914.946.0848  .  contact  .  map & directions  .  subscribe  . 

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 (78) | Divorce (72) | Divorce Mediation (20) | Mediator (13) | Conflict (9) | Child Support (8) | Litigation (8) | Separation Agreement (7) | Collaborative Divorce (6) | Clare A. Piro (6) | Consultation (6) | Clare A. Piro Mediation (6) | Separation (5) | Communication (5) | Settlement (4) | Children (4) | Parenting (4) | Family (4) | Parenting Plan (4) | Finances (4) | Attorney (4) | Mediation Myths (3) | Clients (3) | Marital Assets (3) | Equitable Distribution (3) | Child Support Standards Act (3) | Clare Piro (3) | Divorce Finances (3) | Co-Parenting (3) | Divorce And Children (3) | Divorce Mediator (3) | Expenses (3) | Truth (2) | Collaborative Practice (2) | Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) (2) | Custody (2) | Relationships (2) | Financial Professional (2) | Seperation (2) | Legislation (2) | Spouse (2) | CSSA (2) | Assets (2) | Listening (2) | Compromise (2) | Post-Divorce Income (2) | Budgets (2) | Calculating Support (2) | Informed Decisions (2) | Pandemic (2) | Emotions (2) | Equal Parenting Plan (2) | Unrequited Love (2) | Mediation Versus Litigation (2) | Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) (2) | Mediation Benefits (2) | Couples (2) | Conflict During Mediation (2) | Settlement Agreements (2) | Step-Children (2) | College Expenses (2) | Step-Mother (2) | Marital Home (2) | Step-Father (2) | Moving Forward (2) | Apology (2) | Bitterness (2) | Agreement (2) | Anger (2) | Anxiety (2) | Mediate (2) | Marital Property (2) | Separate Property (2) | Prenuptial Agreement (1) | Prenup (1) | Marital Concerns (1) | Property Distribution (1) | Collaborative Process (1) | Fiancé (1) | But (1) | Prenuptial Agreement (Prenup) (1) | Equitable Distribution Statute (1) | Attitudes Toward Prenups (1) | Apologizing (1) | Asset Distribution (1) | Fear Of Separation (1) | Equity Loan (1) | Refinance (1) | Divorce Assets (1) | Interest Payments (1) | Cash Flow (1) | Seller (1) | Buyer (1) | Emotional Attachment (1) | Dividing House Asset (1) | Family Enrichment (1) | Attitudes (1) | Remarriage After Divorce (1) | Taking Responsibility (1) | Ex-Spouse (1) | Accepting Responsibility (1) | Telling Your Spouse (1) | Reluctant Spouse (1) | Financial Documents (1) | Financial Information (1) | Family Law Software (1) | Court Process (1) | Entitlement (1) | Needs Vs Wants (1) | Negotiation (1) | Mental Health Professional (1) | Lawyer (1) | Marriage Counseling (1) | Frame Of Mind (1) | Patience (1) | Time To Process (1) | PostNup (1) | Post Nuptial (1) | Court Vs Mediation (1) | Global Pandemic (1) | A Neutral (1) | An Advocate (1) | Non-Residential Parent (1) | Child Support Payment (1) | Child's Best Interests (1) | NYs Child Support Guidelines (CSSA) (1) | 50/50 Parenting Plan (1) | Transition Day (1) | 50/50 Parenting (1) | Caucus (1) | Parenting Schedules (1) | Co-parenting (1) | On-Duty Parent Responsibilities (1) | Children And Divorce (1) | Custody Determination (1) | Primary Caretaker (1) | Expectations (1) | Pathological Liar (1) | Joseph Goldstein (1) | Feelings (1) | New Year’s Resolutions (1) | Intention (1) | Anxious Thoughts (1) | Tough Decisions (1) | Older Parents (1) | Domestic Violence (1) | Elder Mediation (1) | Eldercare (1) | Older Adults (1) | Agreement To Mediate (1) | Technical Difficulties (1) | Court Order (1) | Matrimonial Cases (1) | COVID19 (1) | Significant Other (1) | Remain Healthy (1) | Maggie O’Connor (1) | Custody Disputes (1) | Multiple Assets (1) | Maintaining Calm (1) | Coronavirus (1) | Social Distancing (1) | Mediation Misconceptions (1) | FinancialPortfolio (1) | Complicated Finances (1) | Lack Of Communication (1) | Unhappy Relationship (1) | Parental Holiday Sharing (1) | Holiday Season (1) | Cultural Holidays (1) | Religious Holidays (1) | Mediating Virtually (1) | Mediating Onine (1) | Divorce Agreement (1) | Separating (1) | Understood (1) | Heard (1) | Couples Counseling (1) | Power Of Regret (1) | Guilt (1) | Meditate (1) | Bankruptcy (1) | Baby Boomers (1) | Living Apart (1) | Grandparents (1) | Divorce Law (1) | Scarcity (1) | Abundance (1) | Living Together (1) | Effects On Family (1) | Agreements (1) | Budget (1) | Dogs (1) | Adopt Shelter Dogs (1) | Older Dogs (1) | Resolution (1) | Marriage (1) | Parenting Post-Divorce (1) | Extremes (1) | Payments (1) | Seperation Agreement (1) | Responsibility (1) | Unemployment (1) | Fall (1) | Conflicy (1) | Kids (1) | Summer (1) | School Year (1) | Power (1) | Acknowledgement (1) | New York (1) | Self-talk (1) | House (1) | Halloween (1) | Equity (1) | Moving On After Divorce (1) | Specialist (1) | Mental Health (1) | Finding Love After Divorce (1) | Post-Divorce Dating (1) | Holiday Blues (1) | Scared Of Divorce (1) | Holidays Post-Divorce (1) | Alone At The Holidays (1) | Consulting Attorney (1) | Relocation (1) | Change (1) | Mindfulness (1) | Equality (1) | Year In Review (1) | 2015 (1) | Advice (1) | Blame (1) | Balance (1) | Control (1) | Joint Physical Custody (1) | Difficult Clients (1) | Self-determination (1) | Self Determination (1) | New York State (1) | Moving On (1) | Disclosure (1) | Wife (1) | Husband (1) | Fear Of Divorce (1) | Affair (1) | Settlement Agreement (1) | Married (1) | Financial Situation (1) | Custodial Parent (1) | Beneficiary (1) | Spousal Support (1) | Therapy (1) | Dreaming (1) | Intervention (1) | Personal Relationships (1) | Public Trust (1) | Matrimonial Dispute (1) | Perfection (1) | LawyerDivorceMediation (1) | MediationSession (1) | AttorneyPresence (1) | FamilyMediation (1) | Holiday Preparations (1) | Work Stress (1) | Little White Lies (1) | Lies (1) | Dishonest (1) | Spouses (1) | Separation Agreements (1) | Life Insurance (1) | Parenting Plans (1) | Transmutation (1) | Commingling (1) | Maritial Property (1) | Maritial Assets (1) | Divorce Papers (1) | Retirement Account (1) | Married Couples (1) | Hurricane Harvey (1) | Contribution (1) | Parents (1) | College (1) | Nesting (1) | Compassion (1) | Negative Communication (1) | Joint Decision Making (1) | Joint Account (1) | Financial Costs (1) | Settle Agreement (1) | Divorce Coach (1) | Settlement Term (1) | Lack Of Trust (1) | Accusations Of Delay (1) | Installment Agreements (1) | Joint Legal Custody (1) | Temporary Agreement (1) | Permanent Agreement (1) | Tentative Agreements (1) | Blended Families (1) |
Connect

Online Mediation Available

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