Two strategies people use when their relationship has problems that need fixing are (1) to blame others and (2) to find their faults. Yet in the long-term, these are two of the most destructive strategies that are unlikely to work! They are habits that you and your partner can get addicted to, and ones that slowly drains the vital energy from your relationship. They block understanding, prevent problem solving, and are demoralising.
Trying to create what you want by focusing on what you don’t want is a massive contradiction. 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. The truth is, there is never a winner in these arguments. Even though it may appear to produce short term benefits, as a strategy for long-term success and happiness, it’s not going to happen.
But still we get seduced! It is so easy to believe that when things go wrong, we need to find the guilty person and punish them. Blame puts responsibility on the other person. It means you don’t have to experience the discomfort of looking at your own faults or take responsibility for the situation. If you don’t have to look at your faults or take responsibility, it means you don’t have to change. It is the other person who needs to change – you can stay in your comfort zone, protecting your need to be right.
At best, blame and fault-finding are only going to drive the problem under-ground where is lays dormant for a while. We do this by putting-up, shutting-up and storing our feelings away somewhere in our subconscious, smouldering.
Sometime in the future, something is bound to happen to bring it all back to life, often bigger than ever. You’ll know when this has happened as negative energies start to take over the relationship. Suddenly you’re faced with things like, “No way am I going to open up … all I get when I do that, is to be blamed and made wrong!”
If blame and fault-finding is commonplace in your relationship, at some level, down the track, it is going to fail. This failure may turn into a major relationship breakdown which easily ends in separation and/or divorce.
If you are stuck in a cycle of blame and fault-finding, you’re in a relationship that’s not going forward and as such, is sucking the life out of you and your partner and blocking your further happiness.
There is, of course, a much better way; you don’t have to get out nor put up with living in a toxic relationship. When we stop placing blame, we shift our focus inward. Accept that while you may not be ‘to blame’, you might have a role in the problem. Owning your role and taking effective actions are skills that can you build.
When we’ve taught couples these techniques and they’ve been able to have just one disagreement without blame, they’ve experienced huge shifts in their relationship. We know it’s possible for you, too. We can’t wait to show you how.