When you’re in the throes of divorce, it’s easy to think of all the ways your ex has wronged you. At some point, though, it’s time to start moving on with your life. Ready to take the first step forward? If your answer is yes, here’s how to stop blaming your ex — and start enjoying your life!
Why People Get Hooked On Blaming Their Ex
Blame is seductive. Like a drug, it lets you escape painful feelings and shortcomings: grief, emptiness, fear, your lack of self-confidence, etc. Blaming your ex keeps you from facing things about yourself that you don’t want to face. But if you don’t take 100% responsibility for your part in your relationship with your ex before, during, and after divorce, you will miss the opportunity for personal growth. And you will likely recreate the same dysfunctional relationship with your next partner.
How To Get Unhooked From Blame
The next time you catch yourself blaming your ex, turn the strobe lights on yourself: what was and is your part in creating your current situation?
- Did you overlook your ex’s glaring red flags when you met because he or she told you all the things you wanted to hear?
- Do you feel exploited and disrespected by your ex because you’re not comfortable setting and keep boundaries?
- Did you let your ex handle all the money so you never developed financial management skills and now you’re in debt?
- Did you abdicate the “dirty work” of parenting to your ex so you’re now overwhelmed with the daily reality of raising small children and/or changes in your parenting time that require a different approach?
- Do you believe you’re entitled to anger outbursts because your ex makes you mad?
- Could your acrimonious co-parenting relationship have anything to do with the way you speak or write to your ex?
Now that you realize what you did — and continue to do — to make your life feel unmanageable, you can choose to do things differently. For instance:
- When dating, listen to your intuition. Or, as Maya Angelou said, “when people tell you who are the first time, believe them.”
- Be vigilant about setting and keeping your boundaries.
- Accept your financial and lifestyle reality as it is today, and live within your means. Focus on ways to make and save more money.
- Step up your parenting game: get to know your kids’ teachers, stay on top of dental and doctor appointments, set up reasonable expectations and consequences. Also: do not tell your ex how to run their own home!
- Learn to manage your emotional reactivity.
- When communicating with your ex, stick to facts and logistics. Leave your opinions and feelings about your ex and his or her parenting out of it.
When You Let Go Of Blame, Life Feels Better
Initially, letting go of blame is painful. You have to sit with feelings that seem intolerable. You feel alone. Scared. Overwhelmed. Doing what needs to be done to fix your life now may not be convenient, cheap, or easy. But the more you do the next right thing, the less power your ex will have over you. Instead of squandering your energy on blame, you will refocus that energy on creating a post-divorce life that is authentic, meaningful and one that you love.
Being engaged in high conflict divorce is often a trigger for spouses to continue battling — and blaming — each other, instead of moving on in a civil way. Have questions about your divorce? Want to find lower conflict solutions to your legal issues? We can help. To schedule a free consultation with one of our family law attorneys, please contact us or call today: 888-888-0919.