There is a tiny chapel perched in the meadow above Judge's Bay, in Parnell. White and wooden, it's the perfect setting for a romantic summer wedding. A minute drive from there, crouching low over the Do people regret divorce of Albert St, is the Auckland District Court. Above the entrance, a large patch of mould is creeping down the facade to meet the New Zealand Coat of Arms. Of the 10, or so couples who marry in New Zealand yearly, roughly a third will eventually end up filing the papers here, on level 6, to dissolve their marriage.
Divorce has never been easier and, for marriages where abuse or genuine incompatibility is at play, shooting the horse can be the best option.
But for others it's not so straightforward: Google "divorce regret" and you will find the internet is littered with those regretting their decision to end it. Whisper, the app where people anonymously share secrets, logs confessions from people wishing to turn back the clock, side by side with those happy to be moving on. William Michael, a Wellington man now in his 50s, is in the former category. He Do people regret divorce his wife divorced nine years ago, after seven years of marriage and two children.
He found that the intimacy of marriage unearthed flaws in him that hadn't been triggered by the less intense bonds of friendship and work relationships. He worked hard to change his flaws but found it challenging. Immediately after they split, he felt happy - the break-up had relieved the pressure. But later the truth seeped in. There was something I should have done, which I didn't do. He urges people in a similar position to learn from his experience.
Clinical psychologist Trish Purnell-Webb, founder of the Relationship Institute Australasia, says most of her divorced clients have to resolve their regret. Mostly regrets take the form of "Why didn't I make more of an effort? She estimates 90 per cent of the couples she sees could happily go on to have a successful relationship, providing they up-skill to overcome their individual and joint weaknesses.
The other 10 per cent have genuinely made a mistake in their choice of partner. But even in marriages that are fundamentally sound, when things get tough, as they inevitably do, a proportion of people choose the quick death and perceived fresh start of divorce, rather than hanging in there for the hard slog of overcoming difficulties.
The human brain is hard-wired to identify and focus on the negatives in the surrounding environment. It's a survival strategy: It can, however, lead us to seriously underestimate the positives until it's too late. Regret can be very hard to let go of, and it delivers the double blow of shackling a person to the past, while diminishing their appreciation of the present.
Left unresolved, it can lead to depression and anxiety. Research shows starting a new relationship is the leading factor in moving on from the regret associated with divorce.
Being a woman helps too: The New Zealand "just get on with it" ethos also plays its part in isolating people dealing with uncomfortable emotions like regret. Rather than sucking it up and boxing on, it's more helpful to focus on developing the thinking skills and mental toughness to let go of the fantasised "other life".
For Do people regret divorce who have genuinely made a mistake and for whom divorce is the best option, there is almost invariably still regret, but it takes a different form.
Simone Ellen, "Do people regret divorce" brand strategist who split from her ex-husband five years ago, is sure she made the right decision. But looking back, she wishes that during their year marriage she had ditched her flaw of being a people-pleaser, and fought harder to be herself.
Instead she spent of it conforming to rules she didn't believe - making a thousand small "Do people regret divorce" she lost herself in. She also regrets not being kinder to herself in the first year after the split.
For her there was a silver "Do people regret divorce" in the trauma of the divorce: Courage is the game changer - it takes courage to take responsibility. Dr Nickola Overall, associate professor of psychology at the University of Auckland, agrees regret can motivate self-examination. We've never expected more from marriage. It's an institution that started life as a strategic alliance between families, and has morphed Do people regret divorce - ideally - a legally binding love relationship between equals.
The job of the modern spouse includes being emotionally available, loyal and supportive, as well as helping the other's dreams come true, and encouraging them to become all they can be. These high expectations coincide with the point, historically, when we are the most time poor we've ever been. The demands of children, work, and modern life lower the Do people regret divorce of converting these expectations into reality.
Overall says it's a cocktail for disaster that can spell the end, even for sound marriages. One Hamilton woman, now in her 50s, says this was the case in her former marriage. They allowed, she says, the chaos of having a young family to swamp, and eventually capsize, their marriage. Their marriage drifted, and in the end her husband made a stupid mistake - seeing another woman. It would be easy to blame him for their eventual divorce, but she is adamant that's not the case.
If you honestly look back at the previous time, you can see cracks. They tried marriage guidance, but she had already checked out, even before his adultery. Divorced more than a decade, she says, "I regret not hanging in.
I have lain awake, years after, in the middle of the night, woken up thinking, 'Oh my God. Sir Paul Coleridge, a retired family law judge in London, has seen exactly this scenario play out many times.
He spent 42 years in the family law system, 30 as a barrister and the remaining 12 as a judge, divorcing couples. He was so frustrated by witnessing what he felt were many unnecessary divorces, that he founded a think-tank, the Marriage Foundation, in While the family court provides a remedy for the problem, the foundation is his attempt to address its cause. Most divorce is concentrated in the first 10 years of marriage, when the stress of young families, hectic Do people regret divorce and money pressures can be overwhelming.
He says more Do people regret divorce half of the divorce cases he heard were salvageable, despite reaching litigation. They hadn't hit the point of no return, things had just got much tougher than they would like. If the marriage is sound, the way through, he says, is for spouses to confront the aspects of themselves and their marriage that they would rather ignore, and address those difficulties head-on.
Overall agrees that spending time on your marriage, making it strong and stable, insulates it against the inevitable down times. She says one block to facing and resolving difficulties is the phenomenon of "destiny beliefs", where a person believes their relationship was "meant to be". Romantic, yes, but it can destabilise a marriage because, hand in hand with the belief that the relationship is destined, goes the belief that it should be easy and conflict-free.
Overall says people with these beliefs respond more negatively to conflict. Rather than working Do people regret divorce resolve it, the presence of the conflict prompts them to Do people regret divorce the "rightness" of the relationship.
They're more likely to break up marriages, says Overall, and are more likely to find themselves in a Do people regret divorce of regret afterwards. The key is understanding that conflict is a normal part of marriage.
Dr John Gottman of the Gottman Institute in the United States, says that more than any other relationship factor, divorce can be predicted by the presence of the "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse": The answer, he says, is to replace them with better skills. So what does that look like? His 40 years of research have identified nine skills that will lead those horses back to the stables for good:.
Know your partner's world. Understand your partner's psychological world, history, worries, stresses, joys and hopes. Give out love and admiration. Practise showing your partner appreciation and respect. Respond openly to your partner. Reward your partner's attempts to connect with you, however flawed, with listening and encouragement.
Reciprocate by voicing your own needs. Have a positive, can-do approach to problem-solving. Conflict is natural, and can be functional and positive. Learn the difference between solvable and perpetual problems, which need to be handled differently, and use the right tool for the job.
Help make life dreams happen. Encourage each person to talk honestly about their hopes, values, convictions and aspirations. Find a common purpose by finding shared values, goals, life philosophies and ways of connecting. Treat your partner like they have your back.
Believe, and act on the belief, that this is your lifelong partner. Compare your partner favourably with others.
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All the problems, the arguing, the unhappiness, it is all over now that the divorce is final. Right? Not always. More couples "Do people regret divorce" you may realize. “70% of people who divorce regret it within a year later. Most of those go on Do people regret divorce another marriage, realizing at some point that the first one was “good enough” to.
When people regret divorce, it's often because they cheated on or treated their former spouse badly, and now recognize what a good thing they had and ruined .