If you’re reading this article, it’s probably because you’ve at least considered divorcing your spouse. (If you’re reading it for another reason, there’s plenty of good research in this article for you, too!) The fact is that marriage can be incredibly hard, and divorce nearly always is too. I want you to know, dear friend, that you’re going through a lot. You’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. But things get better – don’t lose hope! In the meantime, let’s go over some things to consider as you’re making this decision “will I regret my divorce?”
Why Do People Regret Divorce?
The short answer is that yes, people do regret their divorces – many people do. A 2014 study by The Daily Mail found the number to be high – 50% of people surveyed regretted divorcing (1). The reasons are many; several people didn’t realize how much of their lives would change. Divorce changes one’s lifestyle in many unexpected ways. Parents who were staying at home must now work to support themselves and any children they share custody of. Finances, of course, take a huge hit. The divorce process overall is shockingly long and exhausting. And it is extremely difficult to watch your children go through the pain of this huge life change. Read more about how divorce affects children here. This will be an important consideration of the question “will I regret my divorce?”
Perhaps the most surprising finding of the study, however, is that many people simply regretted leaving their spouses. After some time and distance, their hearts began to long for the companion they once had. They realize that, even though it was anything but easy, the relationship might have been worth saving after all.
Both marriage and divorce are very permanent decisions.
Many people think thatmarriage is not as permanent, because divorce always remains an option to ending the marriage, but there are many aspects of marriage that divorce does not simply do away with. The emotional, physical, and spiritual connection that you have with someone you’ve been married to is extremely strong. Most people underestimate it and then find themselves heartbroken and lost when they do divorce. The reality is that you’ve merged your life with this person. You have shared intimate things with them. There was probably a point in time when your spouse knew you better than anyone. The Bible puts it plainly: Married people become one person (Genesis 2:24, paraphrased). So if you are considering divorce, know that it is not as simple as we might like it to be. This will be an important consideration of the question “will I regret my divorce?”
Should I Divorce My Spouse?
If there’s a 50% chance you’ll regret divorcing your spouse, then that’s enough to at least take a closer look at your situation. Some marriages are not salvageable. But what if yours is? Should you divorce your spouse or stay married?
Remember, firstly, that just because things are a certain way in your marriage now does not mean they will be that way forever. The present does not necessarily dictate the future. The first question is, how invested is your spouse in saving the marriage? Has your spouse cheated on or abused you? Has he or she already abandoned you completely? If any of these things has happened, divorce might be an option, but should still be a last resort because of how damaging it is. If your spouse has not done any of these things, there is huge hope for your marriage. This will be an important consideration of the question “will I regret my divorce?”
Your spouse’s behavior is hurtful. It may be condescending, rude, or neglectful.
But consider for a moment that there may be more than meets the eye to his/her behavior. Perhaps it is motivated by external circumstances, such as a family situation, medical problem, or issues at work. There could be a deep spiritual work going on, which is a great opportunity for your marriage to be restored. If your spouse begins to trust you again during this difficult time, it’s a snowball effect from there on out. Remember, too – and this is difficult – it’s possible that your spouse’s behavior is motivated by something that you have accidentally done, said, or failed to do or say. It’s not your job to read your spouse’s mind, but this is a chance to honestly evaluate how you’ve been doing as a partner. Have you given your spouse opportunities to trust, respect, and rely upon you?
Is There Hope For My Marriage?
I’ve heard story upon story of couples who came within a hair’s breadth of divorce, but restored their marriage through humility, hard work, and trust in a real God who acted for them. God is on the side of marriage; he designed it to be a fulfilling union between man and woman, a reflection of his heart for you. There is hope for you too! For more information about divorce and what to expect, read Why Does Divorce Hurt So Much? and How Does Divorce Affect Children?
Remember that God has not abandoned you! Here are 9 Things to Remember When You Are Feeling Defeated. He wants to partner with you in this difficult decision. All is not lost.