In reality whether we
choose to admit it or not and regardless of what the other
spouse "did", both parties contributed to the marriage
breakdown. I'm not saying it's always 50/50, sometimes it's
70/30, maybe even 90/10 but never- the-less it is both parties
The first reaction most people have when confronted with divorce
is revenge. The courts are full of it. Both spouses use
everything they can think of to "get even" and "win".
They rarely do either.
The consequences are devastating for all concerned. It makes a
bad situation, worse. Both are pointing fingers, "she did this"
and "he did that". Each trying to justify their actions of
revenge. Perhaps thinking that if they make their spouse "see
their wrong" then he or she will stop the divorce. It takes two
to make a marriage work, only one to make it end. If one spouse
wants a divorce nothing can stop him or her. Realizing the
powerlessness of the situation, revenge takes it's ugly form.
In this condition they will fight, and argue over everything.
The children, the dog, the cat, house, and money. No stone is
left unturned when it comes to fighting for what's theirs. Just
to "show them", for revenge.
Consider the alternative. What if both parties accepted
responsibility for their own role in the breakdown of the
marriage? Through this acceptance, both spouses would be able to
ask for and receive understanding and forgiveness. When this
happens, there is a whole different kind of divorce.
No more revenge!
Both spouses will want to be fair and will decide child support,
custody, assets, etc. with fairness in mind. The stress factor
is reduced, both spouses are happier making their children
happier. You will reduce your legal fees. Because this is a
amicable situation, agreed upon by both parties, you will
probably never see a judge or a courtroom.
Unfortunately the hardest part in this whole situation, is
making it happen. Revenge is much easier, you hand it over to
the lawyer, show up in court and accept the decision. Then you
can blame someone else for your troubles, again.
It may be much easier, but it's not better.
In order to stop the revenge cycle in yourself and your soon
-to-be-ex-spouse, you will have to initiate it. First realize
and accept your role in the marriage breakdown, no matter how
small. When you realize your part you are less likely to point a
finger in accusation. You are also more at peace with yourself.
With this in mind, meet in neutral territory and talk calmly and
openly. Tell your spouse what you feel was your part in the
marriage breakdown and ask for understanding and forgiveness.
Don't make accusations or expect your spouse to reciprocate.
Listen, don't argue.
Discuss your divorce without blame. This doesn't mean you must
agree to everything he or she wants to keep peace. You must
stand firm in the issues that are important to you. You have to
negotiate and compromise in a calm even-tempered manner.
This calm open communication must continue every time you speak
to one another or you will quickly lose ground. Remember that
the past is the past, nothing you do can change it. You need to
deal with the present and the future. How you handle your
divorce affects your future in so many ways. Keep this in mind,
while you are wondering if this effort is worth it.
Eventually, your spouse will come around and accept his or her
role in the marriage breakdown. He or she might not admit it but
you will notice a change in communication between the two of
you. The cycle of revenge will be over. Let this be enough.
It will be hard work but well worth it for all concerned.
Everyone will win and the rewards will be great.
By Liz Wertman,
"Divorce Strategy for Men and Women" is
your guide through the divorce maze.
Discover how to reduce legal fees, stay out
of court and maintain your parenting rights.
Wisconsin Divorce Issues
Minnesota Divorce Issues
Divorce Bulletin Board
Ask a question or review postings on our Family Law Bulletin
A comprehensive listing of divorce and divorce related forms for
Divorce Book Store
Review Books on Winning Custody, Child Support, Property
Review links to Divorce and Family Law Resources including Men's
and Women's Rights
Click here to download Custody Keeper a Parenting Calendar
Saving Your Second Marriage