Divorce and Self-Victimization

Divorce and Self-Victimization

Divorce and Self-Victimization

Divorce and Self-Victimization go hand in hand.  It is expected, and I don’t blame you for feeling this way.  But before you hire a lawyer, read this article.  Stuck in victim mode is not a healthy place to be, and will make your divorce expensive and hell.

Don’t feel bad for feeling like a victim.  All of us at one time or another have played the victim card, using one hashtag other another, whether it’s #metoo #survivor or something else.  At one time or another, we have felt the world owed us more than our current circumstances, and this is especially true if your marriage has eroded and it’s not your fault.

Do Not Hire a Divorce Lawyer Until You’re No Longer the Victim

Do not hire a divorce lawyer until you feel you’re no longer the victim.  Unless you’ve been served, first hire a  therapist.  There are several reasons for this.

First, playing the victim makes you prey for the unscruplous lawyer.

There are a lot of bad divorce lawyers who only care about your money.  They will instill fear and paranoia in you and convince you to file a false domestic violence restraining order to get custody, or a kick-out order, or to stop supporting your stay-at-home spouse.  They will purposely give you bad advice, under the guise of “protection”.  In reality, they are creating excessive conflict by instilling paranoia to generate billable hours.   If you are a “victim” when you go to them, you will be their victim.

Second, the only victims in divorce are children.

I don’t care if he slept with a hooker.  Or she shacked up with her boss.  If they made these types of bad choices, you are better off without them.  Thank goodness they revealed their true identity so you don’t have to spend the rest of your life with them.  You are not a victim because he cheated on you; only when you let your anger and desire for revenge control your divorce.  If your anger causes you to take a father away from your children, your children are the victims.  Not the father.  Do not make children your victims.

“Your children have come into this world because of the two of you. Perhaps you two made lousy choices as to whom you decided to be the other parent. If so, that is your problem.  No matter what you think of the other party — or what your family thinks of the other party — these children are one-half of each of you. Remember that, because every time you tell your child what an “idiot” his father is, or what a “fool” his mother is, or how bad the absent parent is, or what terrible things that person has done, you are telling the child half of him or her is bad.

That is an unforgivable thing to do to a child.  It is not love, that’s possession. If you do that to your children, you will destroy them as surely as if you had cut them into pieces, because that is what you are doing to their emotions.

I sincerely hope that you do not do that to your children. Think more about your children and less about yourselves, and make yours a selfless kind of love, not foolish or selfish, or your children will suffer.”-  Judge Michael Haas

Just Because You Were Wronged Doesn’t Mean You Are A Victim
We Love Jennifer Aniston Because She Refused to Play Victim

With all this buzz about Brad and Jen getting back together, it’s the perfect time to use them as an example for divorce and psychology.  They’re both poster children for why you should not play the victim.  Because people love you more!  Brad, when Angelina unsucessfully fought for sole custody, emerged the hero at the Oscars.  He got a standing ovation.  He never attacked Angelina; in fact, he took culpability for his role in the divorce.

And Jen?  One role she will NEVER play is the victim. If anyone earned the right to play the victim card, it’s Jen.  Hollywood and the world knows Brad left her for Angelina.  But she refuses to use this narrative.  I loved this Vanity Fair article, and the insightful reporter’s reporting.

“But she tries to keep the lurid details to herself. “She is grieving, but she’s taken the high road,” says Bendewald. “She’s mourning the death of a marriage, and she’s done it very privately. She can have her moments of rage, but she doesn’t want to out him, and that keeps her heart clear. She’s not bad-mouthing him. She doesn’t want to make him the villain and her the victim.”

Indeed, Aniston vehemently rejects the interpretation that she was left for another woman.

“I don’t feel like a victim,” she says. “I’ve worked with this therapist for a long time, and her major focus is that you get one day of being a victim—and that’s it.  Then we take responsibility for our own input.  To live in a victim place is pointing a finger at someone else, as if you have no control.  Relationships are two people; everyone is accountable. A lot goes into a relationship coming together, and a lot goes into a relationship falling apart. She’d say, ‘Even if it’s 98 percent the other person’s fault, it’s 2 percent yours, and that’s what we’re going to focus on.’ You can only clean up your side of the street.”

You Can Only Clean Up Your Side of the Street

Even if it’s 99.99% the other person’s fault, that’s .01% yours.  Maybe that .01% is your decision to be with this person in the first place.  In family law, the other side is not a stranger.  You picked him or her.  Take responsibility for your bad decisions and clean up your side of the street.

Playing the Victim Traps You In the Past; Prevents a Better Future

The victim card is a “get out of responsibility free” card.  It’s not reality, people.  There are tragedies every day, where the other side are strangers or cancer.  I empathize with anyone going through the divorce, but I do not enable them to use divorce as a reason for bad behavior, because it directly affects their well-being and their future.

Direct quote from Jennifer Aniston, in the Vanity Fair article:

Besides, it’s all in the past,” she adds. “This doesn’t kill you. You move on. You can’t let the devastation of a divorce take over and win—let it make you this bitter, closed-off, angry, skeptical person. Then you’re just falling victim to it. You don’t want to shut your heart down. You don’t want to feel that when a marriage ends, your life is over. You can survive anything. Compared to what other people are surviving out there in the world, this is not so bad, in the grand scheme of things. Human endurance is unbelievable. Think of what mothers of soldiers have to rise above! Everything’s relative.

Nothing’s Broke; Maybe a Little Bruised.

She looks down at her firm, fit body. “Nothing’s broke,” she says.

Catching the quizzical look on my face, she concedes, “Maybe a little bruised.”

Incidentally, did you know that in Japan broken bowls are repaired with gold?  Even if you feel broken, you will be healed, if you choose to be.

But My Husband is Hiding Money; and He is a Liar

I hear this often, and it baffles me.  If your husband is hiding money, it’s your fault for allowing it during the marriage.  A man is not a financial plan.  Accept responsibility for staying in the dark about money.  Money management is great responsibility and burden.  You do not get to get to avoid responsibility during the marriage and then use it play the victim card in your divorce.  Sure, a divorce lawyer can help you figure out assets, but it will be costly and expensive.  Accept that the expensive divorce is your responsibility.

My Wife is Lazy and Refuses to Work

This one baffles me too.  Why was it not a problem for 16 years that she stayed at home spending your money, but now it’s a problem and you want to pay $10,000 to a vocational evaluator for a report to impute her income so you don’t need to pay alimony?  Also, you should maybe entertained the idea of a prenuptial agreement.  Accept this: the facts you created means you have the responsibility to pay alimony.

Do You Want to Be Healed?

Finally, do you want to be healed?  After you have decided to accept responsibility and move forward, you are no longer the victim.  Revenge is no longer the reason you want a divorce lawyer, but rather resolution.

If so, now is the time to hire a divorce lawyer, or divorce mediator.

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