Divorce is one of those major life decisions that can be heart wrenching. For most people, this is an extremely difficult call to have to make. And I think that if most people are being honest, they will admit that they are not always sure that they are making the right decision when they decide to go ahead and end their marriage. Quite frankly, people often wonder if they are going to one day regret this. But many feel pressured to go ahead and make the decision any way so that every one can get on with their lives.
I sometimes hear from folks who are just approaching this crossroad for themselves. And who are wondering if one day regretting their decision is a possibility. So you might hear from a wife who has a concern like this: “I believe that I have made the very difficult decision to leave my husband and pursue a divorce. My husband is a good man. He would make a good father one day. But, the spark just isn’t there. And I don’t want to make the mistake of starting a family with someone who doesn’t create that chemistry with me. He used to. But he doesn’t anymore. I have been patient waiting for it to come back. But at this point, I think that I am just wasting part of both of our lives. I know that my husband loves me. And I love him. But I am not in love with him. He is going to be devastated about this, but I really am leaning toward this decision of divorce. I have talked to my best friend about this and she is very worried for me. She says that she knows a lot of women who have been divorced who deeply regret it. She says my husband is a keeper and I’m silly if I don’t see it. She says another woman will scoop my husband right up and then I will see how wrong my decision is truly going to be. Is she right? Do women regret their divorces?”
Well, I think that anyone can regret a divorce. But I think that women might be slightly more likely to regret it, especially if they were the ones who initiated it. And there are many reasons for this. First, women sometimes take a heavy financial hit after a divorce – and sometimes it takes quite a while to recover from this. Also, I’ve had some women tell me that they regret getting a divorce because they now realize that their standards were too high. Now that they are in the dating world, they are finding that most every person they are meeting has faults. And many of them find that it is difficult to date later in life – when many of the men that they might otherwise be interested in are dating younger women who have never been married.
Some have told me that they regret that they didn’t at least try to aggressively save their marriage before they got a divorce. Some concede that they may have ultimately divorced anyway. But they worry that they acted too impulsively or abruptly, especially since they have always been clear on the fact that there was really nothing wrong with their husband. He treated them well. He was a high quality person. Yes, perhaps something was missing, but many wish they had tried to get it back more enthusiastically before just letting a perfectly good husband go.
I am not saying that all women who seek a divorce regret it. Some do not. Some will tell you that it was a necessary decision. Some were in destructive or abusive relationships where they knew that they couldn’t thrive until they got out. These are the women who will tell you that they should have divorced sooner.
Of course, this wife’s situation didn’t even approach this. Even she conceded that she had a good man. Yes, she was impatient. And restless. And unhappy. But I might suggest at least trying a little harder to see if you can reignite the spark (which she admits was there previously.) I agree that children should be put off until it’s obvious that the marriage is stable and fulfilling for both people. Because that might make you feel trapped and who needs that right now?
But, I do see the advantage of thinking this through very carefully and perhaps seeing if you can bring back a little chemistry before you take any drastic action. Because if chemistry is the only problem, it can be fixed. And once you tell your husband that you want a divorce, this is something that you can ever take back. It will likely hurt him deeply and it might damage your marriage irrevocably. So, if you are going to mention a divorce, it should be something about which you are sure. And if you are researching whether or not women regret divorce, it doesn’t sound as if you are sure.