The Blame Game

The Blame Game

The Blame Game

Do you and your spouse play the blame game?

Blame sparks battles and shreds relationship.  To strengthen your marriage cry, “game over.” Here’s how.

Blame shifts responsibility.  Check out this example.
Sherry called her husband.  His cell was off.  Rejection boiled and exploded to an afternoon of seething.  When he arrived home, she let him have it, “Why was your cell off, I called all day, where were you?”
“Back off, I was in a meeting and switched it off.”
“You never think when it comes to me!”
As they slung blame on each other they ignited a full-blown argument.  There is a better way.

Shawn’s not answering his cell pushed Sherry’s rejection button – she allowed insecurity to turn to fear and brew to anger.  She blamed him when she could have taken responsibility for her insecurity.
Blaming each other is easier than accepting responsibility for an issue, but blame always fails, forgiveness succeeds.

When we refuse responsibility, we blame our spouse.  They set up a defense and war follows.  So, here is the cure, when you get triggered, stop and ask two questions: “What am I feeling?” Is it anger, rejection, or neglect?  Then ask, “What is the source?”  Did your parents treat you this way?  Next, tell your spouse about the trigger and discuss the source.  Sherry should have taken responsibility for her rejection.  “Today when you did not answer your cell, I felt a flood of rejection.  My father treated me this way.” Shawn could have apologized for being insensitive to her pain.

By taking responsibility and talking you avoid an argument and find your way to healing yourself and your marriage.  Taking responsibility and talking things out; it’s a better game.  CoachOurMarriage

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Changing the Leopard

Try to Understand

Try to Understand

“My husband is left handed and I want him right.”  “My wife has brown eyes and I want them green.”

Outrageous requests, but trying to change your spouse’s temperament ranks just as high on the crazy scale. Temperament is the genetic part of your personality. Think introvert, extrovert, or HSP. Trying to change this part of your spouse launches a losing battle. Rather than change them, follow these steps.

Seek to understand his/her temperament. Ask how they feel about life and daily living. Does work overwhelm him; does she love a busy schedule?

Listen as they describe their world and do not interrupt or correct. Allow him/her to share without reservation or fear of reproach. For example, your spouse may not like surprises. A new restaurant may be exhausting, yet for you it may be thrilling.  Hold back any criticism as they talk. Next, share your world.  Sincerely seek to understand your spouse’s world views and honestly share yours.

Next, compare notes and determine how the differences affect your marriage. Find the friction points and decide how to smooth them.  Your surprise birthday dinner at a new restaurant caused a battle. Maybe next time you research a new restaurant so your spouse can feel familiar with the new eatery.

Learn to trade; how to learn from each other? I am an HSP – Highly Sensitive Person – Laura is not. So I have learned to step out a little more, and she has gleaned some of my sensitivities. Growing together opens the lock, changing each other rusts it shut. We naturally change but not through force, let change be organic as you exchange each other’s world.

Finally, share expectations. This can and should take a while. That’s the fun, sharing your expectations over a long period of time. When you know your spouse’s expectations you better understand and therefore disappoint less. He may expect friends for his birthday. She may expect a quiet dinner followed by a walk.

Trying to change each other based on a fantasy or someone you know fractures a marriage; growing together knits it. Take time to learn about and from each other and you will weave a tapestry of beauty.  CoachOurMarriage

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Argument Anatomy

Arguments Hurt

Arguments can strike like a rattler in the brush; in seconds you find yourself aching from poisoned words. The Argument Anatomy will help you understand argument components and diffuse the fuss.

The Emotion. No matter who said or did what, emotion is the stuff that boils your blood. Anger, jealousy, rejection, resentment can hijack your relationship and ruin the day.
The Need.
The need to prove you are right. “I did tell you large can of tomatoes not a small one, now dinner’s ruined.” “I did say I’d be gone Saturday afternoon you just did not hear.” When the need to prove grows stronger than the need for relationship you lose at love.
The Event
. What set off the fireworks: the forgotten call, the uncapped toothpaste for the hundredth time, or the socks on the floor. The event triggers the emotions that set up the need to prove you are right.
The Issue
. The true reason for fighting: you felt unheard, ignored, belittled, or criticized. It is not the toothpaste cap that set you off, it is feeling he never cares about you; it is not your reminder to mail the letter, it is that he fears criticism.
What To Do
Cool the emotion – call time out until the emotions settle down. Next, drop the need to be right. You can be right or relational, make a choice. If you always insist on being right, in ten years you may be right out the door.
Next, apologize for the event. Just say it, “Forgive me for leaving my socks out.” Finally, discuss the issue not the event. After you apologize for the event, seek out the true issue. “Did I make you feel neglected?” “Did you feel criticized?” If the answer is yes, apologize and work on erasing the issue.  CoachOurMarriage

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CoachOurMarriage

Jim & Laura

Jim & Laura

Hello,

Welcome to CoachOurMarriage.  We cover all things marriage from pre-marriage coaching to weddings to helping couples strengthen their relationship. If you are planning a wedding or need coaching, please visit CoachOurMarriage for more information. We are dedicated to your marriage and would love to hear from you.

Jim

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