I feel like I’m spinning in circles. Anytime I bring an issue to my husband, he spins it back into something wrong with me. I don’t know that I’ve ever been able to come to him with a concern without him finding something wrong about how I presented it, something wrong I’ve done worse, or some way that I’m misunderstanding him. He gets me so confused that I don’t know whether I’m coming or going. Can you help?
Oh, the joys of Crazy Makers! Not!
Your note is a perfect example of what we’ve been doing since the Garden of Eden.
Adam blames the woman; Eve blames the serpent. We blame each other and the “blame game” goes on and on. Subsequently, no one stops to say those powerful words: “I did it. I was wrong. What I did hurt you and I must make things right. Here is what I’d like to do to bring healing to our marriage.”
Blame, of course, is no game. There is absolutely nothing fun or funny about it. Shifting blame is a cancer in the very fiber of a marriage, eroding the integrity of the relationship. A marriage can never be healthy as long as blame is an integral part of the relationship.
Notice what the blame game is doing to you:
- It causes you to doubt yourself.
- It erodes self-esteem.
- It promotes depression and anxiety.
- It prevents truth-telling.
- It stops change and accurate self-reflection.
- It severs your bond of trust.
Is it any wonder that with all the finger-pointing going on, your husband remains stuck in horrible behavior patterns? Remember, DENIAL stands for “Don’t Even Notice I Am Lying to myself.” If your husband continues to deceive himself and attempts to deceive others, his behavior cannot change. The “Crazy Cycle” will go on and on.
If your marriage is riddled with blame-shifting, how can you dig yourself out? There are answers, thankfully. Consider these steps of action:
Tell yourself the truth. While this may sound simple, it is not, because in the midst of “truth-twisting” and “blame-shifting,” the truth becomes quite muddled. Sit back, reflect, pray, and perception-check with trusted friends on what you are experiencing. Seek truth. As Scripture says, it will set you free (John 8: 32).
Prepare for the challenge of change. Someone has said it is easier to face the trouble we know rather than face the trouble we don’t know. Ask yourself the question, Am I really ready for change? Will I give up the comfort of the trouble I know for uncertainties?
Discover ways you get hooked in the blame-shifting. You will never discover clarity as long as you remain confused and confounded. You must seek the truth, prepare for change, and fully understand ways you get caught in the hooks of the blame-shifter.
Cultivate healthy boundaries. Refuse to accept the darts of the blame-shifter. Stand firm, speaking truth into your life and the life of the blame-shifter. Stay calm, clear, and concise. Be ready to own your part, but no more. Seek to change your part and ask for changes from your mate.
Confront unhealthy patterns. Keeping your words concise and clear, ask for what you need. Be prepared to ask repeatedly. Ask for things that are tangible and can be given to you. Speak with respect and conviction.
Get support and professional help. Change is never easy, but is much easier when you’ve gathered support around you. In the midst of the muddle, a supportive friend can be a godsend. Objective, professional help can make the path ahead much clearer.
Be thankful for small victories. Notice the small improvements you and your mate make. Catch yourselves doing things right. Reinforce gains made. Be thankful for the little gains you make as you move forward in your journey.
In summary, it takes two to tango. Therefore, one person can make a remarkable difference in the dance of marriage. Make the changes talked about in this article and let me know how it goes for you.