You Lose if You Play the “Blame Game' in Divorce Mediation

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You Lose If You Play The “Blame Game” in Divorce Mediation

Divorce is usually the result of a flaw in the relationship. The reason a spouse might embark on an affair or drown their pain in drinking is because something isn’t right in the marriage. Unfortunately, people only see the dysfunction of the other spouse and fail to recognize their own part in the demise. Friends and family are told that the divorce is occurring because she did this or he won’t change that behavior. Naturally this garners their support which exacerbates the belief that it’s all the other person’s fault.  It’s hard to nurture and repair the brokenness if the blame isn’t equally recognized and shared. For those individuals who can’t get past the notion that the other spouse is solely to blame, they are destined to an unhappy court judgment and a difficult post-divorce recovery.

Take the case of a lady who still holds her husband’s infidelity as the reason for the divorce, 30 years after the fact. She clearly is not able to see the relationship as broken, but places blame squarely on her former husband even 30 years later. Because of this anger and resentment, she has not been able to move on and build a happy life for herself. Situations like this beg several questions. Why place blame? What purpose does it serve?

Divorce mediation is the smartest option for couples ending their union as long as they are willing to be reasonable. Sam Marguilies in a July 2008 Psychology Today article refers to mediation as “divorce for grown-ups”. He explains that good mediators can reframe the way people think by not letting them dwell on fault and by refocusing on what is best for the future especially if children are part of the picture.

It all boils down to a matter of choice. As Sam Marguilies explains, “You can choose how you allow divorce to impact your future. Let go of blame and embrace the fact that your divorce is a chance to learn, grow and get it right next time around." 

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