So I am starting this one worked up again, as that is usually what compels me to write. One of the things that kind of drives me crazy with divorce is the “blame the victim” mentality. That is, for some there is never a victim in a divorce, that both sides of the conflict must share the blame of the split and they won’t budge from that viewpoint. Another blogger, who I absolutely won’t mention as I don’t want to give him publicity or attention cherry-picked one of my articles.
This is how he quoted me.
By her third sentences, she regrets having acted as she tells others they should not — “but not completely.” Why? you may ask. No need: Her run-on sentence goes on to say that she was “mad, extremely mad at my husband who had been…” blah, blah, blah.
Those blah, blah, blahs….that he left out were in fact quite important. I wrote the following.
I was mad, extremely mad at my husband who had been lying to me for years and living as a closeted homosexual. I had nine years of sacrifice and struggle to keep a relationship together that was ultimately a fraud at its core.
My critic also goes on to criticize me for basically taking none of the blame of my divorce. And to quote him directly, he claims
“I was 100% right and he was 100% wrong” story.
I hate to break it to this self-proclaimed divorce expert, but sometimes…divorces really are that lopsided. I can think of my example, and most straight spouses. A straight spouse is someone who was misled by a closeted homosexual into believing that they entered a marriage with a heterosexual partner. In some cases, the straight spouse may know beforehand that their partner is gay, has gay tendencies or a gay past and they choose to marry them anyway. However usually the closeted partner will go to extreme lengths to hide their sexuality. When the truth is finally revealed what is the straight spouse to do to save the marriage? Continue to live a lie? Live a non-traditional marriage perhaps having new sexual partners, but remaining in a sham marriage? My ex-husband begged me to stay with him, work out an arrangement, live with him in a fraud, he was willing to do almost anything to keep me. I didn’t want to live a lie anymore so I left him.
The only exception I can think of is that if a gay partner and a straight partner choose to stay in a relationship and everything is above-board and honest. I know of a few examples of non-traditional relationships that work quite well. But in my situation deception was the only thing keeping my marriage together. And I knew that by keeping my ex-husband in the closet would ultimately destroy him. Because “the closet” is a horrible, miserable existence.
If anything by leaving my husband I released him from this destructive self-loathing. So I am not going to take half of the blame for my divorce. I was fully committed to my husband, I never had an extramarital affair and that was even after my marriage became celibate. I put up with lies and excuses because I was dedicated to making my marriage work.
There are other examples of blame not going evenly to both partners, such as
- One partner is physically abusing the other or abusing the couples children
- One partner is a serial cheater and has not been faithful to their spouse and cannot be faithful to any partner
- One partner is leading a secret life that puts his or her family in jeopardy. i.e. criminal activity without the other partners knowledge
- One partner is mentally ill and refuses to get treatment
- One partner has a substance abuse problem and refuses treatment
- One partner marries the other for a green card or other fraudulent reason
I know it might seem impossible for my critic to admit that there charming yet nefarious people out there who have absolutely no intention of keeping their marriage vows, but these situations are quite common. I blame myself for picking the wrong partner, but I won’t take responsibility for his lies.
In some marriages both parties have made multiple mistakes, or perhaps entered into the union before they were ready. They may have both been emotionally abusive to one another or had extramarital affairs. Financial or lifestyle issues and lack of communication might tear them apart. Or they simply could have grown into two very different people than when they entered the marriage. In these cases there are many shades of gray. Even infidelity sometimes occurs because one partner simply wants out desperately and is looking for any excuse to end it. They have an affair, admit it immediately and their marriage is over. Not exactly a serial cheater who lied for years, but a desperate person looking for and end to a broken marriage. I have had friends go through nearly every scenario, and in most cases the reasons for a split is very murky. Neither side can blame the other without taking some blame themselves. But when one spouse enters into a marriage with a secret and lies, there is little the other spouse can do to change that.
Human relationships aren’t so neat and tidy or democratic. So to those who insist that I or any other spouse like myself should accept responsibility for a person who repeatedly lied during the marriage I say they are way off base. The best thing we can do is avoid picking another deceptive partner and move forward.
- How to survive the Holiday Season if you are Newly Divorced (julietjeske.wordpress.com)
- Top 10 Worst Things to Say to a Newly Divorced Person (julietjeske.wordpress.com)
- We need same-sex marriage so we can get divorced (privatecourt.wordpress.com)
- Divorce.us.org Shares Their New Website and the Symptoms of Divorce in the Technological Age (prweb.com)
- Life After Divorce: Would You Have Married Your Spouse If You Knew It Would End In Divorce? (huffingtonpost.com)