Sometimes there are obvious reasons for a divorce when it seems like one spouse is responsible for the marriage ending, and the other is “the victim.” However, even if your ex did things to cause the divorce, there is a point at which thinking of yourself as a victim is harmful. Attorney Karyn Youso will work with you to help you take the next step past these difficult times surrounding divorce.
Consult with an Experienced Wisconsin Family Law Attorney
Attorney and Mediator Karyn Youso of First Look Family Law has extensive experience helping clients evaluate their circumstances and consider their choices during and after Wisconsin divorce. She understands the complexities of life before, during, and after divorce, and can help you access the resources you need at every stage. Come in and let us take a “first look” at your situation so you can figure out your next steps. Please call us today to set up a time to meet.
Contact First Look Family Law for help in your divorce in Brookfield, WI.
Being “The Victim” is Part of Your Divorce Story
When a significant event happens in our lives, we tend to create a narrative to tell ourselves and others. The details about how your ex wronged and hurt you are part of your divorce story. When you first recount your experience, identifying yourself as “the victim” can be a part of gaining the validation and support you need from friends and family members. If you feel your ex violated your trust, it’s perfectly all right to acknowledge that you were harmed or betrayed and that you didn’t deserve what happened to you. However, the longer you continue to self-identify as “the victim,” the more you will be reinforcing the belief that you are powerless to affect your circumstances. While everything you are telling yourself may be true, it’s essential to make sure you are not retelling these facts in a way that keeps you from believing you can move forward. There is a time to grieve and process your experience through your divorce narrative. There is also a point where you can start the next chapter of your life in a new and more empowered role.
Hindsight Can be 20/20
When you are going through the emotional turmoil of divorce, it can be hard to have a realistic perspective. Depending on the facts of your case, everything your ex did may have seemed like a personal attack. In truth, some of the things your ex did during the case may have been at the direction of their attorney or standard practice for a divorce. In that instance, feeling like you were the victim during your divorce may have been because you didn’t understand the process at the time. When you look back after the case post-divorce, you may have a new perspective and see matters differently.
If you felt victimized because of issues in your relationship that led to the divorce, having time after the case for introspection may lead you to new insights. Giving yourself time away from the drama of divorce or getting the assistance of a therapist can bring clarity. In time you may see that your marital conflicts were more complicated than one person being wrong and the other being the victim.
Letting Go Doesn’t Mean Denying What Happened
When you got married, you may have taken your vows in a religious ceremony with several family and friends present, or you may have had a smaller event officiated by a judge/layperson. Wherever you made your commitments, you and your spouse swore to love and respect one another for life. When your partner has been deceptive during your relationship, being served with divorce papers probably felt like another level of betrayal. It’s unfair and dismissive to tell anyone who has been mistreated by their ex to deny their feelings of victimization. However, there is a difference between acknowledging what has happened and allowing it to become a permanent self-limiting part of your identity.
While it may be true that your ex victimized you during your marriage, once the divorce is over, it’s important to know that it’s possible to move forward. You should take the time you need to work through what happened and process your feelings. Transitioning from the experience of feeling like a victim to shifting your mindset to empowerment is a gradual process. Just be patient with yourself and remember that you are already going into your life’s next phase without your ex. The beginning is to stop thinking of yourself as a victim and take things one step at a time.