Placing Blame for Your Divorce
Key Points
  • Parents should not be using the child as the reason for the breakup. No matter the reason for the breakup, placing blame is not healthy and does not promote healing.
  • The divorce is a choice, one that you or your spouse have made, not your child, so it is important to understand how your decisions about the divorce will affect your child. Choosing to be positive will help your child.
  • Look to the future, do not dwell on the past or what is out of your control. Let yourself have the feelings of resentment, or place blame if you must, just do not let those feelings guide your future.

Hopefully you do not blame your child's behavior for the divorce and/or separation. A child can add stress on a relationship one way or another, but any healthy relationship should be strong enough to get through the ups and downs of rearing a child.

If you do blame your child, you are probably suffering from other feelings like "things were fine until we had..." or "what if we would of never had children?". These thoughts are very normal, but do not necessarily mean that you are blaming your child for your marriage problems. You are looking more at the circumstances that got you to where you are. Do not feel guilty about these feelings, but you do want to move past them. If your child remotely believes that he or she is the reason for the divorce and/or separation, you will be causing great harm to your child and will have an uphill battle ahead of you. Unfortunately many parents work themselves into this position.

If you blame the other parent or yourself, you are probably suffering from a bit of resentment. Granted certain circumstances constitute feelings of blame (adultery being a common example), but as time moves forward, it is the healthiest for you and your child if the blame and resentment do not continue. Placing blame and having resentment is sometimes unavoidable, but diminishing those feelings and how those feelings are expressed can make all the difference in the world for you and your child. Your child can perceive these emotions a lot more quickly than you may imagine. It is often suggested that you have a pre-determined plan to deal with these types of emotions as they occur, re-directing them into more positive/future oriented thoughts and objectives.

Moving past the blame and resentment and entering into a new life can be challenging. Emotions and finances are often the root of all major concerns, and when dealing with these concerns, recognizing, isolating, and understanding them are the first and most important step. Once you achieve this, you must focus on the following for yourself and your child:

Strategies and Tactics for Parents:

  • Recognize and understand that you have choices to make.
  • Recognize how these choices affect your child.
  • Analyze these choices.
  • Choose those that create growth, positive attitude, and allow you and your child to move on.
  • Look ahead. Avoid reflecting on your past.

Useful Online Tools

Suggested Reading
Creating a Successful Parenting Plan Creating a Successful Parenting Plan
This extraordinary book and computer disk offers separating or divorcing parents a sure-fire way to create a workable, practical parenting plan/agreement that is in the best interest of their children.

Author: Jayne A. Major, Ph.D.

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