Remorse and regret is not at all uncommon among couples that call it quits. “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,” according to Laura Schlessinger, the socially conservative commentator and marriage and family counselor.
In general, Dr. Schlessinger says, the time after divorce is filled with remorse. “Half of women and a third of men stay angry at their former spouse after a divorce. They mentally just don’t move on. They have to deal with a host of things: loneliness, painful memories, having to get new friends, uncomfortable changes, uncertainty about how they are going to pay their bills (people don’t usually go up in economic standing after their family is torn apart).”
“We live in a society today where marriage and family are no longer seen as sacred, permanent and unconditional. This lack of stability hurts the entire country. The increasing number of second marriages, the resulting stepfamilies, and the even higher divorce rates occurring after the stepfamilies are created all contribute to the problem. It’s not just the dissolution of the nuclear family that’s so destructive – it’s what happens afterwards,” says Dr. Schlessinger.
The past cannot be reclaimed, so someone passing through divorce remorse should remember three things.
> People experiencing divorce remorse can backslide into dependency on the former partner. Reconciliation is not impossible, but trying to do so shortly after the marriage invites trouble.
> After a divorce, people must learn to be “comfortable with the silence of being single.” And when someone is not comfortable with silence, he or she is not comfortable being alone, which means it’s not a good time for a new relationship.
> A person should “try to keep any past wrongs from ruining any future rights.”