Few things are as hurtful as hearing your husband say your marriage was a mistake that he regrets. I recently heard from someone who had heard these words and who was still reeling. She and her husband had been arguing a lot and having problems. And, during one very nasty argument, the husband had blurted out that their marriage was “a mistake.” He further went on to say “I regret marrying you. I suspect my life would’ve been better if we had broken up before we were married.”
Needless to say, the wife was completely stunned and hurt. She would’ve been the first to admit that their marriage had been far from perfect. And there were days when she doubted her marriage. But, hearing these words was devastating. She said, in part: “how are you supposed to respond when someone tells you they regret marrying you? Does this mean we’re heading for a divorce? Does this mean he doesn’t love me and never did? Does this mean our life together was a lie and I wasted several years of my life?” I will share how I addressed these concerns in the following article.
He May Not Completely Mean It When He Says He Regrets Marrying You: Without question, the words the husband flung at this wife were hurtful words that cut very deeply. And that was likely the whole point of them. Sometimes, words that are thrown at you in the heat of the moment might well hurt, but at the same time, might not be completely accurate.
While the husband may have regretted the marriage at that particular moment in time, he may not regret it in general terms. I’ve spoken with men in similar situations and what they will often tell you is that they are beyond frustrated and are usually pulling out the stops in an attempt to get their wife’s attention.
As Hurtful As This Is, It Can Make You Pay Attention To What Matters Right Now: It’s completely understandable that, in a situation such as this one, you’re reaction might be to strike back and say or do something equally hurtful. Or, you may be inclined to give up on your marriage. Who wants to be married to someone who regrets marrying you?
But, it became clear pretty quickly that this wife really didn’t want to give up on marriage. Yes, she was incredibly angry and hurt. And she wasn’t sure how to proceed. But deep down, she truly wanted to figure out a way to make things better so that the marriage could ultimately be saved. But she seriously doubted if this was possible.
The thing is, while this may admittedly be a very difficult situation, at least the wife was being given a head’s up before divorce proceedings were filed. Because sometimes, I hear from wives who are never given this type of warning. They simply receive divorce papers one day and has less time to react.
At least in this situation, the wife was getting some warning signs that the marriage was in serious jeopardy. The husband was very clearly trying to bring her attention to the fact that, at least for right now, he saw the marriage as flawed and not fulfilling. And, if the wife was honest, she had to admit that she agreed with his assessment. Things just hadn’t been all that great lately.
Changing Your Marriage So That Neither Of You Will Look Back On Your Marriage With Regret: It might seem easy for me to say, but as I saw it, the wife really had two choices right now. She could become angry, act on these out of control emotions and allow this whole process to deteriorate her marriage even more.
Or, she could get control over her emotions and attempt to see the big picture. Although what her husband had said was extremely hurtful, she could see it as a wake up call to make some real change that would make both she and her husband happier in the marriage.
The wife agreed with this assessment, but still insisted that she didn’t know how to proceed and respond. I suggested that she wait to approach him until she could be calm. At the right time, she may say something like: “what you said about regretting marrying me hurt me deeply. It caught me off guard. With that said, I agree with you that our marriage isn’t as fulfilling as it could be. We both deserve a marriage that makes up happy. So I’d like to commit to making things better for both of us so that neither of us feels that we took the wrong path. I can’t change what has happened in the past. But I can change my actions from today forward and so can you.”
This wasn’t by any means a quick fix. There was work that needed to begin in the near future. But it would diffuse the situation and it would begin to turn a negative into a positive, which was better than the alternative of lashing out or “getting back” at him when what she really wanted to do was to figure out a way to make the marriage better so that he was feeling good about being married to her rather than feeling regret.