Grab a plate, there’s plenty to go around!
Both ES and I spent a lot of time and energy blaming each other for our own relationship frustrations. Sometimes with shouted accusations, other times with stony silences. It made me miserable.
And blame, like worry, doesn’t solve any problems. It’s a layover to somewhere else. Blaming anyone for a situation I don’t like takes my energy and focus away from solving the problem or trying a different approach. Even blaming myself is a waste of energy. It’s a distraction from making change.
Sure, “It’s all his fault,” might make me feel better, superior even, for awhile, but ultimately, aren’t I just giving away my power? By blaming others for situations in my life, by not owning my choices, I let someone else be in charge of me, while I wallow in feeling like a victim. Taking responsibility neutralizes my blame-laying knee-jerk reactions. Recognizing that my choices, big and small, conscious and unconscious, led me to where I find myself allows me to make new choices. Serving blame for dinner every night means never trying anything new.
There have certainly been times when I’ve felt at the mercy of another person’s choice. My ES chose to move out, there wasn’t a whole lot I could do to change his mind or make him stay. But I get to choose how to respond and whether to take responsibility for my part in the failed relationship. As satisfying as it would be to lay all the blame on him, I played a part, too. My life is more than what he did for 25 years.
There are choices and situations where blame is appropriate (I’m thinking abuse, bigamy, infidelity). The person committing these acts is both to blame and responsible for their choices and the pain they cause. But even when blame is rightfully called for, it doesn’t change the situation. Recognizing and exercising your power to choose and taking action are the first steps to changing the situation. Drop off the blame and catch the next plane out of there.
Crappy situations aren’t always someone’s “fault.” Recognizing my life circumstances doesn’t mean someone did something to me. Sometimes it just means facing reality. And dealing with it.