Why is it that some people (those who have never been divorced, or even married, I would suspect) are so quick to lay blame on the end of a marriage. I mainly hear this when there is abandonment or infidelity involved; the expressed assumption is that the spouse on the receiving end must have somehow invited that behavior. It is not unlike the victim-shaming often applied to sexual assault victims or the way an abuser lays the blame at the feet of his/her abused. This mindset can be so damaging for those who are trying to come to terms with what has happened to them. Those who are trying to ascertain if they are damaged or not worthy. Those whose world has been torn asunder and who are looking to right themselves again. We need to reach out in kindness, not lash out in blame.
In my own marriage, I accept responsibility that my intense nature and my mind prone to worrying helped to create an environment that was supportive of his dishonesty. Regardless, that did not make it okay for him to lie for years, embezzle money from the marriage, leave with a text message and no discourse, or commit bigamy. The blamers say he did those things because of me. In the early months, I felt he did those things to me. Now, I believe that he did those things despite of me. He was sick, he was unhappy, he was fighting addictions, and I just happened to be collateral damage.
If you find yourself quick to lay blame, please pause for a moment and think about the appropriateness of the label. Think about the consequences of the assumption. Try to examine the situation from multiple viewpoints.
If you find yourself being blamed, especially after your partner has committed adultery or left without notice, please understand that the blamer is lashing out due to their own insecurities and narrow views. You are not responsible for another’s actions.
Ultimately, blame is a distraction from the core issues in trauma and healing. It is a winless game; it’s best just not to play.