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Divorce, Separation Impact Feelings of Well-Being

Married women experience less stress than counterparts on multiple levels

Married American women have a higher well-being than nonmarried women, particularly those who are divorced or separated, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.  

The well-being index measures five elements of stress related to the purpose, social, financial, community, and physical aspects of lives. In the survey, married women scored higher than those in domestic partnerships, those who are single, the divorced, and the separated.  

For example, 39.7 percent of married women reported they experienced a great deal of stress the day before. That compares to 47 percent of divorced women, 47.6 percent of single women, 48.5 percent of females in domestic partnerships and 56 percent of women who are separated.

Likewise, there is a noticeable difference among women who are divorced and separated compared to others regarding how often they take medications, including prescription drugs, to help them relax. While around 18 percent of all single, cohabitating and married women reported taking drugs to relax, 30.4 percent of divorced women and 31.7 percent of separated women said they did. 

Gallup concluded that marriage is able to foster a sense of purpose through a shared perspective on life and a need to support another person. Likewise, marriage can expand a person’s social connections, raise household income, and lead to a more stable housing situation.  

“At the very core of every healthy and loving marriage, we will find both spouses giving 100 percent of themselves to the each other relationally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually,” says Roger Gibson, senior director of Assemblies of God Adult and Family Ministry. “From the beginning, God created man and woman to leave and cleave to become one. When we severe what God created through separation and divorce, it short circuits God’s design.”  

Multiple studies have confirmed that married adults are physically healthier than single, divorced, or separated people.

John W. Kennedy

John W. Kennedy served as news editor of AG News from its inception in 2014 until retiring in 2023. He previously spent 15 years as news editor of the Pentecostal Evangel and seven years as news editor at Christianity Today.