Jennifer Safian

Divorce and Family Mediator

My father’s hobby was art collecting. Much of his leisure time was spent studying, reading art books and going to museums. When he found a work of art that he loved, he HAD to have it NOW.  Most of the time, he bought from galleries, from other collectors and occasionally at auction.

So what happened when he agreed to the seller’s price, often after a long negotiation or once the hammer hit the auctioneer’s desk?

If he was successful, anxiety set in the moment he realized the piece was his:

  • “I paid too much, no one else bid higher than I did!”
  • “The seller accepted my offer, I must have overpaid.”

If he was not the successful purchaser:

  • “I lost the most treasured piece in the world.”

Have you ever noticed that when we finally get something we have coveted for a while, it may not look as good as we thought, but if we don’t get it, it looks even more golden?

And how does this apply to my clients who are looking for a separation?

Paul initiated a call to make an appointment for divorce mediation. He was in a hurry to make this happen. He said he “could no longer tolerate being in the relationship.” His wife was resistant at first, but soon realized that she had no choice.

They came in for regular appointments to work out their parenting decisions, the division of their assets and other issues specific to their family. The agreement was drafted. They reviewed it. All the i’s were dotted and the t’s were crossed.  It was time for signatures and for the agreement to be filed in court.

That’s when panic set in.  When Paul saw all the decisions made in writing, the times he would have with his children, how the assets would be divided, he was not so sure he wanted this anymore.  

  • Maybe he was “paying more” than he felt comfortable with?
  • No more wife!
  • No more family home!
  • No more daily time with his children!

Somehow the things that were wrong in his life did not seem so bad anymore, and the prospect of being alone was much less appealing.

He stopped all the proceedings. The agreement remained un-filed for several months. His wife, Maria, was now more than ready to move on, and she was the one pushing to get everything finalized.

So what really is buyer’s remorse?

Buyer’s remorse is an emotional response which may involve feelings of regret, fear, depression or anxiety. The best ways to cope with it and minimize its destructiveness is to slow down our desire to act quickly, to make sure that we are fully informed and, as much as possible, to understand the consequences of our actions.

Have you ever suffered from buyer’s remorse? What did you learn from your experience?

Jennifer Safian Divorce and Family Mediator

phone: (212) 472-8626 email: website:

Divorce and Family Mediation Upper East Side of Manhattan (NYC) New York, NY

Share →