For some, divorce has a positive impact on their work, according to a study

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Divorce is often viewed as one of the most stressful events in life. But for some people, the breakup could have an unintended positive outcome: an increase in their work output.

in one learn of people in the divorce process, which is online prior to publication in the scholarly journal personnel psychologyNearly 39% of respondents said splitting up with their spouse has had a positive impact on their work. Around 44% of respondents said the divorce had a negative impact on their careers.

The fact that more than a third of people who divorced resulted in them doing their jobs better came as a surprise to the study’s co-author Connie Wanberga professor at the University of Minnesota who studies people’s experiences in the workplace.

“There’s a societal assumption that divorce is always negative,” Wanberg said. But, she said, “Some of these individuals had very dysfunctional relationships, and breaking up with those relationships gave them a new perspective on life. Some people decided to get back to work and focus on progress.”

In 2021 it was tight 690,000 divorces or annulments in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than a third of Americans between the ages of 25 and 65 are divorced or in the process of divorce, according to the study by Wanberg and her co-authors.

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In particular, those respondents who reported positive impacts at work indicated that after making their own path from their partner, they were more engaged in their work and more satisfied with their own performance.

One person in the study said, “Before the divorce, I was spending a lot of time and energy maintaining and repairing the relationship, and that was keeping me from work.”

“Because of the pressure that’s gone from the degrading relationship, I’ve been able to have a clear head for work,” said another interviewee.

Carolyn McClanahan, board-certified financial planner and founder of Life Planning Partners in Jacksonville, Fla., said she was not surprised by the study’s findings. She had clients who were much better off after a divorce.

“People in unhealthy relationships often have unhealthy behaviors that help them deal with relationship problems,” said McClanahan, who is also a member of the CNBC Advisory Council. “Workplace performance could definitely suffer.” For some, divorce has a positive impact on their work, according to a study

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