responsibility-1In Part 1, I wrote about lessons we could learn about listening to our intuition, about judgment and criticism, and about regrets around getting married, all from looking at Kim Kardashian’s recent marriage and separation. There’s one more lesson in the article she wrote that I want to share with you. And it’s a big one.

The Big “R”

Near the end of the article she wrote “…and I accept full responsibility for my actions and decisions…” (emphasis added)

How many of us are willing to do that? To accept full responsibility for our actions and decisions? Sadly, not very many.

Oh, I know it isn’t easy to acknowledge our part in the breakup of a marriage or relationship, to shine the light on ourselves. It wasn’t easy for me. But until we do, we stay stuck, and we remain a victim. We can’t move forward until we look under the microscope at our own actions and behaviors. It can be messy and uncomfortable. But it’s necessary.

Pointing Fingers

We have to get brutally honest with ourselves and admit that maybe we do have some responsibility in it. Because remember: when you point your finger at someone else, three of your other fingers are also pointing – right back at you.

Even if there was abuse in a marriage – physically, mentally, and/or emotionally – if someone stays after the first incident, they are partially responsible if it happened again. That does not mean the actual abuse itself was their fault or that they deserved it! Not at all. It does mean, however, that they have some responsibility for the fact that it happened after the first time.

You see, I know, because my first husband was abusive. He was so mentally abusive to me that I lost any sense of self-worth or self-esteem that I had. And yet I stayed, far longer than I should have. I rationalized it by saying we had a baby and I didn’t want my son to grow up in a divorced home because I hadn’t. We always have a story, don’t we?

And that “story” I told myself worked – for a while. Until the day my ex-husband raised his hand to hit me. By then my son was two years old. I knew that if he hit me, it would never stop. And that eventually he would hit my son. So I looked at him and said “Don’t. You. Dare.”

He didn’t. Four days later, I took my son and I left. I stopped being a victim. I took back my power.

Healing and Rebuilding

Since then, I’ve worked with countless men and women during and after their divorce. It’s never easy for anyone to admit their role in the end of their marriage – it’s so much easier to blame the other person! But when someone does admit their part in it, amazing things begin to happen in their life. That’s when the deep healing process begins. And that’s when they can start moving forward with rebuilding their lives. For some it comes shortly on the heels of their divorce; for others, it can take much, much longer.

As with anything – and everything – in life, it all starts from the inside, not the outside. Sure, your ex might be one of the biggest jerks on the planet for what he did. But the key is to learn from what you did, or what you didn’t do.

There’s always a lesson to learn. We just have to be open to learning and growing from our experiences.

Perhaps if we all took responsibility for the part we played in the end of our marriage, there might be a lot less trauma to the children affected by divorce, and we might move on to new relationships that are much happier and healthier.

Leave me your comments below and let me know how you’ve taken back your power and what you’ve accepted responsibility for!