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Why focusing on blame can negatively affect your divorce process

Blame is a loaded word and a loaded concept. Generally, when someone does something positive, he or she is given “credit.” When an individual does something negative, he or she is showered with “blame.” Because blame is such a loaded word and concept, it is best to be conscious of how you are reacting to blame and placing blame during your divorce process.

During divorce mediation, spouses attempt to mutually agree on property division matters and a host of other issues that will ultimately inform their divorce settlement agreement. When blame is thrown around a mediation setting, it can stop the process in its tracks. Similarly, when blame is given a passive-aggressive presence in a mediation setting, it can significantly inform the process.

You cannot control whether or not your spouse will engage in “The Blame Game” during mediation, nor can you control whether or not your spouse will engage in passive-aggressive behaviors designed to make you feel as if you should be blamed for any given thing. However, you can control how you react to your spouse’s blame game and you can control whether or not you will choose to engage in these kinds of behaviors.

In the end, blame is a negative concept and can therefore inspire a host of defensive and otherwise negative reactions in a mediation setting. If you want your divorce mediation to be a success, it is important to think critically about blame and to avoid engaging in blame-related behaviors whenever possible within a mediation setting.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Positive Divorce: From Blame to Forgiveness,” John McElhenney, May 20, 2014

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