The Blame Game

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By Stacey Rose, PhD, LCSW

Chances are you know this game well.  Chances are you’ve played a round or two.  Maybe you even started the game.  Well, it is a losing game; there are no winners in the “Blame Game”.  You may think I don’t blame my partners for things he didn’t really do, but he really caused this problem therefore he’s got to take responsibility.  Read the following closely:  IT DOESN’T MATTER WHO CA– USED IT!!!  What matters instead, is how you and your partner feel and what you both need to do to resolve it.  

If you’ve ever said any of the following, you’ve played this game:

  1. “I wouldn’t have done it if you didn’t…”
  2. “You always…”
  3. “You never…”
  4. “You made me feel…”
  5. “It’s your fault!”

Even if your partner did cause something, it truly is irrelevant in your relationship.  The relevant points are what has happened, what you both need, what type of relationship you both want and what do you both have to do to get there.  You are both equally responsible for the quality of your relationship.  As long as you are both committed to improving or saving your relationship and both willing to do what it takes, there is hope!  Where do you start?

Start by respecting your partner and yourself.  When you speak, talk only about your thoughts, feelings, needs, and perceptions-not about his/her behavior!  Also, do not judge your partner, you chose this person for a reason, and that reason is still there.  Sometimes, it is harder to see the traits you fell in love with, especially when you are hurt, angry or resentful.

Next, take responsibility for yourself.  Apologize for things you may have done that could have caused pain in your relationship and strategize ways to avoid this in the future.  

Last, If you find you and your partner are still struggling, you may benefit from professional help.  You may want to consider the following options:

  • Couples Therapy-to learn ways to improve your relationship.
  • A Group for Couples-will meet once a month with other couples (you don’t have to share anything you don’t want to) to get relationship tips, support and learn how to have the kind of relationship you want and deserve!