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Get a Grip on Blame Guilt and Your Exs Failings

You never saw it coming, your divorce. It screamed out of the blue and bashed you about the shoulders. You were astonished that it happened to you despite your very best plans for a wonderful life. Someone's got to pay the price for your distress.

Let's blame the ex! Not! Oh, he/she might have played a role in it, but so did you. And now you're stuck with the guilt. Because the divorce rate is even higher for second marriages than the first, unless you want to go through this again, it would be great if you could figure out how you created this in your own experience so you are done with it.

So let's explore your role. Before you got married, did you have a reasonable picture in your mind of what a relationship and marriage required? Was it a valid concept or did you leave out a lot of details by glossing over them? Decide what your role was in the marriage failing, and then secondly, once you've accepted responsibility in some way, forgive yourself and move forward. You may be right, she may be all at fault or it may be completely his doing that brought this all about. Let's look at two business owners who end up hating each other and calling each other the devil.

I had a client who, for many years had been in business with a partner. They had done very well. They had made money and had fun doing it.

Gradually, suspicion for the other grew in each of them. They each began to protect their own turf. They each began to view the other in a different light. Suddenly, each of them knew he was right and his partner was wrong. They ended up suing each other, spending tens of thousands of dollars and almost two years entangled in a mess. My client, who was a good man, literally despised his former partner and blamed everything on him.

The partner's attorney shared with me that his client held the precise sense as my client but, naturally, from his side. His client believed that he was entirely in the right and that my client had somehow become evil. The point is, that both the other attorney and I could see that neither of these men was evil. We could objectively look at the situation as outsiders and see how miscommunication and misperception had caused the two of them to spiral out of control.

If they could have seen their role in the downward spiral and what brought about the downfall of their business without necessarily assigning blame they could have transformed a very bad situation into something very positive. Instead, the business was destroyed. Both businessmen turned away with a galling sense, convinced it was his partner's fault.

I'm sure you recognize the old saying that if you are pointing one finger at the other fellow, there are three pointing back at you. Blaming your partner just isn't effective. Figure out what your role way and correct it so you don't have to go through it again. Get help to figure it out if you don't feel capable of doing it by yourself. Psychologists are great in this area. Guilt is equally ineffective after a divorce occurs.

Guilt is just a way to beat yourself up and make yourself wrong. Get some help to figure out what you did wrong so that you don't have to make the same mistake over and over again. Feeling guilty is a way of staying in a place of hurt and pain.

It's decidedly unreasonable to continue in this. You can let go of your tight-fisted hold on guilt and you can craft new behaviors in place of the ones that created this messy divorce. Analyzing your ex's bad points won't help you have a more successful marriage or subsequent relationship. If you are so brilliant at this type of analysis, perhaps you should get the training to become a professional at analyzing people's behaviors. They call these folks therapists and therapists get paid for doing this kind of work. If you stand and recite the litany of your former spouse's evil ways for a month of Sundays, it won't make your life any happier.

It would be a far more fruitful activity if you learned to recite a list of your own good traits. Can you do that? I think that we are all too hard on ourselves. Divorce just adds an extra weight to the burdensome sense we carry for having gone through this difficult experience.

In order to create a successful marriage or relationship and not enter into a second divorce, it's a wise idea to drop the concepts of guilt and blaming your ex. It's a wiser thing yet to take ownership of what ever role you played in that drama, clean up your own act, and create the next good thing in your life.

Len Stauffenger's parents taught him life's simple wisdom. As a divorced dad, he wanted to share that simple wisdom with his girls. "Getting Over It: Wisdom for Divorced Parents," his book, is the solution. Len is an author, a Success Coach and an Attorney. http://www.wisdomfordivorcedparents.com

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