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Responsibility and the Scapegoat

Updated on July 15, 2016

Responsibility and the Scapegoat

By Tony DeLorger © 2010

When will people begin to take responsibility for their lives? Why do some people think that someone else is responsible for their life, their mistakes, and their children? They say that divorce has a negative impact on the children of the marriage, but it’s not the physical split that has the impact.

So many marriages are given up for other reasons not related to the marriage partnership. I believe the mid-life crisis is alive and well and flourishing. Suddenly in middle age, ‘married with children’ has a meltdown and realises that they hadn’t experienced enough freedom or independence. Perhaps they married young, perhaps they just didn’t realise just how hard it is to parent. Anyway many married people leave their family for this yeaning for freedom and lack of responsibility. Yes, it is a purely selfish act, but this act is the cause of so much pain for the children who have all but been abandoned by a parent trying to be eighteen again.

The divorce creates two separate outcomes: a parent who is responsible being Mum and Dad, role model, and sole source of income, at their children’s beckoned call. The other is a parent who has reverted to adolescence, exhibiting promiscuity, selfishness and all that goes with that phase of life. The sad part is the ‘mid-life crisis’ can only accomplish this circumstance with the responsible other half. The responsible parent is ‘the enabler’, without whom this transition could not take place. It sounds unfair doesn’t it, and I think it is, but the question is how this affects the children.

Life can be complex and children are resilient, provided they understand the circumstance. Again, it’s not what you do but how you do it that can have negative ramifications. Provided children are sat down and explained exactly what’s going on, they are generally fine, given enough time with each parent each week. But it must be said that children understand a lot more than we give them credit. In the end children know who has been there for them, supported them and maintained a healthy secure life.

The sadness is the ‘mid-life crisis’ doesn’t see any of it, bouncing around trying to find themselves by any means possible. Often going where angles fear to tread, they stumble around blindly, not seeing the most important aspects of their lives. I wouldn’t want to be there when the penny drops, but one would hope that one day these people would learn to be responsible again. For their sake I hope the relationship with their children is still viable. I guess the saying is true- ‘you get back what you put into life’.


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