Published On: Fri, Dec 1st, 2023

6 Reasons People Regret Divorce

Like many big life events and decisions, divorce can be a source of regret for many. While some may never look back, most of us will be tinged with a little bit of grief, reflection and sometimes remorse. We list six of the reasons why you may experience regret following your divorce.

Photo by Gerd Altmann

  1.   Financial problems

The financial consequences of a divorce can be a big trigger for feelings of regret. Perhaps decisions were made in the past about how your assets would be divided and you have now come to realise this doesn’t fall in your favour. Or, you may feel aggrieved regarding the amount of child support you are paying or receiving as you are now struggling financially. The financial implications of divorce are varied and vast. You may have to work longer hours or put off retirement to make ends meet, move home or change towns. All of these can understandably make you question why you entered the marriage or if you should have gone through with your divorce. 

  1. The impact on children

Seeing how your children have been affected by your divorce is up there as one of the biggest reasons for regretting a divorce. In the initial stages, you may feel that parting from their other parent is best for them in the long run, and you may be right. But in the short-term and sometimes longer, children can be considerably impacted by the upheaval and changes divorce brings to their lives and it can be difficult to watch them experience insecurity, sadness and grief that your marriage has ended.

  1.   Feeling alone

It’s natural to feel relieved when you have ended your marriage as this is often precipitated by the stress of your former situation. However, when the dust has settled and reality sinks in, you may miss the friendship and feeling of inclusion your former family life brought you. You may feel as if you took this for granted at the time and didn’t realise that you would miss this aspect of your relationship.

  1.   Feeling betrayed

 Some divorces will come about as a result of infidelity. If you were on the receiving end of this you may regret not having taken action sooner, or not taking note of things you feel you should have. If you are the person who was dishonest to your former spouse, you may regret what you did, or the way that you did it.

  1.   Realising your own mistakes 

 When you go through a divorce, you may feel adamant that your position is the right one and your partner is 100% to blame for the breakdown of your relationship. However, time for reflection or entering a new relationship with the same problems you had during your marriage can leave you realising that you also were responsible for some of the reasons why you divorced. This new understanding can cause you to then regret the things you did and didn’t do, and see your former marriage in a new light.

  1.   Emotional stress

Going through a divorce is like all grieving processes, it takes time and it can take its toll on your emotional well-being. In the aftermath, you may feel a sense of relief and even happiness, but a divorce will always involve having to reach agreements, talk about money, divide assets and discuss the needs of children. This can cause ongoing stress on top of living your everyday life.


While regret is a natural human emotion, it’s important to ultimately forgive yourself for the parts you played in your divorce. It can be easy for regret to develop into depression, dejection and anxiety. Reach out for support from family and friends, or through seeking therapy to ensure you are processing the impact of your divorce as constructively as possible and looking after your mental health.

Author: Robert Miles

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