We all remember the scene in Good Will Hunting where Robin William’s character tells Will that “it’s not your fault.” He repeats this as a mantra, breaking through the tough Southie exterior to reveal a sensitive soul inside. I think everyone sympathized with that scene. We all like to be told that things aren’t our fault, that the bad situation is not of our making, that you are a blameless victim. And sometimes that is the case. Most of the time, though, that is just a fantasy.
This is especially true in a divorce. There are of course cases where one party is a monster or a sociopath or a clinical narcissist, and there are cases where one side is far more to blame than the other. But most of the time life doesn’t work out that way. In the majority of divorces, no matter what the legal ruling is, there is no such thing as “no fault”. There are things that both sides do wrong. You lose your temper far easier than you should, you are more suspicious than even you think is right, you let little things irritate you past the point of reason. And the other party does the same.
It is comforting to think that you aren’t at fault. It helps the ego to imagine that the whole world is conspiring against you. And while it is understandable to feel that way and acceptable to indulge in it at times, it is dangerous to keep believing that. No one is perfect. And it you want to move forward, and learn from the past, you have to recognize it. You have to take a hard and stern look at the mirror and see the flaws. You don’t want to be condemned to repeat history. So while you have to make sure you don’t marry the same man you divorced before, you probably don’t want him to marry the exact same person you were. Use this to grow. Maybe you were the victim, and maybe you were the aggressor, but one thing is for certain- you don’t have to be either ever again.
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