Many people go through divorce playing the role of the victim and are oblivious to their part in the end of the marriage.
Casting oneself as the victim in this drama is putting the blame onto their spouse. Blaming their spouse for what went wrong relieves them of any responsibility for a failed marriage.
These people may go through life being the victim in other settings, such as on the job.
One older man blamed his two ex-wives for his divorces and reduced finances. He was bitter and said his life was miserable because of them, even years after they had left him.
A former friend of mine kept talking about her divorce and how she was wronged by her spouse. It was all his fault. On the job her boss supposedly was out to get her and she claimed to be the victim of co-workers’ jealousy. This got old and we eventually parted ways.
Some seem to be comfortable in the role of victim and derive satisfaction from it.
They may take centre stage when telling tales of their divorce. It is like they are a leaf on the water, floating wherever the river takes them.
This fatalistic view has them drifting along and not exerting energy to make changes. Getting out of victim mentality requires introspection and a willingness to see both sides of issues.
Feeling like a victim can impact divorce proceedings. The situation will not be viewed realistically and the person may too passive. They may not be receptive to a fair distribution of assets if they interpret the divorce is 100% the other spouse’s doing.
What some solicitors and mediators do in this circumstance is mandate both spouses have at least one session with a life or divorce coach. The victim can have a reality check and get help with viewing the divorce from a different perspective. The spouse being blamed can get some support and strategies to deal with their soon to b ex.
Empowerment is the opposite of being a victim. This is taking control of one’s life and doing the necessary actions to stay on course.
Knowledge is a part of empowerment, whether it is learning about divorce law or emotionally supporting oneself. It is taking an active role in the divorce process and seeking advice on the most advantageous spit of assets.
Empowerment is taking classes to keep current in one’s career for better financial footing post-divorce. Empowerment is discovering strengths and talents in order to feel good and be fulfilled.
Avoid feeling like a victim by taking responsibility for your life. This is taking charge of yourself. When a person admits their mistakes, they learn from them and can move one.
Get out of childhood patterns of behaviour such as feeling you are a victim with the world out to get you. Break free from the past to ensure healthy relationships in the present. You are in the driver’s seat for your life, and not a passenger going along for the ride. If repeating old ways of interactions, consider seeking professional guidance to learn how to communicate more effectively.
Does feeling like a victim bring happiness? No. It is vacillating between being helpless and angry. The victim mentality can lead to depression when one feels powerless.
If you have a friend who blames their ex and many others for their problems, tread carefully. They may not be receptive to stepping out of the victim role. Gently give your point of view and let them vent. You may decide to put a time limit on discussing their divorce and ex.
This quote is from Nora Ephron: There are also a lot of divorced people who five years later are still walking around angry when they should be grateful. They love being victims.
You get to a certain point in life where if you were younger you’d say, ‘Think about getting a shrink.’ Then you get older and want to say, ‘Pull up your socks. Get over it.’”
Wendi Schuller is a nurse, hypnotherapist and is certified in Neuro-linguistic Programing (NLP).
Her most recent book is The Global Guide to Divorce and she has over 200 published articles.
She is a guest on radio programs in the US and UK. Her website is globalguidetodivorce.com.