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Regrets after Divorce

Posted August 28 2014

Cathy was the ‘Expert’ on Julian Clegg’s Breakfast Show on BBC Radio Solent on 18th August 2014, commenting on the results of a recent survey of 2000 Britons who had ended a marriage or committed relationship, and whether divorce was ‘too easy’.

This found that after the trauma of the divorce/ending itself had been got through:

  • 54% have had some kind of regret about ending things, with 10% saying they feel this way all the time. One third say the regrets come from missing their partner, while 22% struggled to move on because they still loved their ex.
  • 20% said the regrets started straight away, with 19% having second thoughts within a weeks of saying the D-word (divorce). 10% wished they hadn’t left their partner after a year or more. Others wished they could take things back when the divorce officially came through, as they worked to divide the assets or when they started to tell people they were calling it quits.

42% have had moments where they considered giving their marriage another go:

  • Of these, 41% made moves to try again
  • 21% of this group are still together now, with almost half saying they are happier or stronger than they were before the divorce

So 8.6% of those who have ended a committed relationship or marriage are together again now, and 4.3% are happier or stronger than before.

I know about this phenomena when couples come to us at Duo Coaching to rebuild their relationship, wanting to create something better than before without falling back into unhelpful patterns from the past. It’s great as we see them understand the structure patterns in their entirety, discover how they can resist the triggers, and repair from the inevitable mistakes. They make even better connections as they explore areas which have been avoided previously. Their relationship really starts to flourish then.

Of this 8.6% who have come back together again:

  • 95% say the time apart during their breakup helped them to save their marriage
  • 33% comment the time apart gave both parties a bit of space
  • 33% reckon it allowed them to take a step back and look at what went wrong in their marriage
  • 35% agree they were able to set aside their differences while apart
  • 56% say that the separation made them realise how much they actually valued their marriage
  • 46% note that time apart made them appreciate their other half more than they did

The top 10 reasons for regretting a divorce are:

  • I miss my ex partner
  • I still love my ex-partner
  • I felt like a failure
  • I felt lonely
  • I realised I was being unreasonable
  • I discovered the grass isn’t greener
  • My ex-partner has found someone new
  • I realised I’m not better off on my own
  • It has damaged my/my partner’s relationship with our children
  • My children’s lives have been affected

Sadly you can no longer listen to the show as the iPlayer date has expired

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