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Secret Regrets: 13 Soul-Stirring Confessions

First Posted: 04/19/11 12:21 PM ET   Updated: 06/19/11 06:12 AM ET

Kevin Hansen's new book "Secret Regrets"--recently the subject on the Dr. Phil Show--asks the questions, What is the biggest regret of your life? The one thing you would change or do differently if you had a second chance?

The book includes hundreds of real-life secret regrets culled from the hundreds of anonymous posts on Hansen's website, launched in 2007.

While all regrets submitted to SecretRegrets.com are 100 percent anonymous, sometimes people do post their age and gender, so you'll see that information on some of these slides.

While all types of regrets are included in the book, many touch on marriage, infidelity, and divorce. Click through the 13 here and tell us on Twitter: What are your #divorceregrets?

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  • "I regret being too stubborn and thinking I knew what was best for me when I got married at 21. I regret not following my heart and my intuition a year later. I regret not divorcing you, when we separated and I moved out. I regret not taking everything when we finally did divorce." -Female, 28

  • "I regret ever having an affair. I understand why I did it--I knew why I was doing it at the time--and I have always taken responsibility for what I was doing. I didn't think I'd regret it, but I really do. No one knows (for sure), but some suspect. I've always denied & I will always deny it because I love my husband. We worked things out; our relationship is strong; we are happy. I would never want to hurt him so I pray he never finds out. I wish I could erase those months (years, actually) from my memory, my history, my life. I wish I'd never done it. I know I'll never do it again, but it made me a different person, and I have to live with that. That's my punishment. I regret that I still see the other man because he is a friend of my husband's. He still flirts with me & hits on me & tries to get me to sleep with him. And I can never tell my husband because I'd have to admit what happened, and I can't do that to him. Like I said, I did this, I live with this, it's my punishment. But for the rest of my life, I'll regret it." -Female, 40s

  • "I regret that I didn't keep you as my life long fantasy over 3 years ago when I hit send on that email that reunited us. I was curious, my heart raced just at the thought of you. I had to see you after all those years. I never imagined at our age that we would find ourselves attracted to one another as we were when we were teens and that our first visit would feel that all those years didn't happen. We were comfortable in each others' arms. I regret that we are in love with one another and I let that happen knowing you were married. I now must walk away and find a way to pursue my life without you...I wish you had not sent that first email I responded to for I never stopped loving you...we fit so perfectly together, however, we were not meant to be!!!"

  • "I regret that I didn't listen to everyone in my family that said to marry for money & not for love. I married for love. We had nothing but we were so happy. Now, you're obsessed with money, power & status. Nothing is good enough for you anymore, including me and our children. We've lost you to your work. We've lost you to the people at your work. More importantly, our kids have lost their father, I have lost my love. Agreeing to one day a month where you spend time with the family is ridiculous & degrading. That's not something that someone who cares about his family would even consider. I wish you knew that money doesn't make the man, morals, ethics, values & actions make the man. Our boys won't remember the toy they got from you that was expensive, they'll remember their Dad showing them how to throw a football or teaching them how to be men. At this rate, all they'll learn from you is how not to be a father or husband. Even when you're not physically cheating on me, you're still not here because you refuse to leave your work behind, including the women you've had affairs with, bad habits like blowing $100 drinking alone at work and your out of control co-workers/friends that sleep around, have no kids, no responsibilities & encourage you to contribute to act like you have the same situation. I regret marrying for love." -Female, 26

  • "I regret that I listened in on your phone call that night. I thought you and your best friend were planning my graduation party like you said you were. Now I know that my father cheated on you with someone he met online. I regret that I have to see him everyday, and I always want him to know how disgusting he is to me. I regret that I'm not strong enough to tell you that I know, and that you don't have to put up with it. I want to tell you that you're beautiful and amazing and the best Mom I could ever ask for, but I can't. I love you, Mom." -Female, 18

  • "I would have never divorced the love of my life if I knew that we would be remarried seven months later. I was so selfish I didn't care about anyone but myself. Now I regret those seven months and everything that lead up to the divorce. But I can say now that my love for him is so much stronger than it ever was. And I am very thankful he gave me a second chance!"

  • "I regret that I did not file for a divorce immediately after the first time you screamed and threw things at me - in front of the kids. Because the kids then get a negative impression of married life, and will likely behave similarly in their marriages when they grow up. It's not your fault, I understand that you yourself were brought up in a similar household. But, there is no need to pass on the same characteristics to our kids." -Male, 36

  • "If I could change one thing I would have appreciated my mom when she still wanted to be a mom. Now, after her affair and divorce, I would give anything for a mom."

  • "I regret divorcing my husband, and then wanting to vent about it with my best friend. Because, the problem is, they're both the same person." -Female, 33

  • "I regret giving you 16 years of my life. I regret you destroying my innocence with your cheating. I regret you razing my life to the ground several times. I regret you cheating, coming back, cheating, coming back, and cheating and then coming back and then leaving again. I regret giving you chance after chance because I thought our life together meant something. I regret that I didn't get a divorce the second I found out and I'm still here 3 plus years later. I regret still being here for you when YOU need something but there is nothing here for me. I regret letting you have this power over me when you shouldn't. I regret waiting every night for you to call or come over even though you left six months ago. I regret all the energy and life I wasted on you. I regret that I still love you and if you walked in right now I would try again."

  • "I regret meeting you. I regret not listening to my parents when they said you were an ass, and it couldn't end well. I had a full scholarship to any college in the US. I had a promising acting career. I wanted to be an artist and a writer. Instead, I met you, got pregnant, and dropped out of school. I gained 70 pounds, and now two kids and one divorce later, I'm a statistic. Single mother, minimum wage, on food stamps, virtually homeless and struggling hand-to-mouth every day just because you wanted to be selfish and cheat, lie, and manipulate me. I don't regret divorcing you. The daily struggles are well worth the freedom from the hell you put me through. But if I could go back, even though it means I wouldn't have ever had my children, I would never have walked into that store or bought that damn cell phone from you."

  • "I regret being a coward. I was 32 and single. I let everyone around me make me feel like a worthless woman because I wasn't married yet. The constant needling got to me. "Why aren't you married?" "What's wrong with you?" "Don't you like men?" "Don't you want children?" I hate that my self-esteem was so low that I ended up marrying a man that I didn't love, just to make the comments stop. Somehow I found the strength to get a divorce and crawl out. The destruction left me broken for many years. I hate that I let other people rule me. My thirties were the worst ten years of my life. I regret that I was so pathetic." -Female, 41

  • "I regret letting myself be financially dependent on my husband. Because if I had started a career or kept a steady job during all the years I was raising our kids I would be free and confident today. Free to leave the cheating and thoughtless man that I am married to. Confident enough to tell him off and move out and seek a divorce. Instead I am jobless, in debt with no savings. And afraid. And I am dependent upon the money he gives me for household expenses. And I haven't the confidence to even confide in anyone about the hole I have dug for myself. I trust no one and I disgust myself." -Female, 59

The “Secret Regrets: What if you had a Second Chance?” book is available on Amazon or the e-book can be downloaded on Kindle, Nook or iPad.

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Filed by Ashley Reich  |