Villain vs Victim

When I have a lot on my mind, the best way for me to deal with things is to write about it. I share it with others in the hope that it might help someone as it helps me to put my thoughts in order.

My parents got a divorce when I was in my early 20s. It has been one of the most difficult things that I have ever had to go through. I did not realize back then how much it affected the next 5 years of my life. For me, family was the most important thing in the world and in one short week I went from having a family (dysfunctional, but it was my family) to being on the street and looking for a place to live.

Even as a quasi-adult, being a “kid” of divorced parents was hard. The first thing that happened was that you had to “pick” sides. I did not feel like I picked sides at all, but then I started to understand that there is a whole villain vs victim mentality that would become a theme every time that a divorce happens.


It still pisses me off to this day that every conversation about the subject has to have a quick discussion about who is the one that “fucked up.” Sure, everyone draws lines in the sand and some people have the talk about 50/50 but in reality there is never a villain and most of the time there are only victims.

This post does not dismiss the fact that there are relationships where one of the people is mentally or physically abusive to their partner. Those are valid reasons to leave. It is not that simple though, and I have a huge issue with the whole “you decided to leave” mentality.

The one that is “left behind” is the one that suffers. It is a short-sighted view that assumes that the other person does not feel. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of people in divorces that really had no clue the other person had already moved on emotionally and are surprised. Getting into a routine in a marriage is quite easy and, eventually, monotony can set in. Divorce can be a surprise to one of the parties, but that does not automatically makes that person the “victim.”

I know in the divorces I have been closely involved with both parties knew that something was wrong for a long time. Sometimes steps were taken to correct those things, sometimes steps were taken to ignore those things. In the end it is seldom, at least in my experience, that divorce comes as a total surprise.

I have my own rejection issues. I don’t let those cloud my judgement though. The person that does the dumping is no braver or more victim in the situation. Being the woman in the relationship does not automatically make you the victim either, yet a lot of people think that way.

Trust me when I tell you that the feeling that someone chose something else, alcohol, another person, a job, a lifestyle over you does not make it easier to dump that person. In my experience at least it took a lot of thinking and trying to make things work before the decision was made. I know with my parents they tried for years to make things work, made many changes… heck even a move to a different country made things hopeful, but what is not meant to be cannot be changed. Specially not when both people are not committed to the change or making things work.

Without getting too personal about my parents divorce and from knowing both of them my whole life, their relationship was doomed from the start. It was not a relationship based on mutual trust and it created tons of issues that continued to escalate during the 20+ years that it lasted. While you can say that lack of communication skills might have contributed, they were just really not meant for each other.

Marriage is work, but it should not feel like work. The work that you do should be done gladly. You should be able to do the things you need to do to make the relationship successful, not just because you’re expected to, but because you want to.

I see what my Mom has now, with the love of her life – they have been together for 8 years now, they have never had a fight, they are still in love like they used to be the first day. That gives me tons of hope. It makes me think that some day I can have the same thing in a relationship. It makes me long for what they have. It really makes me realize that I am not stupid for wanting to be happy every day, that it is possible, and that the person who deserves to be by my side for the rest of my life, is someone who finds that desire endearing and not foolish.

I wish everyone involved on that situation could have had the same happy ending. The more I live, the more I see that it is truly a personal choice to reach that level. You cannot make others happy… I keep saying… it has to come from within… and life keeps on lashing me with that thought over and over.

With what I am going through myself now, I am not interested in being the villain or the victim. I am not interested in rehashing the past 2 years or even the past 6. I am only interested on moving forward and learning from this experience. I know I did a lot of growing the last couple of years and I know I am better person because of it. I know what I want and don’t want out of my life. I know that to be happy I have to be around other happy people. I have taken steps towards that in many ways and it has improved my life a lot.

*This is my blog and I reserve the right to delete any comment that I find to be not of my liking. Just letting you know before you state your “opinion.”


  1. Melinda

    My parents didn’t get a divorce and should have.

    I certainly felt like a victim for awhile when going through my separation and divorce because I didn’t want it and it was a surprise. My ex was on the couch for a few days with second-degree burns on his ankles from kayaking over a weekend, and he thought and thought, and he said, “I’m not happy,” and he blamed me for his unhappiness. We tried counseling for a couple months, but when one already has one foot out the door, it doesn’t work. So while the divorce itself wasn’t a surprise, the separation was. It took some time for me to work through my issues with it and obviously it was the right thing, but at the time it was scary because it wasn’t what I thought my life would be.

  2. I hear ya Melinda. I think each case is different for sure, and when you don’t know about the decision being made it can be a huge surprise. It takes two to tango and I think it all comes down to communication. We can say things until we are blue in the face, but if the other person does not hear them or understands them they are as effective as silence… but I digress sometimes silence can communicate a lot.

    The difference is between running from each other rather than running to each other. I certainly wish my parents would have divorced way earlier… I also wish that they both had a better life now and not just one of them (at least in my eyes.)

    I am done trying to gauge happiness in others, I will trust what they say rather than try to guess at it. I thought I had learned that lesson long ago.

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