To forgive one’s ex-spouse during and after divorce may seem like an impossible task, but it is an essential one if a person is ever expected to move on and begin a new life. Letting go of resentment and regret is one of the single most important things you can do during divorce to not only lay the groundwork for an easier time in court and during legal proceedings, but also for settling into your new normal once the divorce has been finalized.
Regret is caused when we feel that we have made a choice that was not healthy for us, or wishing that we could reverse a choice—and its consequences—that we have made. The younger a person is, the easier it is to learn from those emotions and make changes that avoid that outcome in the future. When a person is older, of course, he or she has less time to undo or reverse those actions—and so will likely experience stronger and more lasting pangs of regret.
Psychological research has shown that women tend to experience regret more often when it comes to romantic or physically intimate relationships. Of women surveyed, 44 percent reported having some form of romantic regret, while less than 20 percent of men reported having such feelings. Men are more likely to replace partners quickly after the end of a romantic relationship, however, which could be one reason for the disparity in response. Respondents of both genders who were currently in a romantic relationship had less regret about the end of a previous one.
Divorce regret can be particularly painful, because divorce involves expensive proceedings and litigation that can be financially impossible to undo. Refusing to act impulsively is one way to avoid this—be sure that your decision to divorce was not something that popped up randomly, or without serious consideration. Put your issues into perspective: are things really that bad? All partners will have problems. Take the time to write down your reasons for divorce, and take the time to look at them and decide whether or not you truly believe them. These can all help to ease the trap of regret during or after divorce.
If you or someone you know is considering divorce, the most important step is to seek legal counsel. Do not go through it alone. Contact an experienced Batavia, IL family law attorney today.