When a couple divorces, people often like to play a blame game. After all, there must be a reason the marriage failed. One of the spouses must be to blame for the divorce. Is that really the right way to look at divorce? Absolutely not! Here are three reasons why divorce isn’t about failure.
It isn’t about a failed marriage
It is unfortunately all too common for the term “failed marriage” to be used when referring to a divorce. Newly divorced men often become overwhelmed thinking about why their marriage failed and what they could have done to save it. If you are putting yourself in this mental trap, stop right now. Divorce is not a proper measurement of whether a marriage was a success or a failure. It is only one event in the many years you shared with your former spouse. Consider all the other events in your married life, from raising children to providing a home for your family. The total record of your marriage through the years is the true measurement of success
It isn’t about fixing yourself
Divorce can be a very emotional process. Even if your split was amicable, feelings of loss and unease over your changed circumstances are common. Some divorced men convince themselves that their marriage ended because of something wrong with them. They then determine that changing this behavior, trait, or circumstance will correct the problem and help future relationships succeed. While goals such as losing weight, getting a better job, becoming more organized are great personal achievements, they don’t directly improve relationships. There are positive relationship lessons you can learn from both your previous marriage and your divorce. However, you won’t benefit from these lessons until you stop looking at your divorce as an event in your life and not a failure.
It isn’t about your ex-wife
It can be very tempting after a divorce to say that your marriage “failed” because you married the wrong person. Especially if your ex-wife was unreasonable or unkind during your divorce, you may want to blame her for the end of your marriage. The problem with this explanation is that it ignores all the good times over the years you had with your ex-wife. If you truly married the wrong person that would also mean that you dated the wrong person, got engaged to the wrong person, and raised children with the wrong person. This line of reasoning doesn’t makes sense when examined critically. Neither you nor your ex-spouse were the “wrong person” and neither of you are to blame for the end of your marriage.
Rejecting the “wrong person” mentality also protects you from starting a new relationship too quickly. If you believe all the problems in your previous marriage existed because you married the wrong person, then you might also reason that all you need to do is meet someone else to have a problem free relationship. Obviously this is flawed logic. Moving on after marriage isn’t just about finding someone to replace your ex-wife.
Acknowledging that divorce is not a failure doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t feel loss or express your pain over the end of your marriage. Divorce is one of the great changes in life and sadness is not uncommon. The main point to keep in mind is that divorce is not a failure. That means you don’t have to blame anyone for the marriage ending, including yourself. Focusing on blame after a divorce wastes time and energy better used on new opportunities for the future.