This is Myth 7 of 27 Myths about divorce that aren't likely to be true of people who love God and take their faith seriously. These messages make us worry if we're pleasing God. They contain little accusations that our motives aren't right. They make us second-guess ourselves when we try to get ourselves and our children to safety. Many of us have heard these messages all our lives and wanted to avoid them.  So although these myths may be true for people who are selfish or immature, they aren't true for a person who invested their heart and soul into the relationship, even when the other person didn't.  See all the myths on one page. See the next myth.

Myth 7: It’s your fault, because “it takes two to tango.”

TRUTH: It only takes one destructive spouse to make a marriage dangerous.

This myth says you cannot claim to be innocent. You must bear significant blame in this marital breakdown.

Some variations on this myth include:

  • “It takes two to tango.”
  • “You must have done something to deserve it.”
  • “Marital problems are always 50/50.”
  • “You both share responsibility.”
  • “You can’t claim to be the innocent spouse. Everyone’s at fault.”

This myth makes everything 50% your fault. It’s called mutualizing.

Abusive and unfaithful spouses are experts at this; they mutualize the sin and blame it on you.

  • “If you hadn’t _________, I wouldn’t have __________.”
  • “I cheated because you ______________.”
  • “You deliberately pushed my buttons.”
  • “If you do that again, I’m going to blow up, and who knows what I might do when I get angry.”
  • “Even if I did those things, you claim to be a Christian, and you should forgive me and get together again.”
  • “Hey, you're partially to blame here too” or “But what about you?”

The truth is: It only takes ONE destructive spouse to make a marriage dangerous.

There is nothing the victim can do to ensure the other spouse does not sin.

A wise Christian counselor met with a man and his unfaithful wife (she had cheated on him many times). Watch how the counselor handled it:

She didn’t allow the wife to make her husband equally guilty. In the husband’s words—

My adulterous former wife said she was repentant and said she wanted to do counseling to put our marriage back together again. We found a Christian counselor and set a meeting. …Right away, my ex started in on how she did things because of me. Each time the therapist stopped her and said, “Don’t you think you had other choices?”

Unfortunately, not all counselors and friends are this savvy. In some cases, well-meaning but overly idealistic friends may not even listen to your claim of innocence, especially if they have heard and bought into your spouse’s explanations, denials, and lies. They can’t bring themselves to face the truth. They cannot accept that someone they like—someone like your spouse—can be that way. They interrupt, dismiss serious problems, and try to pin the blame on you. They cannot enter the pain because they dislike uncomfortable things that might require them to act, so they avoid it.

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