The Friendly Divorce: See Your Role in the Problem:
(Provided by: How to Divorce As Friends, by Bill Ferguson)
At any moment, you are totally at the effect of everything around you, Whatever happens, you will react in some way. You may get angry or bored. You may do one thing or another, but you will always react. You are 100% at the effect of life. At the same time, everything around you is totally at the effect of you. Whatever you do, your environment will in some way react to you. That makes you the cause. You are 100% the cause of everything around you. At the same time, you are 100% at the effect. You react to the world around you, and at the same time, the world around you reacts to you.

This is also true in relationships. Each person is totally at the effect of the other. At the same time, each person is cause. If someone gets mad and yells at you, obviously that person is the cause of your upset. At the same time, you did something that resulted in the person getting angry. You also determine how you react to the anger. That makes you cause. Whether the anger was fair or not is irrelevant. You are still both cause and effect. If someone has an affair, that person is clearly responsible. So is his or her spouse. People usually have affairs to find love and appreciation. If this was sufficiently provided at home, there wouldn't have been an affair. Both are totally responsible. Relationships are not 50/50. They are 100/100.

How you treat someone determines how that person will treat you. If you treat someone with love, acceptance and appreciation, that person will react one way. If you are judgmental and critical toward someone, that person will react in a very different way. Like it or not, you are fully responsible for what happens in your relationship. Fortunately, the other side of the coin is also true. The other person is also fully responsible. How that person treats you determines how you will react. If the person is loving, accepting and appreciative of you, you will react one way. If the person is judgmental and critical, you will react another way. Both of you are totally, 100% responsible for the presence or absence of love.

Now this is not what we have been taught. We've been taught that there is only one responsibility. Either it's over there with the other person, it's with you, or it somehow gets divided 50/50. When we look at our situation, we quickly determine where the responsibility lies. It's over there with the other person. That person is clearly the problem. Everything you say about the other person is the truth. That person really is 100% responsible. The trouble with this is that even though you are telling the truth, you are only seeing one side of the coin. You are also responsible. When you blame someone, you give that person all your power. You put that person at cause and you put yourself at effect. In other words, you make yourself a victim. When all the responsibility is with the other person, there is nothing you can do about your situation. You become powerless.

So, to get your power back, you have to see your full responsibility for the mess. You don't have to like it, just see it. When you can see your role in the problem, you can do something about it. You can turn your situation around. Once you discover that you single-handedly destroyed the love in your relationship, both you and your relationship are on the way to some very major healing. As long as you point at the other person, you will stay stuck forever. So take a look. Notice how you treated the other person. Find your 100% responsibility for the loss of love. The other person is also fully responsible, but look at yourself first:
  • You didn't accept the person exactly the way he or she was.
  • You didn't make sure the other person felt loved, accepted and appreciated.
  • You fought and resisted the person.
  • You created the conflict in your relationship.
  • You single-handedly destroyed the love and pushed the person away.
If you look, you will see that all of these statements are true. If they weren't, you wouldn't have a painful relationship. You can also say the same thing about the other person, and it will be true. Blaming just doesn't change anything. Blaming only makes your situation worse. So stop looking at the other person and look at yourself. As you let in your responsibility, you may experience some sadness and loss. That's okay. This can be very heating. Just allow the hurt, and let it go. If you notice that you are blaming yourself, don't. Blame and responsibility are two different things. Responsibility is telling the truth. Blame and fault are judgments that get added. If you are hanging on to any blame or fault, let it go. Forgive yourself.

You may have made some big mistakes. So have the rest of us. Remember, you did the very best you could with the limited awareness that you had at the time.
  • Forgive yourself for not being wiser and more aware.
  • Forgive yourself for doing what you thought you should.
  • Forgive yourself for any damage that you may have caused.
  • Let go of the past and get on with your life.
Once you let in your 100% responsibility for the loss of love in your relationship, you can no longer blame the other person. You automatically become more accepting and more effective. You can then interact in a way that creates love instead of more conflict.
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