Ask someone why he or she is getting divorced and here are some answers you might get:
1. My husband cheated on me.
2. I came home one day and found my wife in bed with some guy.
3. My wife doesn't love me anymore.
4. My husband's an *sshole
5. My wife's a bit**
6. It just wasn't working
7. Because my wife is a compulsive liar and a psychopath
8. Ugh...don't even ask.
Although you might feel this way, and I'll even go so far as to say maybe one of these things is true, let's face facts. None of these are the reason you are getting divorced. Getting divorced goes so far beyond "My wife's a bit**." Divorce isn't so simple. It's not cut and dry.
For example, a guy leaving his wife for another woman isn't because he fell madly in love with the other woman and oh, what a fluke! There are undoubtedly so many other factors that came into play. Possibilities include:
1. The guy was unhappy with himself, and went outside his marriage to try to fix what was bothering him.
2. The guy has a sex addiction and couldn't be satisfied with monogamy
3. The woman neglected her husband, denied him sex and he didn't feel loved or appreciated anymore.
Every situation is different. I know a woman who was happily married for 27 years, was having great sex with her husband, was loving and caring and nurturing, and he left her for another woman, whom he married shortly after their divorce was final. Ask this woman if she thinks she had any fault in the demise of her marriage and she will say admittedly, she wasn't perfect, and that looking back, she could have done some things differently, but all in all, no. She can't take the blame for the divorce.
I also know people who have left their spouse and years later realize that it was all them -- meaning, they realize later that their unhappiness didn't stem from the marriage, it came from deep unhappiness within that no one could fix but themselves.
And then there are people who later realize that although their spouse is the one who pulled the trigger, THEY weren't happy either and that in the end, their spouse did them a favor.
Here's the thing. You can get dealt a bad card and your spouse could just leave you when you thought everything was perfect. That is traumatic and devastating and takes years to get over. I'm not saying these people are victims, but rather casualties of someone else's bad mental state and/or addiction or unhappiness.
However, in so many cases, I see people who are unwilling to take ANY accountability for their divorce. They place the blame entirely on their ex. It's infuriatingly frustrating to me.
I actually know a woman who cheated on her husband, causing the demise of her marriage. The guy she cheated with ultimately ended the relationship and now, if you ask the woman why she got divorced, she will say, "My husband is awful! He was a terrible husband." She refuses to acknowledge that SHE was partially at fault. In her mind, her cheating was justified because of the way her husband treated her in the marriage. It's so sad because she hates her husband on the outside, but in my opinion, she hates herself and won't let herself realize that. If she would hate herself for what she did (only temporarily--she should forgive herself ultimately, of course), she'd probably get over both the divorce and the other guy so much quicker!
People like this woman will never be able to fully heal from the divorce until they are able to admit, "SOME of what broke us up is my fault."
I know that personally in my marriage, I did some things that I am not proud of and that I wish I'd have done differently. I don't think they would have saved my marriage, but still, I am at fault. Did you hear that? I AM AT FAULT for certain aspects of the failure of my marriage. If you can say that, you are healing.
In the end, and years later, it ends up not really mattering whose fault getting divorced was, and WHY the divorce happened. But admitting some fault is key in moving on and being a better person in your next relationship and in life in general.
It's easy to spot the people who accept their faults and those who don't. A person who accepts some blame has so much less bitterness, anger, and baggage. Their heart is open and ready to love again because they are able to come to peace with the past.
So, why are you getting divorced?
Jackie Pilossoph is the author of the blog, Divorced Girl Smiling. She is also the author of her new divorce novel with the same name, as well as her other divorce novel, FREE GIFT WITH PURCHASE. Ms. Pilossoph is a weekly business features reporter and columnist for Sun-Times Media. She lives in Chicago with her two kids. Oh, and she's divorced!