Heartbreak

5 Biggest Regrets Divorced People Have About Their Marriages

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Woman looking down with her head in her hand

University of Michigan psychologist Dr. Terri Orbuch collected data from 373 couples (46 percent of whom later got divorced) during their first year of marriage.

She found that most divorced people shared the same five regrets about their marriages.

Here are the 5 most common divorce regrets:

1. Not showing your partner you love and care for them before the marriage heads to divorce

Small gestures like complimenting your partner, saying "I love you," or holding hands go a long way when you are in a marriage.

The most important ways to display affection are showing love, showing support, and making your partner feel good about themselves. Also, affection keeps things interesting in the relationship so you don't feel bored in your relationship.

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2. Not talking about money

Money is the number-one source of conflict in most marriages. "Talk money more often — not just when it's tax time when you have high debt when bills come along," Dr. Orbuch says. 

Money should be something transparent in a relationship and it should be something that you can talk about without fighting or losing one's temper.

Money is something that causes tension, and it always will. So, instead of letting it get to you as a couple, let money bring you together because it's something one person should be left out of.

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3. Not letting go of the past

Dr. Orbuch believes that to engage healthily with your partner, you need to let go of the past.

She said, "This includes getting over jealousy of your partner's past relationships, irritation at how your mother-in-law treats you, something from your childhood that makes it hard for you to trust, a spat you had with your spouse six months ago."

Write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal, talk to a friend, or seek out a professional. 

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4. Blaming the other person

Ask your partner for their view of a problem.

"There are multiple ways of seeing a problem," says Dr. Orbuch. "By getting your partner's perspective, and marrying it with your perspective, you get the relationship perspective."

5. Not communicating effectively

Forty-one percent of respondents cited communication as the number-one factor they would change in their next relationship because a lack of communication is the biggest factor in the drive to divorce. 

Dr. Orbuch believes in practicing active listening, "where they try to hear what the other person is saying, repeating back what they just heard and asking if they understood correctly."

She also says partners need to reveal more about themselves to maintain communication.

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Caithlyn Hitt is a freelance writer and editor whose work has been featured in Thrillist, Romper, the New York Daily News, and more.

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