It was 4:27 p.m. and the final version of the settlement documents were still wet with blue ink scribbles which reflected the couple’s agreement. The energy in the room finally stopped buzzing at the sound of the pen clicking closed.
It is done. Signed, sealed, delivered.
The couple had answered all the questions and all the issues to resolve their seven year marriage.
They were done. Separated, divorced, starting new.
Walking away from that mediation table was walking into their individual futures.
But not even one hour later, while her hands gripped the steering wheel as she commuted home, the sense of regret began to blossom in her gut growing and climbing high and higher to choke her with its bitterness.
In that very moment she desperately wish the stand still traffic was the only thing preventing her from turning the car around and charging back to her attorney’s office. But she knew even if she could make it back, her attorney would tell her “it’s done. It is too late. This is just buyer’s remorse.”
And as the bitterness of regret continued to swirl in her body, she was certain that was true. It was too late. She did have buyer’s remorse.
Not because she didn’t get the result she wanted, desperately needed. She was getting the house, a good split on their share debt, they’d be finally divorced and she’d get her maiden name back. It wasn’t about what she’d “get” and it wasn’t even about what she lost. The regret that lingered in her heart was how relatively easy it was all accomplished. The regret stemmed from knowing her ex wasn’t going to be confronted for the harm he caused, the lies he told, the mess he made. By signing those documents, getting everything she wanted and needed, he got what he wanted too: to walk away unscathed by the truth.
And a large part of her soul squirmed with regret. The rational parts of her personality wouldn’t let the vines of bitterness choke out her reasoning – she wouldn’t let it have her turn the car around; she wouldn’t even tell her attorney that the well crafted settlement documents left an acrid taste on her tongue.
No, she’d keep driving home. Traveling ever closer to her future.
She had buyer’s remorse, but she worked to remind herself as each mile passed by, she’d made a wise investment. She purchased her freedom and financial security for cost of her temporary pride.
The closer she got to home, the more she traveled into her future, she was certain it’d be worth it.