How to survive crazy second thoughts you’ll have after filing for divorce.

A few tips to survive those crazy, second thoughts you’ll have after filing for divorce.

Is it normal to have second thoughts after filing for divorce. Yes, and here's why |

Is it normal to have second thoughts about filing for divorce? Let me answer that in two simple words: Hell. Yes. If you’ve been in a marriage or relationship for a long time, it’s all you know. You’ve invested years of your life to this partnership, so of course you’ll have doubts. Should you question ending a long term marriage? Of course. 

If, like my spouse and I, you simply grew apart. If there were no huge cosmic relationship explosions, second thoughts are a rational response.  

If you built a family, memories, a life, had kids, but somewhere along the way you just lost your way as a couple, you’ll have doubts.

Most definitely, you are going to have questions, doubts and second thoughts. 

From personal experience,  I know it’s hard to leave a relationship that isn’t horrible. And it’s harder still to justify that leaving. To family, to friends and probably most of all, to yourself. 

 It’s often not so simple to decide to leave, and stay separated, when the marriage simply broke down or you grew apart. That’s a more difficult decision. Deciding to leave, and then sticking with that decision isn’t always an easy choice to make.

If the marriage wasn’t that bad, it can be a difficult decision to end the relationship.

If you’re on a boat that’s going down. Of course, you abandon ship. But if your marriage is more like a leaky old rowboat taking on water. What do you do? Jump ship or stay and bail it out?

Did I have second thoughts?

Hell yes, I had second thoughts. Many times. My marriage wasn’t bad. My ex is a good person. We have a child. 

But in the end, a marriage between two people who could no longer communicate, who fought way too often, didn’t seem like a good environment to raise our child in. And so ultimately, we made the decision that separating and divorcing would be better for our child’s long term emotional health.

Ending our marriage was a tough decision, but it seemed like the best choice because in the end, my daughter has two parents who both love her beyond measure but now lived in separate houses.

Two houses with two happy people (who weren’t arguing) seemed like a better alternative for her to grow up in. 

So if you’re having second thoughts about filing for divorce, know those second thoughts are completely normal.

If both you and your spouse are having doubts and feel strongly about working on your marriage, give it a go. Maybe a separation has allowed both of you the space to work on your own issues and become better partners.

But the decision to try again in your marriage, has to be a decision that both partners go in to willing and ready to work.

And so, here’s my suggestion: if you are having second thoughts about your separation, know that you’re not alone. It’s a normal part of any important decision. And filing for divorce is a huge decision. 

Any rational person will have those thoughts. And know that those thoughts will more than likely subside as you grow your new life. 

Did you have any second thoughts about your divorce?


  1. says

    Sorry to say, I had two divorces and I don’t recall having second thoughts at the time. However, after 15 years of a third very happy marriage, I do have some regrets about the way I behaved at the end of my other two marriages. But then we live, learn and mature so regrets are quite pointless. But it doesn’t stop them rearing their heads since both former husbands died quite young, one very tragically. It’s good that you both had the courage to do the right thing for your daughter – divorce isn’t easy, even when you both want it.

  2. says

    Divorce has so many layers to it – and our minds just love to rehash things over and over. I think we’re wired for happily ever after and it messes with our brain when it doesn’t work out that way – so it keeps going back to see if there was a different “sliding doors” moment. All in all, I think if you get to the point of being happier apart, then it’s time to close the door.
    Leanne recently posted…MIDLIFE ROCKS! ~ Watching Your Kids MarryMy Profile

  3. says

    When I got divorced at 21 I had 3 very young children. I had no time for regrets and there was never discussion of getting back together. Later on I felt guilty that I didn’t work harder to get back together. I stayed single until I was 48 and we are still going strong.
    I remind my kids when they think they can’t keep it together to try a little harder. I’m so happy they listen:)
    Doreen McGettigan recently posted…Lets get back to writing…My Profile

    • says

      so appreciate your comments. I think that those feelings of guilt resurfacing seems so normal. Sometimes it takes a while to figure this whole life thing out!

  4. says

    I’ve been married for 37 years. But my daughter has been divorced twice. My sister twice. And my best friend has been divorced once. I know it’s hard on everyone. But living apart, happily, is better than living together, miserably.

  5. says

    You posts about divorce are very insightful and I would highly recommend your work to anyone going through a divorce currently. Let me preface my next comments with the fact that my ex and I made peace with each other years ago. What I found while going through the process, second thoughts did creep in because as the saying goes “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know. It was so hard knowing I had to start a whole new life, even though the one I was living was miserable. My ex first filed for divorce just after our 12th anniversary, but then asked that we stop the divorce process just 10 days before it was final. After a very stressful year of trying to glue a very broken marriage back together, I filed for the divorce. Although my ex again wanted to reconcile, I did not stop the process. Thankfully my second chance at “Happily Ever After” came 7 years later.

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