My fault? Your fault? It’s GOT to be someone’s!

Check out a lively conversation taking place over on The Step Mom’s Toolbox at the moment. Peggy Nolan wrote three posts (One, Two and Three) about the element of self-deception and how it plays itself out as a stepmom, and just extended family relationships in general.

A funny conundrum: if you’re unwilling to consider that anything YOU’RE doing may be part of the problem when it comes to conflict in your divorce-connected family, then everything else you’re going to try will fail!

Why is this?

Because you’re missing a vital piece of information that will help you to see the situation accurately and take appropriate action. That would be YOU and what you’re doing.

Focusing on your actions with humility and honesty is NOT the same thing as letting someone get away with murder or actively trying to make your life a living hell.

It’s just about shouldering your share of the load, as you should be.

Whenever we hear someone bitching and moaning about their lousy relationship, a part of us always knows that, in some ways, they’re feeding into the situation, however blindly. Right? Even if you love and adore that person, you still see it, agreed?

Same thing here.

How far are you going to get with someone if they refuse to see this dynamic in their own situation? It’s like they’re covering up one eye with their own hand, shouting about how the other person is making it hard for them to see!

Sure, the relationships between the two families after a divorce are fraught with crappy behavior – THAT GOES BOTH WAYS. But does that mean we’re off the hook when it comes to our own actions and how we’re actually feeding the conflict monster?

THIS is the thing I keep trying to get at on our site (and probably clumsily, at that). The louder some folks try to shout about how it’s really not their fault, it’s the other person’s, the more my heart sinks.

Determining whose fault it is really doesn’t get us anywhere closer to solving the problem, does it?

It just seems to strengthen the divide and make people feel even more hopeless. It makes them not try. It makes them batten down the hatches and bolster themselves against further attacks.

So see what you think….

And a few questions:

  • What have you learned lately about how you might have been playing the game of war, while claiming it was all the other person’s fault?
  • What actual steps did you take that actually brought you some peace or progress?

© 2009 Jennifer Newcomb Marine    All Rights Reserved


  1. says

    Between you and me…I think we could solve the world peace issue…Thanks Jen…the message we’re both trying to get across to moms and stepmoms is SO important!

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