Divorce Solutions: “The Blame Game”

November 22nd, 2013

When things don’t work, something is wrong.  Something got screwed up, or someone made a
mistake of judgment, or of the heart. Maybe it wasn’t a good idea from the beginning, ill conceived.

When a relationship ends, everyone you know or who knows you, eventually find out. Some are not surprised, but some are just shocked. You were such a great couple, are we next?

So you need to have an explanation. Sometimes it is a different explanation for family, verses
your friends. And when you get to start dating, a whole new explanation may be in play.

You tell people what happened and why it didn’t work. While sometimes both sides take the high
road, and say it just didn’t work out, more often the low road get visited, and sometimes right from the start.

The low road takes you nowhere, but your emotions will not let you change lanes. It is our
nature to see things mostly from our own perspective and in our mind there are things that are just right and wrong.

Most of your friends and family are going to be supportive,“you’re right he was a _____”. So you get reinforcements to help you believe in your version of the truth.

In my law practice, I mostly hear the low road versions of their spouse. He/she is a control
freak, is selfish, is cheap and sometimes just plain crazy. These people can be very pursuasive that the share of the blame is about 10% them and 90% the other. By the time they come to my office they are convinced.

When I was a younger lawyer, I was often relieved to hear these stories because it is a lot better to represent the party in the right.

But after seeing the truth attempted to be determined in a court of law, you realize that truth
is a very illusive commodity.

So when these 90/10 stories get repeated, you begin to do your own discounting of those odds.
How could a person that one marries and commits to be with for a lifetime, turn out to be that bad? People can change, no doubt, but odds are we get a little better over time.

But living together for most of a lifetime is not easy, and for some it just doesn’t work. And while splitting up and making a change is difficult, it is at least the reality of our times, as more people are getting divorced in this country now than ever.

Divorce is hard and can be expensive, not just financially but emotionally. The key to getting
through the process is to manage both of these elements, and they are so related. The most expensive divorces are those where the emotions take center stage, supported by the blame game.

The key to divorce is simple, get it over with, and get on with your life. The key to the key, is to leave the blame game tucked away.

It is hard to fully understand the true dynamics of relationship gone bad, and it becomes a bit clearer when you are on the other side of it.  So why bother taking a firm position early on? Give the other person some benefit of a doubt. A doubt you should have about your version of the truth.

Most judges will tell you that they have seen very few 90/10 case, as most are even odds. But you probably have some good points to make about the other person’s faults. You know them better than anyone else.

But accept a truism that you might lack clear insight in your own foibles. While you may not be capable of being one of those high road couples, at least be middle road riders.