How to Save a Relationship: End the Blame Game
Many couples who are looking for advice on how to save a relationship struggle with blaming each other. This is because it is easier for people to see faults in other people than in themselves. When a couple is having relationship issues, the most common response is to start pointing fingers at each other and playing the blame game. The trouble with this response is that everyone has flaws. When spouses fail to acknowledge their flaws and vehemently defend themselves, they end up pushing each other away.
As human beings, our defenses are shaped by our negative childhood experiences. These defenses cause us to focus on other people’s flaws as opposed to our own limitations. We perceive other people’s actions through the filter of our experiences and project the negative actions of those who have hurt us in the past onto other people. While all this is perfectly understandable, it can destroy marriages.
How to save a relationship from the blame game
- Stop building a case against your partner – Many people fuel marital trouble unknowingly by gathering evidence of their spouse’s character flaws. They catalogue every little incident that proves that their partners are in the wrong. People who do this can blow small incidents out of proportion. A small incident such as forgetting to take out the trash can be seen as proof that the other person is lazy.
- Just drop it –The more you blame you spouse, the more defensive he or she becomes. No matter how hard you try, you will never win an argument against a defensive person. Also, there is no point in winning the battle if you’re going to lose the war. To end the blame game, you must drop your guard and stop being defensive.
- Take time to calm down – If you are triggered and angry, you’ll be tempted to be critical of your spouse. However, if you take time to calm down before talking to your spouse, you will find that you are more open to having a calm conversation with your spouse. As cliché as it sounds, never speak when you are angry.
- Communicate – When you are calm, you can communicate your feelings in a direct but compassionate manner. Be sure to avoid victimized and generalized language. Saying “you always ignore me,” is very different from saying “I felt insecure when you didn’t call me.” The first statement places the entire blame on your spouse while the second shows that you are taking responsibility for your contribution to the problem.
The above tips are great for any couple that is struggling with finger pointing and looking for advice on how to save a relationship. Don’t let the blame game take over your marriage; end it today.