7 Things Divorced People Wish They Had Done Differently in Their Marriage — Best Life (2023)

Divorce is one of the hardest things anyone can go through. When you take your vows, you see a bright future and a life spent together. But for 40 to 50 percent of couples in the U.S., something changes along the way, and the marriage dissolves. Perhaps this is inevitable for those who got married for the wrong reasons or just can no longer see eye to eye, but what if there was something that some of these couples could have done to save their relationship?

It may be much easier to see in hindsight, but many people have regrets over mistakes they made in their marriage. Read on to find out what seven divorced people wish they would have done differently.

READ THIS NEXT: Most Couples Stop Being "In Love" After This Long, Experts Say.


Learned how to communicate more effectively.

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"Efficient communication is the foundation and key to having a dispute-free relationship,"Mark Joseph, founder of the relationship blog Parentalqueries.com, tells Best Life. "It allows the couple to express their thoughts and feelings clearly and meaningfully… and helps foster understanding, kindness, and respect, which are essential for a healthy long-term relationship. If both individuals don't share their thoughts and feelings, it can lead to a breakdown in trust and understanding [which] can make it hard to resolve conflicts."

You may think that, of course, you and your partner know how to communicate. But truly listening to what another person needs and also conveying your own needs in a clear and healthy way is a lot harder than one may think—and not being able to do so can lead to the end of a relationship.

This is what happened to TikToker @keepinfitwithkatie2.0, who thinks her marriage ended because of the lack of communication. In a post on TikTok, she said she wishes that she and her ex went to more couples counseling to learn better communication tools before calling it quits.

"We were not good communicators and we weren't good when we were fighting either," she said. "We only went to marriage counseling twice which I found frustrating because I didn't get a good shot to fix what I needed to fix because there were definitely things that I did wrong."


Showed up more.

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Marissa Baker also expressed regret over not going to therapy earlier on TikTok—she wished she would have showed up for her partner more as well. She emphasizes that she would have done "everything differently in her marriage" in a TikTok video. Her caption read: "I would have showed up. I'd be present. I'd go to therapy earlier. I'd show up for my partner and I'd show gratitude for all that they did."

Feeling wanted and loved is something everyone needs in a relationships, but unfortunately some partners may not always give their significant other the attention and care they deserve.

"When your spouse feels like they are last in line for your attention, resentment forms and kills any chance of intimacy," says Monica Tanner, a relationship expert and ceo of Secrets of Happily Ever After.


Didn't try to be right all the time.

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In a TikTok video labeled, "How I screwed up my marriage," marriage coach Jennifer Hurvitz says that one of the things she wished she had done differently was trying to be right all the time.

"Try to understand your partner's point of view," she said. "Instead of trying to be right all the time, listen and understand each other. If you are already wondering who is right, you are losing. If you're already worried about winning, you've lost."

This sort of behavior can drive a huge wedge between partners. "When you try to be the person who is right all the time, you are not allowing that there could possibly be another point of view or perspective," Fiona Eckersley, a relationships coach at fionaeckersleycoaching tells Best Life. "Being dismissive of your partner's opinions or ideas makes them feel unworthy. This will lead to an uneven balance and ultimately the person who feels that they need to doubt themselves is less inclined to be intimate or share anything about themselves."

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Let up on constant criticism.

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Blaming your spouse for your own unhappiness or problems is a quick way for resentment and negativity to build up in a relationship. The last thing you want to do is project your own problems or insecurities onto your partner.

In her TikTok video, Hurvitz also says that blame was one of the other things that led to the demise of her marriage. "I wish I would have focused on what I did wrong, not my partner at the time. It doesn't matter whose fault it is. Does it matter who left the towel on the floor? No, don't let the towel ruin your entire marriage."


Understood the impact of love languages.

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In a TikTok video, Lucy Cerezo talks about why she and her ex got divorced and points out that knowing her partners love language could have helped.

"My love langue is acts of service and I didn't know this but looking back on it, his love langue was gift giving," she said. "There was a huge disconnect there because I was expecting for him to do things for me and when he didn't, I thought he didn't love me."

Communicating your needs effectively is something you should feel comfortable doing with your partner, and knowing each other's love language can be a tool in helping one another feel needed and also cared for in the relationship.


Appreciated the other partner's hard work.

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It's important to value your partner's role and work that they are putting into the relationship, whether it's picking up the kids from school or commuting to the office every day. In a TikTok video by @honestappraisal, he says that he developed a lack of respect for the role that his wife played. He used to tell his wife that being a stay at home mom was "a hell of a lot easier than going to work." Looking back, he says he didn't value his wife and her contribution to the family and is embarrassed by the lack of his.

"Appreciation helps our partner to feel that we recognize the ways in which they are working and contributing to our shared life,"says Sara Oliveri Olumba, a relationship expert and coach. "Without appreciation not only will our partner feel as though we don't notice their contributions, indeed, it is likely that we don't notice! It's easy to overestimate our own work and underestimate the other person's."

READ THIS NEXT: 5 Body Language Signs That Mean Your Partner Wants to Break Up, According to Therapists.


Taken the commitment more seriously.

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In another TikTok video from @honestappraisal, he says that although his marriage lasted for 28 years, the beginning of the marriage was when it began breaking down.

"At the very start, I did not understand the nature of commitment in marriage. I was not only young at 26, but I was naive. I had no idea what marriage or commitment was. I'm talking about long term commitment to a romantic partner."

When you commit to someone, it's important to be in a stage of your life where you are capable of knowing the true value of marriage, as well as the seriousness of the vows that you are taking.


What is the number one reason marriages end in divorce? ›

Lack of commitment is the most common reason given by divorcing couples according to a recent national survey. Here are the reasons given and their percentages: Lack of commitment 73% Argue too much 56%

How do you answer the question why did you get divorced? ›

Here are 9 ways to answer the question, "Why did you get divorced?"
  • "I put my career first." ...
  • "I was a jerk." ...
  • "I didn't pay attention to the red flags." ...
  • "We couldn't communicate." ...
  • "I could no longer stay together just for the kids." ...
  • "The pandemic escalated my timeline." ...
  • "We were not compatible." ...
  • "We married too young."
Jun 14, 2021

Who is happiest after divorce? ›

Women fare better than men. A study by Kingston University in the UK found that despite the negative financial impact of divorce on women, they are generally happier than men after divorce.

Who causes divorce most? ›

A study led by the American Sociological Association determined that nearly 70% of divorces are initiated by women. And the percentage of college-educated American women who initiated divorce is even higher.

What is one of the top three reasons why people get a divorce? ›

Leading Causes of Divorce in the United States
  • Marital Infidelity. Different couples may respond to marital infidelity in different ways. ...
  • Financial Disagreements. ...
  • Weight Gain. ...
  • Lack of Intimacy. ...
  • Lack of Equality. ...
  • Lack of Preparation. ...
  • Poor Communication. ...
  • Addiction.

What are the two main reasons for divorce? ›

The Top 5 Reasons for Divorce
  • Infidelity. Cheating on your spouse not only breaks a vow—it breaks the trust in a relationship. ...
  • Lack of Intimacy. Physical intimacy is important in any romantic relationship, but it is essential to the growth of a long-term relationship. ...
  • Communication. ...
  • Money. ...
  • Addiction.
Feb 8, 2021

Who is more likely to remarry after a divorce? ›

Men Are More Likely to Remarry

The rate for women was significantly lower, at only 19.4 per 1,000 women eligible for remarriage. This data indicates that men are consistently more likely to attempt a second marriage than women. Over the past decade, there has been a decline in remarriage rates for both men and women.

What divorce does to a woman? ›

Divorce puts a strain on the financial, social, and emotional relationships of the partners. This time particularly can be devastating for women who may lose confidence, be forced into custody issues, and may lose hope of ever finding happiness again. Some women find it hard to return to their normal self again.

Who regrets divorce? ›

On average, a third of divorced couples regret their decision to end their marriage. In a 2016 survey by Avvo.com, researchers interviewed 254 women and 206 men and asked how they felt about their divorce. They found out that 27% of women and 32% of men found themselves regretting divorce.

What are the 7 principles of a successful marriage? ›

Here's brief summary of the 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work:
  • Enhance your love maps. ...
  • Nurture fondness and admiration. ...
  • Turn toward each other (rather than against or away). ...
  • Let you partner influence you. ...
  • Solve your solvable problems. ...
  • Overcome gridlock. ...
  • Create shared meaning.
Apr 18, 2020

What are the 4 pillars of marriage? ›

Safety, Faithfulness, Commitment and Reliability are 4 pillars of trust every marriage needs. If any one of these is missing, the roof starts caving in and the relationship starts to deteriorate. Marriages thrive when both partners feel safe and secure.

What kills marriage most? ›

7 Behaviors That Are Killing Your Marriage
  1. Negative Criticism. ...
  2. Silent Treatment, Withdrawal, and Distancing. ...
  3. Contempt. ...
  4. Nagging. ...
  5. Defensiveness. ...
  6. Refusing to Resolve Issues. ...
  7. Holding to Unrealistic Expectations.
Sep 29, 2016

What kills intimacy in marriage? ›

conflict– if there is ongoing conflict in your relationship, it can be difficult to develop intimacy. It is not easy to feel close to someone you are arguing with. Anger, hurt, resentment, lack of trust, or a sense of being unappreciated can all affect intimacy.

What is the number one thing that destroys a marriage? ›

Using Power and Control. This is by far the most destructive force any human can bring to a marital relationship, and obviously includes the use of physical and sexual abuse or violence.

What are the top 3 causes of divorce? ›

According to a recent survey of 191 CDFA professionals from across North America, the three leading causes of divorce are "basic incompatibility" (43%), "infidelity" (28%), and "money issues" (22%).

What is the biggest reason marriages end? ›

The majority of men and women in this study mentioned affective dimensions of their marriage relationship - encompassing communication problems, incompatibility, changed lifestyle desires and instances of infidelity - as the main reason for their divorce.

What are the 5 most common causes of divorce? ›

The Top 5 Reasons for Divorce
  1. Infidelity. Cheating on your spouse not only breaks a vow—it breaks the trust in a relationship. ...
  2. Lack of Intimacy. Physical intimacy is important in any romantic relationship, but it is essential to the growth of a long-term relationship. ...
  3. Communication. ...
  4. Money. ...
  5. Addiction.
Feb 8, 2021

What is the main reason marriages end? ›

Lack of commitment, financial challenges, and infidelity are some of the leading causes of divorce in the world. But your age and culture may change it all. Relationship survival usually requires a blend of open communication, intimacy, and empathy.


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