Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Autopsy

When a relationship ends the post-mortem can become ugly and messy.  The ending of a marriage can be particularly difficult, because so many people want to take part.  A marriage is more than just the two individuals involved. There are children, relatives, family friends, and the community at large who were witnesses to the union.  It seems that everyone feels they have a stake in the success or failure of the relationship.

I used to work at a chemical manufacturing plant in the human resources department. While there, I became a certified Root Cause Analysis facilitator. In a manufacturing environment, it's particularly important after an incident to discover all the steps that led up to it, in order to ensure such an accident or chemical spill never happens again.  Foolishly, during the past several months, I tried to apply the same process to the break-up with my husband.

The problem is that in a factory setting, the facilitator's job is to assure that there is no blame-finding during the root cause analysis. In a marriage, not only the couple but everyone else assumes there must be a guilty party.

It's natural during the period of denial and hurt to blame the spouse. And I did. He also held me responsible for all of our difficulties. We tried to speak each other's love language. We went through counseling, both as a couple and individually. We read all the books. We listened to everyone's advice. (And believe me, everyone DOES have advice.)

Once blaming the spouse is done, you start blaming yourself. The anger towards him became guilt turned upon myself.  Neither of those feelings is productive or loving.

The truth is, we are both at fault and neither of us are. People are complicated, which means the union between them doesn't have easy answers either.

Looking back at our collapse, after so many wonderful years together, is a moot point now. Rather than craning my neck to see a distorted image in the rear view mirror, I'd rather look out the windshield to see the beautiful vista before me.

The blaming is done. The guilt is gone. It's time to embrace a new picture of reality.



Diannia said...

Congratulations on coming to this point! Let the healing begin!

Linda said...

The past few weeks I have claimed Philippines 4:13. Knowing He is always beside me and taking me through anything that comes. I have learned when going through life changing events that I have have two steps forward and a step back. As long as the forward steps out pace the going back--I know I will make it. I know you will also.

Niki :-) said...

Here here Linda. I went thru divorce over 10 years ago now, and am happy with being remarried, with 2 more kids. Oh by the way, I emailed you and it came back 2 me, so here's the email:
Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog Linda :)
I have thought about finishing the school thing for a while. I have my bachelor's and sub certificate as well, but am sick of being the little man in the school, the special ed assistant. I am not respected, that is for sure.
I want my own class.
My own kids.
And make my own rules for the class. LOL.
I'm 37 and will be close to 40 when I'm done. I figure the 2 year program will take me more towards 3 to 4, since I'm planning on doing it slowly so I won't get burned out.
Then teach for 15-20 years, then retire with a pension.
We'll see how far I go huh? lol


Wendy said...

Once again your words touched me today. Love the analogy of the autopsy.