Very often when I speak about taking responsibility for one's relationship breakdown, I'm met with strange looks, actually some of them are angry, antagonised looks that demand, "Are you trying to say that I put myself in this situation?"
Well, erm, yes. I am.
Why is it so difficult to accept this idea? Well because it is very much in our nature to blame others for things that happen to and around us. It's just natural. So to think otherwise takes some doing and some work. It would change the story you have been telling yourself and others all this time. And that can be a tough shift.
For instance, if you were to take some blame for your relationship breakdown (even if it's as little as 0.1% ) what would it say about you? How would you begin to perceive yourself? That you are not good at relationships? That you hurt him/her too? That you weren't as great as you thought you were in maintaining and keeping a happy home?
Look, you need to, at some level, accept that you played a role in getting you where you are or were either through your own choices, actions or both.
In the case of divorce, just the fact that you stood up and said "I do" is a starting point. You alone chose to marry that person - except if it was forced upon you.
Why is it important to take responsibility for the break up of your relationship?
Firstly, because if you don't or are not ready to do this, then it just means that you do the same in other areas of your life. If this is the case then you will always not only play the victim but even more importantly, you will always and continuously misdiagnose every problem that you have and if you misdiagnose then you mistreat. Wrong diagnosis = wrong remedy = chronic condition.
Secondly, to accept some responsibility is one of the most vital steps towards healing. "Yes, it happened. Yes, he left and yes she had an affair throughout our relationship. I remember I did this too which was not very nice and quite hurtful. So now what? Where do I go from here?"
And fix it you must otherwise you will only carry toxic emotions, thoughts and beliefs into the next relationship and the next and the next. Kind of gives you one of the reasons why second marriage divorce rates are stupidly high.
If you cannot, for the life of you, see what you might have done wrong, then ask those around you and be willing and prepared to hear, to listen. Or try and see various situations from your ex-partner's perspective. "How could I have handled that differently? Is some of what he said about me true?"
Ask yourself if you have done everything to get you healing from the divorce or separation. Unfortunately, I know far too many women who are stuck in the "I cannot believe he did that to me " phase 6 or more years later.
Oh and by the way, if you cannot take any responsibility whatsoever for your relationship breakdown, then you have no business getting into another relationship. Sorry. But you know why? Because wherever you go, there you are - you will only take your old self into the new relationship and we know how the last one ended.
Warmest of Hugs,
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