The Game No One Wins

Are either of you coming out a winner when it comes to the blame game? We thought not. Read on to learn how to stop pointing fingers and start getting more from your relationship.

How to stop pointing blame in your relationship

Round One: "It's your fault we don't have any savings. You blew it all on golf clubs!" "My fault?! Who had to pick up the tab for everyone at your girlfriend's birthday lunch?"

Round Two: "You forgot to get the dry cleaning again! "Don't blame me. I had to work late!"

Round Three: "If you got that raise, we wouldn't be in this mess!" Door slams.

Ouch. Nobody's happy. How could they be? You're angry and frustrated. So is he. Meanwhile, there still aren't any savings, the dry cleaning remains parked at the cleaner's and that raise isn't happening.

In other words, blaming each other only brings up bad feelings and does nothing to resolve the problem. OK, I take that back: Blaming him makes you feel great (as in righteous) for about 10 seconds. Then it does nothing to solve the problem.

Dump the blame game

Your 10-second high is a cheap one. You're better than that. What's done is done, so rise above, sit down together and brainstorm solutions.

Maybe you create a "fun fund" that builds up as you can contribute for golf clubs and lunches out. Separately, establish a savings account you deliberately grow and use only for emergencies.

Perhaps you can agree that, if whoever was supposed to pick up the dry cleaning, the groceries, the whatever, can't do it, they call to let the other know -- and explain why. Often, the trigger for the blame game is not knowing why a partner failed to do something. We assume he doesn't care, a hurtful assumption.

Discuss together, without blame or fault-finding, what might support his ability to get a raise. Does he need to improve his skills? Would signing up for a seminar or class benefit him? How can you help him achieve that?

You are in this love together. It's not "his fault," it's "our concern." "His fault" separates you. "Our concern" unites you. Your love will thrive as you work on issues and seek to solve them -- together.

More relationship advice:

Tags: blame couple fights fighting fair

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