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A hard question but do you have any regrets about your behavior during your marriage?

I wish I hadn't expressed anger as much as I did. Ken would tell me that I felt too entitled to my anger and I think he was right. He was rarely angry, and I wish I would have behaved more as he did, calmer. It would have made him happier. That is my main regret.

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I can guarantee our husbands forgave us.  My husband always found excuses for someones bad behaviour. And we need to remember they suffer no more, the past is gone, including our bitchines. But we need to learn our lesson and try to be less bitchy. Although we feel like there is no point since they are gone and we cant be the nicer wife they deserve anymore. I think we will keep processing the guilt, shame , and hurt throughout the years, its part and parcel of the “ torture” and there is no way around it. And please trust me, you were nowhere near as bitchy and horrible as I was. And my husband did not drink, did not cheat and was the  best husband and the kindest soul you could meet. So maybe that will make you feel better. Hugs and love, Roxi

This is one of the hardest things for me right now.  I have so many regrets.  Mainly, that I wish I was more understanding during his illnesses and handled things better.  The stress of having to take care of him along with 3 high needs kids did not bring out the best in me by any means.  I said many things I now wish I didn't.  I thought he didn't try hard enough to stay healthy, or was always trying to get out of working or helping with the kids. The day he died he was released from the hospital.  I was told that day he was terminal and there wasn't any more that could be done.  I was so nervous about him coming home.  I didn't think I could handle it, I thought I would do something wrong and kill him.  I was dreading this so much, then he dies on the porch coming into the house.  It was going to happen sooner rather than later anyway, but sometimes think if I didn't have those thoughts about him coming home maybe he would of held on longer.  I just hope he knows I did love him.
Peg ... he knows.
He knows-he always knew.  : )
I know this sounds crazy but I don't have any regrets. None. I always did what I thought was right for "us" not me and not him. We were always together, he worked full time which meant 2 days a week. Granted he was older an had accomplished many things in his life, which made him available to be at home or with us all the time. When he got sick I always made decisions thinking " am I gonna regret this?" and if the answer was yes then I didn't do it. I had a lot of resistance from people on my decisions but I honestly didn't give a fuck at the time. I was brutal to people when jim was sick and I know they were looking out for my safety- but they didn't understand that I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I didn't do things the way that I felt I should. I have had people tell me after Jim died that I taught them how to love. Wow! I was taken back by that, these people with so much life experience were learning by a 31 year old's love and devotion to an insane older man. it just reaffirms for me that my decision to live without regrets, however painful it was gonna be, was the best decision.
Good for you, Gayle - and I'm really happy that people shared that you taught them how to love.

I have regrets. I wish I would have been more willing to do the things he wanted to do. He was always on the go. I put up resistance to stay home some. I wish I went with him to pick up dinner then night before he passed. I would value those extra minutes with him. I wish I said I love you more. I wish I told him how handsome I thought he was. I wish I praised him for working so hard to provide for us. I know I DID do these things but I just wish I did MORE of it. 


Today has been a hard day for me. I guess regret just fits right in with my mood today. 

I have some "I wish I would haves"...traveled more together, come home earlier from work, lived each day with the same positive attitude he had.  


Kris & Shadow - thank you for your encouraging words for each of us to deal with what we would like to do over.

I didnt think about regrets like this...I have those too.  I wish we had more time to spend together, he was always gone and we rarely got to spend time together.  And i wish I had been there very step of the way when he was dying, his last 40 minutes...but the doctors wouldn't let me in there. I wish I could remember my last words to him, did I say I love you? everything happened so quickly that morning.  I know we did say I love you to each other that morning, but when? That has haunted me.  And you know, even thinking about it is stressing me out and making my heart rate go faster :(

I regret that we had a big fight last Memorial Day weekend because he wanted to work in the yard all weekend, and I do mean all weekend.  My husband could be a very stubborn man.  But I really didn't have to get so angry and yell and slam doors, which actually isn't even something that I typically do.  I regret times when I was with Tim but so worried about or distracted by other things that I wasn't really there.   And, his children were busy young adults who needed reminders to see and call their father.  I wish that I had been more assertive in reminding them to call and stop.   It really hurt him that so often he had to be the one to call them.  

Looking back, I now see my husband in some ways as more vulnerable that I did in when he was alive. I feel very protective of him and very upset with myself for having caused him any pain or distress. 

I pray that you are right MsKris and that all is forgiven now. 

Thanks to all for the honest and compassionate responses here. I do believe as MsKris shared that these things are forgiven in a loving marriage. None of us are perfect and it's great when you can find someone who loves all of you. Shadowandcloud, I agree that what's important in the present is to learn what you can from all experiences and keep evolving as a human being. As horrible as losing a spouse is, it does seem to present a kind of special opportunity where one can grow and change at a faster rate than usual. I brought this topic up because I like the idea of growing and learning from loss (because otherwise it's just sad), and we widows and widowers can have a tendency to look at everything from our lost marriage as perfect. There is stuff to be learned from the less than perfect part as well.

We were both workaholics - and while our lives were so full and meaningful to us, we took few vacations and were often tired. I wish we both had taken more breaks - the few vacations we had are burned in my memory like fire as being sweet and precious and rare. I also wish I had been less exhausted for lovemaking more. But, it is all relative. Be were always highly affectionate even went we could not ebb into high arousal.


I regret a few things as a caregiver when he was home with hospice, but I found release from guilt through the EMDR treatments I did.


With all of life, I think this quote sums it up best:

Everything that happens to you is your teacher…the secret is to learn to sit at the feet of your own life and be taught by it. —Polly Berends


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