If you’re divorced like me, you have some painful memories of marriage.
But do you have any regrets? What would you do differently in your marriage (or marriages) looking back? Do you regret the divorce itself?
“Just because our society encourages us to trade in our spouses like refrigerators or old cars does not mean that divorce is the answer,” Dennis wrote. “Particularly if you have children – you owe it to yourself, your parents, your children, your spouse and your (real) friends to work very, very hard on your marriage.”
I agree wholeheartedly. Barring abuse, marriages should be saved if at all possible.
But do I regret my two divorces? Absolutely not.
Both marriages – one lasting nine years and the other less than three – were dead long before the divorce degree was signed.
Neither I nor my spouses committed an act – such as adultery – that doomed the marriage. Instead, we were mismatched from the start. Divorce, I now believe, was the inevitable outcome both times.
So my regret in both marriages was the marriage itself – not anything that occurred afterward. In each case, my wife and I share in the blame for not examining our compatibility more closely before we wed.
I’ll bet that many other divorced people would agree.
Premarital counseling can help prevent regret
If two people are mismatched, the marriage doesn’t stand a chance long term. That’s why I’m such a believer in premarital counseling.
Could it prevent all divorces? Of course not. But I believe rigorous premarital counseling could prevent many marriages – and, therefore, many divorces.
Another Single Dad House columnist, Nina Atwood, has recommended counseling for couples considering marriage.
“Research shows that your odds of success in a new marriage are significantly higher when you invest the time and money in premarital counseling and workshops,” Nina wrote in February.
Couples, particularly those marrying for the second or third time, should invest an enormous amount of time to determine that they’re compatible.
It’s far less painful to call off a marriage than to end a marriage.
In Dennis Fuller’s recent article, he wrote of a client who regretted divorcing her husband – the father of her children – many years before.
“I was young, and I just didn’t think marriage was supposed to be that hard,” she told Dennis.
To me, her comments were heart wrenching. I can’t imagine the agony of giving up on a marriage too soon.
However, I can imagine the agony of realizing you’ve married the wrong person.
Marriage is a huge commitment. If you’re in a marriage, work like hell to save it. If you’re considering marriage, work like hell to make sure you’re making the right decision.
You don’t want marriage to produce regret that will haunt you the rest of your life.
Marriage can produce great joy or terrible pain. If people took marriage more seriously, they’d be less likely to leave a viable marriage and less likely to enter into a marriage with someone who wasn’t compatible.