A person contemplating divorce often believes that getting rid of his/her partner is all that is needed for a happy life. If you ask him why he is seeking divorce, he will usually give you a list of his spouse’s short comings. This topic typically comes up when he is starting to date again; he will explain to his prospective lady friend that he was the victim of the personality flaws and bad behavior of his spouse.
If you are starting to date such a person, beware! There are very few marriages which fail simply because one person (and only one) behaved badly. Even when most of the blame falls on one side, the spouse still has to answer a pretty important question: if my partner was such a “train wreck,” how is it that I picked her in the first place and missed the signs of future trouble?
In other words, if you are divorcing, its crucial you know what you did to contribute to the marital problems. Additionally, unless you discover what led you to make a poor choice of a partner, its entirely likely you will exercise poor judgment once again, resulting in another flawed choice. And if you are dating someone who has a divorce in his history, its going to be important for you to know whether your potential partner is someone who has taken responsibility for his past relationship problems and worked to reform himself, rather than claiming the victim role — the innocent target of the former spouse’s misbehavior.
These issues are important to think about, especially relatively early in a new relationship, before the emotional power of love makes pulling out difficult. Even if you and your new love interest have never been married, the same questions might well apply to failed relationships in their past. Why did they happen? Why did he choose someone like that? Why have I chosen the kind of people who have disappointed me in the past? What part do I play in relationship problems?
New partners can be exciting. Early on, you will see them only at their best. The sexual spark is likely to be strong. Still, its best you think about who you are with, while your brain is in charge and before your hormones or your feelings of affection take over.