to seeing me unhappy all the time and it wasn’t fair to them. They now see me laugh and joke and I can tell it is really affecting them in a positive way.
- You get to start a new chapter in your life and create whatever you want. You can do anything you want and chase your dreams now. Having a spouse that doesn’t support your dreams and passions will lead to a mediocre life. Hell, after we split, I left my career as a financial advisor for a lower paying job running a small functional training center. It was my passion and I went for it.
- You get to recommit to being the best version of you. No more limitations. If you want something, you get to go after it.
- You may have less time with your children, but you’ll appreciate the time you do have much more. You will also recognize the importance of living a healthy life in order to not only keep up with your kids, but to live long enough to see them grow up.
- You’ll want to improve your appearance because at some point, you’ll be looking to date again. And I know you want to look and feel your best when that time comes. I see a lot of divorced dads who turn their commitment to fitness completely around and get into phenomenal shape. There is no reason you can’t do the same.
In my opinion, one of the most pressing driving forces behind getting fit after divorce is the desire to look good and build more confidence. Having a spouse that doesn’t bring you up and maybe even breaks you down has a long-term detrimental effect on how you see yourself.
I had very little confidence during my marriage and it took a long while for it to start to climb. It took a lot of hard physical work and also a great deal of emotional work to build it up again. And I happened to find a woman who thinks the world of me and tells me all the time. That is HUGE as well!
In the end, it comes down to how bad you want to change. The fact is that you are divorced and now you can choose how to live the rest of your life. Are you going to play small or are you going to go big??
Let me know in the comments!
I totally agree. I’ll get there eventually. I was the cause of the divorce so it’s hard for me to get over it. Soon as I can muster the strength to let go, only then can i truly be happy again. Thank You!
Sure thing, Sam. Can I ask what you struggle with most?
Over a year ago my ex wife and I separated. We have since been officially divorced. It was the best thing I have ever done for my personal health and for my children. I lost almost 60 pounds through exercise, I no longer require medications, and best of all I feel like I’m finally living my life not just watching it.
That’s what it’s all about, Daniel! Live your life for you and your kids. There is no substitute for your happiness.
Your article was right on point. I Went through the same stuff. All the what if’s..I was concentrating so hard on the what if’s i forgot about myself. Then it clicked I can do what I want follow my dreams, take my career more serious and over be happy for me and our children and they see that.
Exactly right, Eric. It happens to so many of us and sadly, I think most will never wake up and realize this until it’s too late or they have given up completely. Glad to hear you are finding happiness again.