Divorce is epidemic in the United States. Although that might seem concerning, it’s pandemic in the state of Arizona. What does that mean? It means we’ve raised the practice of the divorce blame game to a whole new level.

If you do not have children, you can get away with the blame game. However, even then, it will just show up in your next marriage. That is why we see greater percentages of failed second marriages than first marriages.

If you want to change your life and change your relationships, then start with yourself because that is where responsibility begins and ends.

Divorce Blame Costs Your Children

The most concerning problem is in divorces where there are children. It’s when the parents decide to play the divorce blame game. Everyone suffers, but the children bear the brunt of the long-term effects of the game. Imagine a war zone with a parent on the opposite side. Shells flying, bombs dropping, screaming, crying, and the dead strewed across the field and the children must navigate that zone every time they move between parents. It is not an event most of us would want our children to endure, yet, parents who play the divorce blame game are forcing their children to do just that.

Children Soldiers of Divorce War

Worse yet, some parents engage the children to launch grenades at their ex-partners. They encourage them to join their side. They recruit them at the expense of the children’s own well-being. Remember, when you criticize the child’s other parent, you are in fact criticizing the child as well. They are 50% they other partners, and at some unconscious level, they will begin to deny the parts of themselves that are like the other parent.Children Soldiers of Divorce War

Accept Responsibility

The reality is both parties are to blame in any divorce. If you don’t start from the premise that you had some part in the changing structure of the family unit, then you may well fail your children in the long haul. Children from high conflict divorces have more mental health issues, problems establishing a long-term relationship, and trusting.

If you own your part in the changing landscape of the family unit, that’s a great step towards creating a better life for yourself and for your children.

Drop the Ego

When parents blame each other, they prolong their suffering. They have created a story that they can never escape. “I am the victim of someone else’s behavior, and they are responsible for my happiness.” They have failed to own their life and the responsibility they have for their own well-being and happiness. If you would like better for yourself and your children, own your part in the divorce.

Ask Yourself

Is my partner doing or feeling what is my part? Find the grain of truth that is your part. Move beyond your head to your heart. Listen to your own inner knowing and acknowledge. Might you have done/said this or that differently?

Even if your ex-partner is an extremely difficult individual, remember, you chose them as a partner. You chose to engage in arguments with them. You decided to stay in the relationship. Time and time, again, you choose actions that were not effective countermeasures. You chose to stay, ignore, or encourage bad behavior.

You might not like that they have yelled or screamed for 20 years, but you chose to tolerate it. You chose to remain a victim to bad behavior.

Own Your Life, Save Your Children

Growing up and owning your responsibility is hard, but it far easier than watching your children suffer for the rest of their lives.

  • Start now.
  • Own your life.
  • Stop being a victim.
  • Change your life and your relationships.
  • Begin with yourself by not pointing the finger at anyone else

If you cannot get past your feelings with your ex-partner, get help. Find a therapist. Change is not easy, but working with a professional who can assist you in dealing with a high conflict partner can add years to your life, and truly allow you to live a quality life. You are your children’s best chance. Even if you are not willing to do it for yourself and your next relationship, do it for them.

Nothing is worth the mental health and long-term happiness of your child. Are you willing to sacrifice your child’s well-being, so you can have the last word or that you can be right?

Move from the battlefield to a life of peace for you and your children. Do it now.