All of us assign blame to our spouses at one time or another. Sometimes it’s for something trivial like being late to a movie or not letting the dog out in time. Other times, we blame our spouses for things that cause deeper hurt and real resentment. However, if you truly want to save your marriage and build a stronger, more loving relationship, psychologist Lisa Firestone says you have to call a halt to laying blame.
In her HuffingtonPost.com article, “Stop the Blame Game to Improve Your Relationship“, Firestone explains the dangers of blame and how to stop it from ending your marriage.
One of the problems with couples pointing fingers is that usually both parties are right, and both are wrong.”
As Firestone explains, we all grow up enlisting certain defense mechanisms to protect us from being hurt by other people and those defense mechanisms are often what cause us to blame our spouses….and keep on blaming them long after the incident has passed.
But, she says, while we may not be able to control our spouse’s actions, we can control the way we react to them.
In improving any relationship, the focus should always be on empowering yourself. You can only change your part in the equation, but that gives you a lot of power. So what can you do to take charge and change the behaviors that are holding you back from getting closer?”
Here are her top three tips for giving up the blame game to save your marriage.
1. Don’t build a case.
When a conflict arises, it’s easy to fuel the fire with all kinds of proof of our partner’s character flaws. One morning of forgetting to take out the trash can build into a full-blown criminal case proving our partner guilty of insufferable laziness.”
Firestone suggests backing up, taking a look at the real situation and resisting feeding the fire with our emotions.
2. Drop it.
Once the blame starts going back and forth and escalating out of control, it becomes almost impossible to resolve who did what or who’s at fault.”
Firestone says that it’s far better to let something go, even when you think you’re right, than to risk permanent damage to your marriage.
3. Calm yourself down.
Firestone explains that our partner’s moods and actions often trigger deep reactions in us that have more to do with our own past than with the situation at hand. It’s important, then, to rein in our initial feelings.
When trouble starts brewing, expect the rush of critical thoughts to come into your head, roaring through like a passing train. Then, know that you can decide whether or not to jump on the train.”
Lisa Firestone offers several more tips on how to stop the blame game, save your marriage and start having the relationship you both need and deserve. We strongly recommend that you read the rest of the article and take steps to get blame out from in between you and your mate.