Avoiding the Blame Game with Your Spouse

If there’s one thing that can harm, or even destroy, a relationship, it’s playing the blame game with your spouse. When something goes wrong, sometimes the natural tendency is to blame someone else.

As humans, we seem to instinctively search for someone to point the finger at, rather than taking responsibility for our own actions and feelings. When we feel slighted, we want someone to blame. When our needs aren’t being met, we want someone to blame. When things don’t go the way we want them to, we want someone to blame. It’s always easiest to blame those we love most, so in this case, our spouse becomes the prime target.

If you’re tired of being a victim of your own blame game, here are some guidelines to help you face this struggle:

1. When something goes wrong, ask yourself what YOU could have said or done differently to avoid the situation in the first place.
2. Retrace your words, your actions, and your choices instead of pointing the finger at your spouse.
3. Take full responsibility for your part in any situation that may arise.
4. Be ready to say I’m sorry. Apologizing is a great way to diffuse anger in another person. Even if it’s not your fault, apologize for misunderstanding or anything that might have led you to believe things were going to be different.
5. If your spouse gets defensive and starts blaming you, try to diffuse your own anger by admitting if something was your fault, and then proceed logically by expressing the facts so that he or she sees where they might have gone wrong.
6. Count to ten before speaking when angry. That little saying our parents taught us is good to put into practice to avoid blaming your spouse, and saying mean words you might regret later.
7. Express words of thanks to your spouse when an argument is averted. A simple “Thanks for understanding and not blaming me,” can go a long way.