It is an easy concept, but some have a hard time coming to terms with it. It is pretty basic — when we find ourselves in a bad place, the quickest way to change our situation is to look at our actions and what role our actions played in bringing about our problems.
Your life is your responsibility. You have no control over what happens to you or what someone else does to you, but you do have control over the way you respond. When faced with the end of a marriage, you have a choice. You can get bogged down in blame and bitterness, or you can take an honest inventory of your own shortcomings and mistakes during the marriage.
You can choose to be angry with a husband who leaves you for another woman, or you can look at what kind of wife you were. Let's face it, we are none perfect. You aren't responsible for your husband's choice to leave, but you may have played a role in his feeling he had no choice but to leave. It truly does take two to destroy a marriage. A happy husband doesn't leave for another woman. Before you get all red in the face and spew venom at me, let me qualify what I'm saying.
An unhappy husband is just as responsible for his actions and his happiness as his left-behind wife. If he was unhappy during the marriage, it was his responsibility to take inventory, identify the behaviors and beliefs that he had that kept him from being happy. Leaving for another woman doesn't show integrity, it shows cowardice and an unwillingness to take responsibility for his own happiness.
Both parties to the divorce played a role in the demise of the marriage. Both need to own and take responsibility for the role they played in the demise. You can both point fingers or you can take responsibility. Until you are willing to take responsibility for the mistakes you made and the role you played, you will take the same behaviors into your next relationship.
You are the architect of your own adversity; we all are. If you find that your life is full of adversity, then you are failing to take responsibility. Taking responsibility allows you the space to acknowledge your part in the adversity, learn from the experience, and move forward with more confidence.
I met a woman who was full of rage at an ex-husband who had physically abused her for over 20 years. In her mind, he had destroyed her life because he had been a bad husband and, in the end, had given her no choice but to leave. She told me that she had tried for years to make the marriage work and that she would never be able to move on with her life because of all the wasted years with her ex-husband.
She couldn't understand that she had chosen, for over 20 years, to stay in a marriage with a man who beat her. She refused to see her role in where she had ended up because doing so would mean letting go of the blame. She had to have someone to blame for where she was in life. That blame kept her stuck and kept her from moving on from a bad marriage to a more fulfilling life.
Physically abusing a spouse is unacceptable. Choosing to stay with a spouse who physically abuses you is just as unacceptable. It is unacceptable because it keeps you from living your best possible life. As I've said before, your life is your responsibility, so please take responsibility for your own happiness.
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