The Blame Game
Perhaps the most crippling and meaningless activity in American workplaces is the blame game. Every single worker can easily recall a recent time when an error occurred, and the workforce spent an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out who to blame, instead of fixing the problem.
The scary part? We do this in our marriages all the time.
When you’re a young family, there are a lot of errors going on. Benedict will roll around on the floor until he gets into trouble. Alison forgets to lock the car. I screw up the daily schedule and don’t make dinner on time. It’s part of the human existence to make mistakes. If I spend time blaming Alison for something going wrong, I reduce the amount of time I have to either fix the issue or respond in love.
Blame creates division. Division leads to fights.
That simple chain of events results in what I would estimate to be the vast majority of marital fights. So when something goes wrong, how should we respond? We have three options:
- Ignore fault. Let’s face it, most of the things that go “wrong” in our daily life are completely inconsequential. Who cares if dinner isn’t ready on time and we eat 30 minutes late. Does it really matter that the car was unlocked for the 15 minutes we were in the store? So the kids got into something they shouldn’t have. They’re kids… it’s what they do. If we chose to just not care about who caused the situation, we can devote our energy to other worthwhile things.
- Acknowledge it was an accident. Your wife does very few things to intentionally offend you. Hopefully it’s vice versa. So when something happens, she didn’t do it on purpose. Acknowledge that she’s human and just move on with your life.
- Respond in love. Many of our mistakes are embarrassing. Screwing up the finances, getting into a car accident, or even your child eating something they shouldn’t have. When you know you’re the root cause, it’s a miserable feeling. Understand that your wife is going through those emotions and show her that it’s not a big deal and that you still love her.
Don’t let blame ruin your relationship. It’s an exercise in wasted time and effort.