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Regrets I Have About My Divorce

divorce regrets

Photo Credit: RODNAE Productions/Pexels

Getting a divorce was definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my entire life. It’s never easy to leave someone you care about and have built a life with. While my ex-husband and I feel that splitting up was the right decision, there are a few aspects of the process I regret. Here are some things I wish had been different while I was going through my divorce.

I Never Got to Say Goodbye to My In-Laws

My biggest concern about getting divorced was how others would react to the news. While my ex and I had easily moved past the emotional parts, we knew our news would come as a shock to people in our lives, especially close family members. 

It’s a real challenge to explain to people why we made the decision to get divorced — after all, we’re two nice, interesting, smart, and relatively well-adjusted individuals. There was no abuse, no infidelity, no drama that people usually associate with divorce. Our families also got along really well, so we knew there would be another emotional layer to the news.

COVID-19 came in at the perfect time; social distancing restrictions made it so I didn’t have to break the news to people face-to-face, which was a relief, but it also meant I would basically be Irish-exiting my in-laws. I handled my own family, and my ex handled his. The last time I saw my mother-in-law, I was still married to her son. We have exchanged a few text messages, but I haven’t physically seen her in almost two years. As time goes by, I hope that we will feel comfortable enough to grab a coffee or meet for lunch and maintain a nice friendship as well.

I Miss Having a Constant Companion

My ex and I were very close friends before we started dating, and this was a huge plus for our relationship while we were married. We liked doing many of the same things, especially going to the movies, which we did on a weekly basis. We tried to keep this up after we got divorced, but life always got in the way. I know we’re better off apart, but I do miss having a default movie or brunch buddy.

I am a naturally independent person, and I am okay with being alone. I have a lively social life in Serbia, but there is something comforting about coming home to someone, hearing about their day, making dinner, and watching a funny TV show together. Obviously, I would never stay with someone just so I felt less lonely, but it is hard to go from living a life of two to a life of one, for sure.

We Didn’t Give Couples Therapy a Proper Try

Most couples go through some kind of mediation before they finally decide to call it quits. I do think going to couples therapy would have helped us sort out a lot of problems, but I also know we saved a lot of time, energy, tears, and money by skipping that part altogether because ultimately, my ex and I knew we’d be better off apart.

Despite this, I do wonder how things would have gone if we had given it a shot. My hesitancy was based on the fact that I’ve been going to solo therapy since I was 14 years old. I know how therapy works and how emotional it can be. My ex, however, has never gone to any kind of therapy. I was genuinely worried about how that would affect things, since he usually bottled up his problems and released his energy in random outbursts. 

Ideally, my ex would have done some solo therapy before couples therapy, or he would have done it in conjunction with couples therapy. When I asked him to do this, he said he “didn’t have the time or the money for solo therapy.” I then asked how it was possible for him to have time and money for couples therapy, and when he realized the position he’d put himself in, we both knew starting with couples therapy off the bat would be a disaster. Still, I will always wonder if things might have changed had we tried.

The Bottom Line

My ex and I are still very good friends, and for that, I will forever be grateful. Even so, it’s hard to go through any parting without wondering “what if” or wishing things had gone differently. As our new lives develop apart, I know I will learn from this experience and mend some of the regrets as I become romantically involved with others.

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