Divorce: Who’s fault is it?

On the wall in my reception area I have a quote written, “In blaming another we give our power away”. Over the past 27 years I have seen literally hundreds of people separate. I have seen the pain and anguish they go through as they separate and try to get their issues resolved. Blame is one of the surest ways to stay in a problem.

One thing that would simplify their life greatly is to stop blaming. Whether it is their spouse, the new girlfriend or boyfriend, their family or their in-laws, many people are on a quest to figure out what went wrong. So who’s fault is it? Who cares.

When clients start blaming several things happen.

It allows you to excuse yourself from responsibility. In all the years I have practised family law, I cannot recall a case where both spouses did not blame each other. The reality is both spouses have some responsibility for the situation they are in. Own your role in it.

Second it can turn people into “right-fighters”. People become so convinced their separation is all somebody else’s fault. Then they try to convince anybody who will listen to how it is not their fault. “He had the affair” or “She spent all our money”, “His mother was here everyday”, “I did all the child care because he was always gone”, etc. What always follows is “why should I compromise? I didn’t ask for this!”.

I understand that this is an emotional time for clients especially if you did not want the separation but take a step back and consider what difference does it make? How much time and energy do you spend complaining about your ex, bitter about your circumstances, and telling the same story over and over again like a broken record, in desperate attempt to figure out why. What effect has it on your physical and mental health? Your relationships? Your work ethic? Your well-being? In the end, what has it gotten you? I have no doubt it has not moved your situation ahead at all. Do not let your past define your present. If you have children, how you handle the separation definitely affects them. They learn how to handle adversity and conflict by watching you. What are your actions teaching them? When you are angry and emotional wreck, it impacts your children, no matter how hard you try to hide it from them.

In blaming another you give your power away. Stop investing all of your time, money, and energy into your ex. You can not change the past, but you change the future. As soon as you do, your life will start to move ahead.