To this point, it's important to keep in mind that the way in which your body will respond to divorce is largely subjective and a direct result of how you cope as an individual. According to a 2015 study by David A. Sbarra, Ph.D., "People who have a hard time distancing themselves from their psychological experiences show excessive cardiovascular responding, which if maintained over time, is associated with the development of cardiovascular disease." Similarly, the study found that individuals who often recount the details of their divorce rather than find meaning in its occurrence face greater physical and mental strife.
But what about couples who remain married albeit being unhappy? A 2014 study by Hui Liu and Linda Waite found that the negative effects of a low-quality marriage become stronger with age, with women facing the highest levels of heart conditions, a statistic stemming from the presumption that women tend to internalize their emotions more than men.
Let's also take into account those who escape negative, potentially abusive marriages—these individuals have the potential to experience health improvements, while their abusive partners will most likely continue their negative behavior and consequentially face poor physiological and emotional repercussions.
The bottom line: While in some cases, there is a direct correlation between health decline and divorce, your fate hasn't been determined for you. Counseling can be a very useful tool, as can the power of positive reframing. If seeing a therapist is too expensive, know that Open Health Collective and Talkspace offer support services at a discounted price. Lastly, before entering a new relationship, Anami says to take an honest look at what went wrong in your previous marriage and use it to prepare yourself for the next chapter. "Get clear on what you really want in your next relationship. You can make a list of qualities and concepts and then review them regularly to keep your attention there."