Worthy Asks: If You Knew Then What You Know Now What Would You Have Done Differently?

what would you have done differently
Sharri Freedman

By Sharri Freedman | Jul 27th, 2020

We all know the phrase “hindsight is 20/20”. It’s easy to see our mistakes and what we overlooked in the past when we review it in our minds. In June, we asked our Facebook community, Worthy Women and Divorce, the following: “If you knew then what you know now, what would you have done differently?”

As to be expected, many of the divorced women wrote that they would have run away, deleted their ex’s number, or said goodbye after the first red flag. Then again, there were also plenty of women who wrote that they wouldn’t have changed a thing because those relationships brought them their children. But there were some women who gave unique and insightful answers that we’d like to share with you. 

Sharing The Blame

Divorce is not always a one-way street and often, although we hate to admit it, there is blame on both sides. A few women from our community have clearly gone through enough healing to be able to see what mistakes they made and how those contributed to the end of their marriages.

Carol-Ann M. wrote, “In all honesty, while it’s completely on my ex that the marriage ended, I played a part in the deterioration of the marriage. Not that I recognized that things weren’t 100% at the time because to me that’s marriage, things go up and down! I would have communicated my needs and feelings better or realized earlier he’s not what I thought he was!”

Stephanie L. wrote, “I would have been more aware of my husband – been kinder and communicated more in his level.”

Cindy E. wrote, “I would have paid more attention to him. I mean that he really was the very most important person in my life and not our kids. Our kids would have not had their world torn apart by him leaving if I had only realized how special a marriage is. He was a good guy. Good dad until he left – I will never understand how he could give up on his kids, but I suspect it had a LOT to do with the guilt he felt about me. It was easiest on his conscience to compartmentalize what he had done and block out that 15 years of his life.” She added, “If you are married to a good man, pay attention. And I wish I would have finished my degree before I married (I graduated at 49) and worked a good job once the kids were in school. Do not be a stay at home mom for too long. Get a job—it’s good for you.”

Sheila M. shared that she should have “learned how to communicate better instead of shutting down.”

Grow Through What You Go Through

For some women, the trials and tribulations their marriages put them through have made them strong. Casey T. told us that she wouldn’t have changed anything. “I have my son and am a stronger person. I believe every experience molds us into who we are. I’m a badass, independent, strong, caring woman with an incredible son.” Casey, you are an inspiration to us all!

Carol H. wrote “The only thing I regret is not loving myself enough to know I deserved better. Focused on inner love now bc the better I am the better I will attract.” 

Should Have Listened To That Advice

We all have moments in our lives where we didn’t listen to the advice others were giving us and ended up making a mistake. Michelle F. even got it from a stranger: “I would have listened to the stranger that told me to dump his ass! I remember it so clearly. We were in a bar in Daytona Beach and this woman came up to me and said ‘I have watched you and your boyfriend and he is eyeing every other woman in this place. You will have a long hard life with him and should do yourself a favor and leave now.’ Of course, 26 and stupid me didn’t listen!”

Carla L. wrote “I would have listened to my friend and not dated him. She told me I was out of  league. She was right. I’m way out of his league. Much too good for him. I’m way too smart and he’s ugly. I wish I could sue my eye doctor. ?? He’s retired.”

Then there were women who didn’t listen to their own inner voice. Paula M. wrote, “Listened to the voice in the back of my head and not marry him.” Fatia D. has a similar experience “I would have listened to that inner voice that kept saying something ain’t right with this guy. Now I am able to trust myself more. Wouldn’t say I’m perfect now but I’m trusting my intuition more… Haven’t had any other solid relationship yet but I’m very positive I won’t make the same mistake twice.” Way to go Fatia!

Lessons Learnt

And then there are those women who are able to look back and find all of the things that they learned, both about life and about themselves. 

Viv H. shared with us everything she learned from her marriage: “Because of what I know now I:

  1. Enjoy the process of men trying to get to know me.
  2. Instead of being in a rush to settle down and wanting to meet “the one” I enjoy the art of dating.
  3. Instead of having needs and expectations, I show up whole, not lacking or needy and it allows men the space to show me who they are. It’s refreshing for me as well as them.

I wasn’t like this when I got married, not when I dated after marriage either. It was years of undergoing an intentional healing and awakening process.” 

Rochelle Z. wrote “ I would have gone to medical school instead of getting married, thinking no one else will love me if I let this one go. I wish I’d been raised thinking I was worth it and could do anything. Instead, it took me 52 years (and 16 bad years of a 32-year marriage) to learn it on my own.”

Karlene M. wrote, “ I would’ve taken my time to get to know him better, which probably would’ve led to us not getting married.”

Sharri Freedman

Sharri Freedman

Sharri Freedman is a family law attorney and divorce coach based in Maryland who specializes in helping women whose world has been turned upside down by divorce.


©2011-2024 Worthy, Inc. All rights reserved.
Worthy, Inc. operates from 25 West 45th St., 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10036