What’s the point of the blame? Who does it serve?

My ex husband was a prolific cheater. I didn’t blame the women. They’re not the ones who took vows with me. They owed me nothing. If it hadn’t been them, it would’ve been someone else.

If there’s blame to be assigned, it goes to him. 100%

No blame for them.

The other person I did blame was myself. 100%. There were a lot of obvious signs that I willfully ignored for my own self-serving, albeit legitimate, reasons. I “found out” about his trysts when it was convenient for me and never looked back.

The truth is that I was complacent in his lies for a long time because they worked for me. I didn’t want the discomfort of leaving the relationship with no property, no job, and four kids. Sounds reasonable, right? Justifiable? Sure. But I wasn’t able to change anything until I got over my fear, took responsibility…and left.

He couldn’t cheat on me anymore if I was no longer his wife. It was up to me to ensure that. No one was going to do it for me and he sure as hell wasn’t going to quit cheating.

Blame does nothing but feed anger, which is an emotion that tells me I’m doing something wrong. Taking responsibility, however…that’s a useful emotion.

Taking responsibility means that I go back and review my relationship and figure out what I did wrong so that I can learn and not repeat those mistakes in the future. In this case, I married him. Despite red flags. But I wanted babies and a family and so I married a man I thought would never leave because I was so far “out of his league”. I ignore the signs of porn addiction and narcissism.

Whoops.

Of course he cheated. His Cluster B personality disorder aside, I had no desire for him. His touch made me recoil. I still forced myself to have sex with him, but that’s not an adequate replacement for what he craved: to be wanted.

Everyone’s story is different. There are people much further on either end of the victim <— — — ->persecutor scale than my ex and I and all kinds of blinding emotions reside at those poles.

I guess my point is this: assigning blame is pointless because it gets you nowhere. Even if you’re justified in your outrage, nothing changes.

Taking responsibility for our relationship failures, however, is a worthwhile endeavor.

Mama, writer, lover, fighter — I wear my heart on my sleeve because my pants pockets are too small. www.ajkaywriter.com

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