Why are we so quick to place blame? When things go well, people are quick to take credit. When things go badly, however, people are less willing to take responsibility. Instead, they start pointing fingers at one another. “Whose fault is it?” “Who’s to blame?” “Who’s responsible?” This kneejerk reaction to place blame on someone or something whenever things don’t go our way can be insidiously damaging.
In the case of the dissolution of a marriage, placing blame creates a war zone where battle lines are drawn. But, if you want to move forward and create a healthy family environment, and I hope you do, you must forsake the blame game, engage in self-reflection, and own up to your part in the breakup. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you can experience personal growth, which will change your future and bring healthier interactions and relationships into your life.
Avoiding the blame game is not about losing sight of how hurtful breakups can be. Allow yourself to grieve and go through the myriad of emotions that comes with separation. But, don’t make “who’s at fault?” the most important part of your divorce journey. Eliminate the search for someone or something to blame. There’s a saying—“different face, same issues”—that indicates we will repeat the same mistakes over again with our next partner unless we learn the lessons from our previous relationship.
Taking responsibility for your role in your divorce may seem a more painful and difficult path, but it will pay off in the long run. It is so important to hold yourself accountable for your behavior around your children and family who are the innocent bystanders in your divorce. If you come from a place of self-examination and are willing to keep your side of the street clean, you can create a safer, calmer environment for yourself, your children, and others around you.
When you reject blame, you hold on to your power and become a safe harbor for your children. You teach them that you are not a victim, that you are present and accountable, and that you are working to grow and understand yourself and the ones you love. You are modeling this behavior for your children and they in turn will learn from this and apply it to their lives. You can be the spark, the small change in the family dynamics so that a positive ripple effect begins to spread. Let that brave person be you.