“It’s easy to find fault, if one has that disposition.” ~ Mark Twain, Pudd’nhead Wilson
Owning Our Mistakes
During divorce, we are often advised to identify our own short comings in the marriage that led to the divorce. My ex-husband definitely made it seem like our divorce was my fault. I often heard the phrase, “If I had only… *fill in the blank.”
I do take full responsibility for the countless mistakes I made during our 33-year marriage. I know, without a doubt, I could have done a lot things better.
But then, my ex-husband wasn’t perfect either, nor did I expect him to be. And I didn’t cause him to start seeking solace or pleasure or companionship in another woman, instead of coming to me and honestly telling me he wasn’t happy. I will never take responsibility for that, because it was his choice completely.
Here’s the deal, some people will always be “fault-finders.” They are never satisfied, no matter what the circumstances. It’s either too hot or too cold. The food at the restaurant is always overcooked. Their neighbors don’t mow their lawn enough, or they mow too early. Let’s decide today to NOT be like that.
What I’ve discovered in the whole midlife divorce process is that, even if we don’t have the normal disposition to find fault, there are so many things going wrong, someone must be at fault. Either we are, or our wasband’s girlfriend is, or his coddling parents are, or the availability of porn on the internet… you get the picture.
Taking Responsibility For Our Future
One thing my older brother used to say was that, “No one can make you mad. You make the choice to be mad.” Though that’s technically true, still, people do things that are hurtful and unloving. And that is not my fault; it’s theirs.
But what I finally figured out (after a long time), was that if someone is continually doing destructive things to me, and I do nothing to change it, the situation does become my fault. When I continued to accept the unacceptable, it was not my ex-husband’s fault that my life was in shambles, it was mine.
We all have to take full responsibility for how our lives are unfolding during, and after a divorce. I prayed about what God wanted me to do in my situation, and then took steps to live my life according to those directions the best I could. Through that process, I finally realized that if I allowed someone to destroy my life with their bad choices, there was no one to blame but myself.
” … as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” ~ Joshua 24:15b (NIV)