I have been married for 24 years and have been counseling and coaching couples for over 10 years, and I have found that the root cause of many problems that couples face is, “blame”. Blame means to say or think that a person or thing is responsible for something bad that has happened or to find fault or hold someone or something responsible. Blame constantly requires you to point your finger at someone other than yourself. Now the person who is pointing the finger or blaming normally feels good that they can put the responsibility on someone else. Keep in mind whenever you are finger pointing and blaming someone else, actually your pointing at the other person signifies that they are the one who is in control.
Blame requires you to have a victim’s mentality, while accepting responsibility grants you authority. The person who has the authority has the ability to make changes on their own. Having a victim’s mentality requires the need for someone else to make changes and to grant you the free will and freedom of choice. This is one of the main reasons so much tension and frustration exists between couples when blame is present because no one enjoys living without their freedom of choice and freewill especially when you have grown up in America, the home of the brave and free. Here are 5 negative things that blame causes in your relationship:
- Blame prevents true forgiveness. The longer un-forgiveness resides in a relationship the higher and wider the wall of separation becomes.
- Blame stops the progress of rebuilding trust. Trust is the key to your heart, and no one gives a key to someone who they believe will come in and continually hurt them. So eventually you take the key from the person and prohibit them from entering your heart space.
- Blame replaces positive images in your mind with negative images. The images in your mind will dictate not only your feelings but also the words that come out of your mouth. Depending on how long those negative images stay in your mind will determine many times when intimacy is restored or for many men when you get to come back into the bed.
- Blame loves to hold onto feelings of anger, bitterness
- Blame speaks outwardly while hurt and shame is building inwardly
I understand the results of blame very well because in order to forgive myself for cheating on my wife, and to forgive my wife for her affair it required me to lay blame down and take responsibility. The key to preventing blame and all the negative affects it can have in your relationship is to always take responsibility. Taking responsibility does not mean you did something wrong, or accepting the wrong someone has done. Taking responsibility simply means I am committing to making the wrong right and not looking for excuses to make my pride or ego feel good by intentionally hurting the other person. Always to commit to being solution focused and not problem focused. Taking responsibility is looking for the solution while on the other hand handing out blame is causing the problem to grow larger and faster. It is like throwing fuel onto a fire!