You Probably Shouldn't Have Divorced And Don't Even Know It Yet

divorce-regret.jpg
Courtesy E+ via Getty Images

For those who want a divorce or, feel that divorce is the only solution for their marital problems, time can be an enemy. Based on some statistics, as time goes by, you will begin to realize you probably shouldn’t have divorced your spouse.

There may be some initial gratification but how will you feel five or ten years down the road? Will you regret not putting more effort into solving marital problems?

In Minnesota, 66% of divorced couples asked that question responded with, “yes.” On  The Family Impact Analysis of Covenant Marriage in Minnesota 40% of participants believe that divorce was the wrong choice for their marriages.

According to Dr. Laura, “Scientific literature suggests that a good three quarters of people who divorce regret it.  Maybe not immediately, but 10 years later, they do.  "I should never have done it" is the kind of thing usually uttered privately after a divorce.  And after the papers have been signed, the property divided, the child custody settled, and the emotional pain still lingering, it's usually too late to go back.”

That is a lot of regret and broken marriages/families! And it is something to think about before pulling the trigger on your marriage.

What Are The Biggest Regrets of Those Who Divorce?

1. The financial impact can be devastating. The reality of how much it cost to divorce can be a shock and once the ball is rolling it is hard to turn back.

After the divorce is final and you’ve spent your children’s college funds on attorney’s fees you then have to support two households. The same amount of pre-divorce income doesn’t go as far as post-divorce income when trying to keep up two households.

2.  You become aware of the fact that children aren’t as resilient as you’ve been led to believe.

Divorce threatens every aspect of a child’s foundation and they won’t deal with it any easier than you will.

Your family home will probably need to be sold which forces your children out of the home they love, the neighborhood their friends reside in and possibly, into a new school district. Not to mention that one parent, either mom or dad will be spending less time with the children. That alone can cause deep wounds and less bonding with a parent.

If you’ve been a stay-at-home mom you will need to go back to work to support yourself. That means your children will go to daycare or become latch-key children after school. There goes the vigilant parenting they are accustomed to and less time with the parent who was the one constant in their lives. In other words, divorce is a big emotional blow to your children, one most parents find hard to reconcile.

3.  I’ve heard it said that it takes three years to recover from a divorce. Let’s face it though; most people are searching for or, in a new marriage within two years of divorce. Loneliness and financial strain motivate most to begin looking for a new partner shortly after their divorce is final. That means your focus isn’t on healing but on moving on to something new.

Here is the problem, if you don’t take the time to heal and address your role in the demise of your last marriage, you will take those same issues into your next marriage. You may find yourself just as unhappy in your next marriage as you were in your last. In my consulting practice I’ve often had clients ask me, “Why didn’t I try harder to make the first one work?”

4. And let us not forget love. Distance really can make the “heart grow fonder.” The longer you are away from that spouse who drove you crazy, the more attractive they may become. Especially when you start comparing them to what’s available and on the market once you start dating again.

The pain of regret after divorce can be long-lasting, especially when you consider the life-long impact divorce has on children. Divorce may be your only recourse in some situations.

If your marriage is abusive or your spouse suffers from addictions, you have no other option.

If, however, you have a low-conflict marriage make sure you don’t allow impatience with marital problems to cause you to make a choice you will one day regret.