How Long Before Men Regret Leaving?
From my own experience through talking with the women we help, it seems as if there is a lengthy “honeymoon” phase in the ex’s new life after he starts his affair or marries his new woman. He has done so much damage to himself, and to his first wife and family, that he usually tries extremely hard to make his new relationship work.
Men who break their promises and betray their families usually have no room or time to think about regret. Occasionally, they may have pangs of regret when milestones with the children are missed. Or when their family moves forward without them. But they seem to not allow themselves to go to that regret space very often. Instead, they blame us and our children for excluding them, and so regret doesn’t have a chance.
Men who leave relationships also don’t allow themselves to consider the fact that they may have made a mistake. Instead, they go full speed ahead to make everything in their new life seem perfect! Admitting that they may have made a mistake is very hard to do after the destruction and disappointment they have left in their wake everywhere.
For a man to regret leaving his wife and to admit that there is something to be sorry about, he would have to be vulnerable enough to be honest with himself and to have an active conscience. Most men are unlikely to share their regret with anyone. It would be too painful to admit.
Why Do Men Regret Leaving?
After we ask the basic question, Do Men Regret Leaving? We then have a smaller subset and can also ask, “If men do regret leaving, why do they regret it?” He may have second thoughts if his new love isn’t as wonderful as he thought she was. Maybe her children are mad at him, like his children are mad at her. Maybe, it’s simply that he may have two households to help support now. Maybe when the chase was over, the catch wasn’t what he hoped for.
Men are unlikely to spend much time asking themselves, like women do, “What did I do wrong? What could I have done differently and better? Why didn’t I understand what he needed?
I can’t personally get inside of a man’s thoughts. I can only go by what I hear from the women I help. Men are unlikely to ever admit they are hurting in the first place. If they do, it’s rare that they realize it’s usually because of bad choices they made. In Psychology Today, a therapist has information to share for why a man might leave and whether he might have regrets later.
Most women going through divorce get support. We sign up to get help. We go to the self-help section in the bookstore. In our resources, I often ask women how many of them think their ex-husband is snuffling around the self-help section at Barnes and Noble? Hardly any woman thinks her husband is doing that.
Instead, he acts like his life is amazing! His Facebook page is full of smiling, happy pics of his new love and him together. (She’s usually in something sexy!) He’s doing whatever he wants with whomever he wants whenever he wants. What is there to regret about that?!
Men and women tend to react differently when we have harmed someone. One of the ministers at our church said he hated to say this about men because “I are one :)),” but “men tend to go to a divorce recovery class to find a replacement for their ex. Women go to work on themselves, learn new relationship skills and get better.” (That’s another reason I strongly believe that divorce recovery groups need to be gender specific!)