It seems that on a weekly basis I have to explain to people that divorce court is NOT criminal court. We are not going to lock someone up for life or deprive them of all their income and assets just because someone had an affair or has a severe personality disorder or addiction problem. These fact patterns exist in over 75% of my cases– and as a result of all the chaos most of the people I interact with are suffering from either situational depression or anxiety, and here I went to law school vs. medical school to stay away from sick people. God clearly has a sense of humor, but let me not digress– my ooint is this– although it is natural when you are in pain to want to lash out and have the other person suffer along side you, don’t do it. It will not do anyone any good– if you let yourself erupt like a volcano, everyone is going to wind up covered in ashes, including you.
In the last 8 years, I have delved into a lot of psychology research, and I’ve come to understand a lot more about the human mind, including this phenomenon that some people cannot accept the slighest blame for anything because if they admit any fault, it means they are bad. These are black and white thinkers, so either you are all good or all bad– they can’t see the gray in the world. So what do they do? They blame others for everything, and there is no point in arguing with these people– you can’t be rational with an irrational human being. Do you see my point? Let me give you some examples:
1. I drink because of you. It’s the only way I can cope with everything.
2. I work like a dog because of you– to maintain the lifestyle you’ve become accustomed to.
3. I avoid coming home because of you– I can’t find any peace at home so I’m staying away.
4. I punched that wall because you made me so angry. Now my hand hurts and it is all your fault.
I wish I was joking, but these are all true statements that I’ve heard from various sources, and it is really hard not to laugh, but as calmly as I can I just try to point out that it does take 2 to tango. If I truly wanted to refute these claims it would go something like this:
1. Maybe we need to help you find some better coping skills.
2. We both created this lifestyle, and if we’ve over-extended ourselves, then we are both at fault and need to find ways to cut back.
3. Rather than avoiding the problem, maybe we can both work on fixing our relationship?
4. Anger management classes might be a better alternative to destroying the house, or your fist.
There are less severe examples, and a common one is the game that it played between someone who is unabashedly assertive versus someone who is passive aggressive. These two are a BAD combination and this is why: as a member of the former group I can tell you that there is nothing more infuriating than interacting with someone that won’t just speak their mind or stand up for what they believe– rather than say it to my face, they prefer to do things behind my back. Instead of having a conversation upfront and trying to reach a resolution, they promise to do one thing, and then they turn around and do something else, which is what they intended to do all along, they just didn’t have the guts to say it to me straight. I have zero tolerance for wimps, which is how I view these types– actually I can’t tell you in a blog the word I’d actually use, but suffice it to say that what I really want to tell these idiots is to grow a set– guys and girls. I have a brass set, and you should too, otherwise step aside and go play in the sandbox with all the other 2 year olds.
In the end, I find the blame games are totally stupid and a waste of energy– especially once you have made the correct decision in getting out. When you finally do agree that it is over, I fail to understand why the blame games continue, haven’t you had enough? I certainly have, both professionally and personally, and I hope the rest will see the light some day soon.
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.