Getting over a divorce isn’t easy. I know that firsthand. It’s a process. First, you’re somewhat shocked–even if you knew it was going to happen for a long time. Then it’s confusing. Then you might decide you’re really angry. The next couple weeks you might cry and be really sad. Then you might feel intense fear and stress for the future. Divorce is a process that takes months, even years, and it’s healthy to process all of those emotions. But there’s one emotion that is very very unproductive. It serves no good purpose, and honestly, it really, really, really slows down the process of moving on:
Here are examples of regret that will prevent you from getting over a divorce:
“He wouldn’t have cheated if I was a better wife.”
“I never should have taken that job in California and moved her away from her family.”
“My family warned me not to marry her. I should have listened.”
“I should have divorced him 10 years ago. I would have been a decade younger and had so much more time to be happy.”
“I should have worked harder at the marriage.”
“I never should have said those things to him.”
“I should have agreed to have another child like she wanted.”
“I should have treated her better.”
“I wish I would have been nicer.”
These are just some of the things someone getting divorced might say to themselves or to others. Regrets are should haves, could haves, would haves, and they are very unproductive. I mean, what good does it do to look back and say these things? Will it change anything? No. Will it bring you back to the past? No.
Everyone in life has regrets, not just about divorce, but about everything. I have regrets financially. I have regrets about things I didn’t do, places I never visited, people I didn’t stay in touch with. I have too many regrets to count. And of course, I have regrets when it comes to pretty much every romantic relationship I have ever been in, (except for the one I’m in now), including my marriage and divorce.
Having regrets is part of life. It’s really the way we learn for the future, to live in a way that is better for us and a way that makes us happier.
I think it’s OK to have regrets, to think about them and to verbalize them. BUT, there comes a time when regrets need to be put to rest, not focused upon and pushed out of that space in your head that can choose to hold positive or negative thoughts. It is key in getting over a divorce.
Our regrets are the drivers that make us smarter and smarter as we grow older.
With all that said, here is the key to getting over a divorce. Put your regrets aside and replace that space in your head with TODAY. Rejoice and celebrate what you have NOW.
Instead of saying “I wish I would have been a better wife,” say “I am a good person and I will be a better spouse in my next relationship.” Instead of saying “He wouldn’t have cheated if I was a better wife” think, “I had no control over what he did. His cheating is not my fault.” Instead of saying “”I never should have taken that job in California and moved her away from her family” say, “I thought that was the right decision at the time. I can’t change it, I can only learn from it.” Instead of saying “I should have divorced him 10 years ago. I would have been a decade younger and had so much more time to be happy,” say “Every day that I am alive is a chance to be happy and have a good life. I will take advantage of all the time I have left.”
Gratitude, contentment, and celebration should be what replaces those awful feelings of regret that don’t mean anything anymore, except for the fact that we gain valuable lessons from them.
It’s interesting. What’s the opposite of regret? Contentment. Those bitter people who can’t let go of the hate and resentment for their ex: they haven’t let go of their regrets, they are anything but content, relaxed and at peace because their head is still in the past. Divorced people who end up happy accept what happened and make a conscious choice to move on, not to necessarily forget the past but to not focus on it, and to embrace now and the future. They enjoy TODAY. The beauty is, the decision to regret or be content is completely yours. Isn’t the choice a no-brainer?
Like this article? Check out, “9 Signs of a Healthy Romantic Relationship”