Do most couples regret divorce?
It’s a common question among couples who have decided on separating. If you’re looking to divorce your spouse, odds are this question crossed your mind.
It’s totally normal to have these concerns. A divorce is a big decision, and big decisions come with lots of speculation.
A popular Reddit thread titled “6 month later…divorcing my husband was a huge mistake :(“ contains a story that embodies the worst of these fears.
User u/nancypants9999999999 (can’t make that one up) explains:
“We were together for 8 years. That was mostly good and we have 4 kids. Right around 5 years I got a promotion at work and I got it in my head that my XH was dragging me down, or at least holding me back from more success and a better life. We never had a lot of money but with my promotion I was now making more than he was. I started working longer hours and at the same time his hours were cut so he was at home more. I really began to resent him because he was home and because he got to spend time with our kids.”
She goes on to say that her husband was upset by this and wanted to work things out. Her friends however encouraged her to get a divorce.
When she did get a divorce, things went pretty smoothly, until after everything was finalized.
“A couple weeks ago I went outside with him when he was leaving the house. I asked him about getting back together. When he looked at me his eyes were full of tears and a couple went down his cheeks. He told me that he didn’t know if he could. He said that the pain has been too much for too long and that if we got back together that I might just turn around and do it to him again. He said that he always thought that I would realize how much he loved me and stop up until i signed the divorce papers and let out a big over exaggerated sigh of relief. He said that hurt him more than anything else and that he doesn’t know if he can ever trust me again. I dont blame him. I destroyed a man who looking back was a great husband. I deprived my kids of having a great father in the house with them and I took his kids away from him. And me, the one who pushed for the divorce expecting happiness and a life of freedom, spend all my free time sitting at home or sitting on a therapists couch.”
To be clear, in this article we’re excluding conversation about abusive relationships, domestic violence, and manipulative relationships.
In these cases, it’s generally much clearer what the right answer is. Even though some people regret divorcing an abusive spouse, it’s never safe or healthy to go back into an abusive relationship. If you’re in a situation like this, you are better off seeking counseling or therapy to work out your feelings of regret, rather than take those feelings as encouragement to go back into an abusive relationship.
What do Most Couples Regret about Their Divorce?
Every couple is different and unique. Likewise, the things you might regret about your divorce or your relationship will be unique.
When it comes to relationships, some of these common regrets include:
- Getting matching tattoos (yikes!)
- Putting your career before your family
- Putting up walls between you and your spouse
When it comes to the actual divorce, many couples commonly regret things like:
- Being too harsh to an accommodating spouse
- Being too kind to a not-so-accommodating spouse
- Not fighting for important issues like finances, child custody, etc.
- Fighting for unimportant things or being spiteful
The most devastating regrets though for many couples pertains to children.
A lot of divorcing couples use custody as leverage to get things that they want in the divorce, and this is NOT how things should be done. Not only does it dehumanize your children, it puts your needs before theirs (which the Divorce Act does not look kindly on).
It’s also a major regret for divorced couples down the road, as nancypants says in her post.
How Can I be Sure about my Divorce?
In truth, you might never be 100% sure about your divorce.
Many studies have been conducted on this topic. Some sources claim that up to 50% of couples regret divorce in some way.
It’s to be expected that all couples will feel regret at some point, but feelings of regret often come and go. In the end, what is most important is that you consider your options before you get divorced thoroughly and completely. It’s also important to be a fair and reasonable partner, especially when kids are involved.
When couples act out of reason and not out of spite, they work through issues better. And generally, if your divorce goes smoothly, there will be less regret.
Uphar and her team of family lawyers here in British Columbia can help you with all of your family law needs, whether it‘s divorce, custody, mediation or anything else. Give our office a call, or fill out the contact form here on our website to get a free initial consultation.