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Does separating from a spouse really decrease one's stress level?

Sometimes, regardless of how hard one or both spouses may try to make it work, a marriage falls apart. Maybe a couple met and married at too young of an age or one spouse reveals that he or she had an affair. Regardless of the circumstances, when things come to a head, a couple may choose to separate for a time.

Married couples who separate may do so in an attempt to sort things out or give one another space to think about the future state, if any, of a marriage. While a couple likely believes a separation will relieve stress and tension, according to a recent Gallup poll individuals who are separated reported actually feeling more stressed.

For the survey, more than 130,000 U.S. adults were questioned about their stress levels. Survey respondents included individuals who were married, divorced and separated from a spouse. While roughly 44 percent of divorced individuals reported to "feeling stressed the day prior to taking the survey," that number jumped to 51 percent for individuals who were separated from a spouse.

For numerous reasons, making the decision to file for divorce is difficult. This is often especially true in cases where a couple has children together. However, for couples who choose to separate and live apart, the uncertainty that comes with allowing the state of one's marriage to linger in limbo for too long appears to be even more stressful and difficult.

The truth is that there is no right time to divorce and, despite being unhappy, an individual can likely find many excuses to put off filing for divorce. Doing so, however, only serves to delay the inevitable and cause an individual to suffer additional anxiety, worry and stress.

Atlanta area residents who are currently separated from a spouse would be wise to discuss their situation with a divorce attorney. An individual may wrongly believe that he or she can't pursue a divorce for financial reasons or may delay filing for divorce over fears related to child custody matters. An attorney can answer questions, provide advice and work to broker a favorable divorce settlement and child custody agreement.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Survey Says Separation Is More Stressful Than Divorce, And Women Take The Hardest Hit," Rebecca Adams, Nov. 3, 2014

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