914.946.0848  .  contact  .  map & directions  .  subscribe  .  LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Regret

June 3, 2020  | 

{3 minutes to read} I recently read an article in the New York Times by Dhruv Khullar, MD, in which he wrote about the possible detrimental health effects of feeling regret.

Dr. Khullar believes that doctors often ignore the toll that regret can have on someone: “We often don’t explore the role regret might be playing in the distress many patients and families experience, or acknowledge it when it’s clear that it is contributing to their pain.”

The article focused on regret and the consequential feeling of guilt experienced by someone who delayed addressing a health care concern, either for themselves or for a loved one. But it also noted other circumstances where feelings of regret can haunt someone.

Regret certainly has its place in a separation or divorce. Someone wanting to stay in the marriage could feel “if only I was more aware of their unhappiness, we would still be married.” Someone who prolonged leaving could feel regret about the economic consequences in having stayed married for a longer period of time.

Objectively, of course, it doesn’t help to feel regret. Adding guilt or being angry at yourself on top of the myriad of emotions you are feeling is not helpful. But how does one avoid it, or at least lessen its impact?

Dr. Khullar suggests:

“Simply naming regret — creating the space for patients to confront and explore this emotion is an important step ...”

In the medical context, he believes that the doctor should then reassure the patient or their family members that “they made the best decision they could with the information they had.” Further, the uncertainty of medicine does not guarantee that, even had the person acted in the way they feel they should have acted, the result would be different.

In the context of a couple separating, it’s also uncertain that having taken the action you regret not taking, the effect would have been different. You are always dealing with another person over whose feelings and emotions you have no control. You addressing your spouse’s unhappiness doesn’t guarantee that you would not have gotten separated. And letting the other person know you want out of the marriage may not have resulted in a timely separation and financially beneficial settlement, if they weren’t ready to move forward at that point.

So, if you’re feeling regret that is interfering with your ability to move on, get the reassurance and support that you need from a mental health professional, friends, or family. It can help you to stop blaming yourself, and recognize that contrary to popular belief, hindsight is not always 20/20, especially in areas where emotions are a large part of the dynamic. 

Clare Piro Attorney and Mediator

Attorney & Mediator
500 Mamaroneck Avenue | Suite 320
Harrison, NY 10528
Tel: 914.946.0848

Email »

Comments
Maryann M
July 31, 2020 - 7:25 AM
Enjoyed this article because it points out something we often forget in regret....that no one says the outcome would have been different. Dwelling on the past is such a waste of time but we all do it. We can't change it. Hopefully, we learned something from it and move forward with our lives. The human experience brings joy as well as pain. The human experience is also finite so move on and live. Thank you for sharing this article.
Search
Topics
Mediation (83) | Divorce (77) | Divorce Mediation (19) | Mediator (12) | Conflict (9) | Litigation (8) | Child Support (8) | Separation Agreement (7) | Clare A. Piro (6) | Clare A. Piro Mediation (6) | Collaborative Divorce (6) | Consultation (6) | Communication (5) | Separation (5) | Parenting Plan (5) | Co-Parenting (5) | Family (4) | Parenting (4) | Attorney (4) | Settlement (4) | Children (4) | Finances (4) | Child Support Standards Act (3) | Agreement (3) | Child Inclusive Mediation (3) | Child Consultant (3) | Divorce Finances (3) | Mediation Myths (3) | Expenses (3) | Marital Assets (3) | Divorce And Children (3) | Clare Piro (3) | Equitable Distribution (3) | Divorce Mediator (3) | Clients (3) | Emotions (2) | Relationships (2) | Legislation (2) | Custody (2) | Mediate (2) | Assets (2) | Truth (2) | Equal Parenting Plan (2) | Budgets (2) | Marital Home (2) | Collaborative Practice (2) | Unrequited Love (2) | Informed Decisions (2) | Separate Property (2) | Apology (2) | Compromise (2) | Listening (2) | Seperation (2) | Marital Property (2) | Anxiety (2) | Mediation Versus Litigation (2) | Anger (2) | Bitterness (2) | Moving Forward (2) | Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) (2) | Step-Mother (2) | Step-Father (2) | Step-Children (2) | Pandemic (2) | Calculating Support (2) | Conflict During Mediation (2) | Settlement Agreements (2) | Mediation Benefits (2) | CSSA (2) | College Expenses (2) | Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) (2) | Spouse (2) | Post-Divorce Income (2) | Couples (2) | Custody Disputes (1) | Maintaining Calm (1) | Matrimonial Cases (1) | But (1) | Apologizing (1) | Social Distancing (1) | Complicated Finances (1) | Multiple Assets (1) | FinancialPortfolio (1) | Mediation Misconceptions (1) | Coronavirus (1) | Equitable Distribution Statute (1) | Meditate (1) | Property Distribution (1) | Fiancé (1) | Depression (1) | Prenuptial Agreement (Prenup) (1) | Seller (1) | Time To Process (1) | Patience (1) | Marriage Counseling (1) | Frame Of Mind (1) | Reluctant Spouse (1) | Telling Your Spouse (1) | Buyer (1) | PostNup (1) | Cash Flow (1) | Interest Payments (1) | Equity Loan (1) | Refinance (1) | Divorce Assets (1) | Emotional Attachment (1) | Post Nuptial (1) | Fear Of Separation (1) | Collaborative Process (1) | Lack Of Focus (1) | Attitudes Toward Prenups (1) | Asset Distribution (1) | Marital Concerns (1) | Prenuptial Agreement (1) | Prenup (1) | Court Vs Mediation (1) | Needs Vs Wants (1) | Lawyer (1) | Entitlement (1) | Court Process (1) | Financial Documents (1) | Financial Information (1) | Family Law Software (1) | Mental Health Professional (1) | Negotiation (1) | Thrive (1) | Court Order (1) | Expectations (1) | Child Support Payment (1) | NYs Child Support Guidelines (CSSA) (1) | Child's Best Interests (1) | Custody Determination (1) | Primary Caretaker (1) | Domestic Violence (1) | Older Parents (1) | Elder Mediation (1) | Eldercare (1) | Older Adults (1) | Tough Decisions (1) | Anxious Thoughts (1) | Pathological Liar (1) | Joseph Goldstein (1) | A Neutral (1) | Feelings (1) | Intention (1) | New Year’s Resolutions (1) | Child Focused Mediation (1) | Mediating Emails (1) | Family Mediations (1) | Communicating (1) | Tone Of Voice (1) | Facial Expression (1) | New York’s Child Support And Maintenance (1) | Postnuptial Agreements (1) | Waiving Spousal Support (1) | Languish (1) | Non-Residential Parent (1) | An Advocate (1) | COVID19 (1) | Parental Holiday Sharing (1) | Global Pandemic (1) | Maggie O’Connor (1) | Remain Healthy (1) | Lack Of Communication (1) | Unhappy Relationship (1) | Heard (1) | Understood (1) | Couples Counseling (1) | Power Of Regret (1) | Guilt (1) | Separating (1) | Divorce Agreement (1) | Holiday Season (1) | Cultural Holidays (1) | Financial Professional (1) | Religious Holidays (1) | Mediating Onine (1) | Mediating Virtually (1) | Technical Difficulties (1) | Agreement To Mediate (1) | Caucus (1) | 50/50 Parenting (1) | Parenting Schedules (1) | Co-parenting (1) | Children And Divorce (1) | On-Duty Parent Responsibilities (1) | Transition Day (1) | 50/50 Parenting Plan (1) | Dividing House Asset (1) | Husband (1) | Ex-Spouse (1) | Abundance (1) | New York (1) | Budget (1) | Agreements (1) | Dogs (1) | Adopt Shelter Dogs (1) | Older Dogs (1) | Effects On Family (1) | Living Together (1) | Living Apart (1) | Baby Boomers (1) | Grandparents (1) | Divorce Law (1) | Scarcity (1) | Advice (1) | Resolution (1) | Marriage (1) | Summer (1) | Kids (1) | School Year (1) | Power (1) | Acknowledgement (1) | Conflicy (1) | Fall (1) | Extremes (1) | Payments (1) | Seperation Agreement (1) | Unemployment (1) | Self-talk (1) | Blame (1) | Moving On (1) | House (1) | Parenting Plans (1) | Parenting Post-Divorce (1) | Joint Physical Custody (1) | Moving On After Divorce (1) | Halloween (1) | Fear Of Divorce (1) | Scared Of Divorce (1) | Holiday Blues (1) | Holidays Post-Divorce (1) | Alone At The Holidays (1) | Consulting Attorney (1) | Post-Divorce Dating (1) | Finding Love After Divorce (1) | Equity (1) | 2015 (1) | Mental Health (1) | Specialist (1) | Relocation (1) | Change (1) | Difficult Clients (1) | Self-determination (1) | Self Determination (1) | New York State (1) | Control (1) | Balance (1) | Equality (1) | Mindfulness (1) | Year In Review (1) | Responsibility (1) | Disclosure (1) | Accepting Responsibility (1) | Separation Agreements (1) | Custodial Parent (1) | Financial Situation (1) | Wife (1) | Bankruptcy (1) | Affair (1) | Married (1) | Settlement Agreement (1) | Personal Relationships (1) | Public Trust (1) | Lies (1) | Little White Lies (1) | Dishonest (1) | Spouses (1) | Work Stress (1) | Dreaming (1) | Holiday Preparations (1) | Perfection (1) | Matrimonial Dispute (1) | LawyerDivorceMediation (1) | MediationSession (1) | FamilyMediation (1) | AttorneyPresence (1) | Blended Families (1) | Significant Other (1) | Attitudes (1) | Family Enrichment (1) | Remarriage After Divorce (1) | Taking Responsibility (1) | Intervention (1) | Therapy (1) | Parents (1) | Joint Decision Making (1) | Contribution (1) | College (1) | Nesting (1) | Compassion (1) | Hurricane Harvey (1) | Married Couples (1) | Commingling (1) | Transmutation (1) | Maritial Property (1) | Maritial Assets (1) | Retirement Account (1) | Divorce Papers (1) | Negative Communication (1) | Joint Legal Custody (1) | Beneficiary (1) | Installment Agreements (1) | Temporary Agreement (1) | Permanent Agreement (1) | Tentative Agreements (1) | Accusations Of Delay (1) | Lack Of Trust (1) | Financial Costs (1) | Joint Account (1) | Settle Agreement (1) | Divorce Coach (1) | Settlement Term (1) | Life Insurance (1) | Spousal Support (1) | COVID 19 (1) |
Connect
Close Announcement

Online Mediation Available

In response to COVID-19 I am providing family and divorce mediation services online. Click to learn more.