The main goal of marriage should be peace and happiness, but too often we lose sight of that in our relationships. There are certain forms of communication that are deadly and blame is one of them. Most couples play the blame game persistently. Those who do become so intent on blaming their spouse that they never realize that they are indirectly pushing your marriage towards failure. Is blame destroying your marriage? It’s important that you know the signs. When you play the blame game in your relationship, five major things happen. First, there is isolation and loneliness in your married life. You begin to feel disconnected in your relationship. Next, there is anger and bitterness which begins to tear at your relationship. Then, both of you begin to feel that the other is selfish and unreasonable, and it begins to wear at both parties. Subsequently, you feel as if there is no true togetherness in your interaction. Finally, you drift away from your spouse. While you may believe you’re achieving something by blaming your spouse, in reality you achieve nothing.
Blame has some other damaging effects. When you or your partner uses blaming language, you create a negative environment between each other. Blame begins to turn into feelings of resentment. When one partner blames the other, the person being blamed begins to feel like they can’t do anything right. Blame also begins to build up stress in your marriage. For example, whenever one partner makes a mistake, the other blames them for being forgetful or inconsiderate. If these experiences happen over and over again, a person may feel as though there is nothing they can do to feel appreciated. Stress and resentment can hinder the growth of a relationship, and when blame is responsible for stirring up these feelings, a marriage suffers.
First, use “I” statements. These reduce blame by taking ownership of your feelings. When you use an “I” statement, you are telling your partner why you are upset in a particular situation. These statements will not only empower you, but also reduce perceptions of manipulation in your communication. One example of an “I” statement is: I felt frustrated when you left your clothes on the floor because I had to spend extra time cleaning. Instead of blaming your partner for their actions, you state your feelings following a behavior. This technique reduces blame language and increases the quality of communication in your relationship.
Second, be intentional about not blaming or shaming your mate. Blame is destructive. When you blame, you are saying “You are the problem, not me.” When you are caught up on ridiculing and putting down your mate, it leads to even more issues in your marriage. Remember, the problems that show up in your marriage involve two parties, not just one person. It’s crucial that each person in the marriage takes responsibility for their part in the ongoing breakdowns.
Third, you and your partner should agree to talk about problems. It’s important that couples have the right tools for tackling issues in the marriage. There should be a structure in place to talking about the problems so that you both identify the necessary solutions.
Fourth, you and your partner should be committed to attacking the problems, not the other person. You and your partner are in union with each other, which means you are both committed to the same goals and objectives. It’s important that you and your partner are seeking solutions together. Shaming and blaming doesn’t lead to effective solutions.
Fifth, you and your partner should speak respectfully to each other. No healthy relationship exists without respect. You and your partner have to be committed to speaking to each other with love and kindness, with the other person’s needs always in mind. If your partner doesn’t feel respected or appreciate in the marriage, it is unlikely that they will truly listen to you or try to meet your needs.
Sixth, don’t make threats or issue ultimatums. In order to take power in a relationship, sometimes people give ultimatums. These people like to believe that an ultimatum will ignite fear in the other party, suggesting that the marriage could potentially fail. However, ultimatums create and fester resentment. Your partner will realize the associated trickery and pressure, which may lead to disinterest in the marriage. Next, they create situations in which both parties are fighting for power. If one person has far more power than the other person, there is an imbalance which will result in fallout. Finally, ultimatums create negativity in relationships. If you create too much negativity in the marriage, your loved one will not want to be around you and will find excuses to stay away. In order for your marriage to last, you must stay away from ultimatums.
Finally, commit to working together. It’s important that you and your partner are coming up with collaborative solutions. You and your partner can come up with solutions that work for each other. Always look for those. When you and your partner are committed to working together, there is nothing you can’t accomplish.
If blame is destroying your marriage and you’re ready to change that, pay close attention to your reactions the next time you’re in a challenging situation with your partner. We all have flaws, so focus on letting go of defensiveness because this will ultimately push your loved one away. The next time you feel yourself getting upset at your partner, pay attention to your own thoughts and responses before you jump on their faults. These actions will build a stronger marriage.