09/10/2013 11:08 am ET Updated Nov 10, 2013

7 Upsides in the Aftermath of Divorce

If you're like the countless Americans who are in the process of divorce, welcome to the club. The worst part? Divorce hurts. It isn't fun. It isn't pretty. But eventually, there is a light at the end of the tunnel -- if you just know where to look.

1. Emotional Outcomes For Women

Women are undoubtedly powerful, but divorce may be an Achilles heel for many, no matter the emotional strength of an individual. Although the initial sting of a fresh divorce is real, women are, for the most part, remarkably resilient.

2. Women Initiate Divorce: Men were warned in the beginning: happy wife, happy life. According to statistics, women initiate divorce proceedings about twice as often as men, and separations are even more so led by women. Since women are most often the initiators of divorce, they tend to be more confident of the decision to separate, making the process somewhat bearable in terms of the emotional weight associated with divorce.

3. Women Have Custody of Children: About 90 percent of divorced mothers have some form of custody over their children according to Because children are likely to be with the mother, women tend to feel less anxiety when it comes to the emotional turmoil after a divorce. But the weight of having to take care of the children on a near full-time basis makes the trade-off hard. With only one majority parent, keeping the home running smoothly is now solely on the mother's shoulders, resulting in increased strain on the household.

4. Women Experience Less Stress: Women are less likely to have high levels of stress after the divorce. Emotional adjustments are quicker due in part to relief, social support systems and a boost in self-esteem after taking on a new role.

1. Emotional Outcomes For Men

Because men are most often the ones blindsided by divorce, the effects of separation tend to weigh heavily in the beginning. Despite the emotional burden of an initial divorce, though, men still rebound quickly -- in fact, men are the first ones to likely remarry versus women.

2. Men Experience Greater Adjustments: For some men, the initial process of divorce is extremely difficult due in part to the general shock of change and the emotional loss of intimacy. Social connections are broken or significantly reduced, and along with pinched finances and a disrupted household, men require more emotional adjustment to the trauma associated with divorce.

3. Men Remarry: If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again. Men are the first to find a new spouse after divorce and are generally more eager to remarry. It could be the desire to have emotional and physical intimacy, or even a sense to return to normalcy. Either way, men are eager to jump into matrimony much more quickly than women.

4. Men Who Have Joint Custody Are Better Parents: Studies show that men who have joint legal custody are better parents overall and long-term when it comes to childrearing. When dads see their children regularly, they tend to have more involvement in their children's lives. And, child support is often agreed upon more often in the case of joint custody.

5. Men Are Negative: Men are generally the first to be more negative than women when it comes to divorce proceedings. At the same time, they also devote more energy to salvaging the marriage if possible. Unfortunately, this double-edged sword never results in good emotional karma.

Divorce is undoubtedly hard. It's hard on the emotions so knowing there is a silver lining when it's done can help ease the heartache, even if just a little.

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