An article that says so many great things–about relationships, about the economy, about life. From the Living_On_A_Dime newsletter. Enjoy~
Stop Playing the Blame Game
by Jill Cooper
It is as old as time and is one of the first “sins” Adam and Eve committed: The blame game. Do you remember in the Garden of Eden when God had first asked Adam what he had done and if he had eaten of the tree of life? He didn’t say, “Yes I did. I’m sorry and will not do it again.” No he basically said, “It’s your fault because you gave me this woman and it’s her fault because she made me do it.” Oh Adam, my hero! NOT!
I wouldn’t consider him a real man’s man… or a real woman’s man either. He doesn’t accept any responsibility for the situation at all, and then to make matters worse, he places all the blame on the woman that God gave him. The same woman he was that he was supposed to love and protect.
Now wives, before you get too puffed up what did Eve do? She begged, pleaded, whined, nagged and pouted until she convinced Adam to do something that he as the head of the house didn’t feel comfortable with. When God asked her what she had done she then proceeded to blame the serpent. She didn’t say, “I was wrong. I should have listen to what my husband had to say and let him lead me,” but blamed the whole mess on a silly snake.
I’m laughing as I write this because the perfect example of what I am talking about right now is probably happening in each reader’s mind. Any wife who is reading this can hardly wait for her husband to read this so he can get his act together and any husband who is reading this is thinking, “I can hardly wait for my wife to read this.” Why? Because after all these years, the blame game is still going on and they can’t wait for the other person to get his or her act together because it is all the other person’s fault.
Let me start with the husbands because they are supposed to be the leaders in the family and guide their family in the right way by their actions and attitude. (Don’t worry: I’ll get to the wives next.) A man is not only supposed to protect his wife physically but also emotionally, spiritually and with regard to her good name. When he criticizes and blames her even for little things that happen in his life, he is not protecting her good name. Even if it means that he looks bad in a situation standing up for his wife he should still be willing to do it.
Husbands, one of the worst things a “man” can do is to criticize and to blame his wife for things that upset him and aren’t going right in his life. I put the word man in quotes because there is nothing manly about a husband who does this. Let me show you what I am talking about.
My newlywed son had run over to meet our new neighbor one day. When he got back he was in shock. He said the man had spent the whole time saying awful things about his wife; she didn’t keep the house clean, she was the reason they were in financial trouble (he was saying all this with his new truck sitting in the driveway), she didn’t deal with the kids the way she should and his whole life was miserable because of her. He said, “My wife is ‘high maintenance'”. That was the first time I had ever heard that phrase and to this day I still cringe when I hear it.
That man may have thought by putting his wife in bad light it would make him look better and we would think more highly of him, but it didn’t. It only made him seem like a weak fool.
Husbands you are your wife’s protector. That not only means her physical protection but her emotional, too. It is your job to protect her from all negative things that could harm her, including yourself. When you play the blame game, you are not only not protecting her but you are often her attacker, making things even worse. If you saw someone verbally or physically attacking your wife on the street, how would you react? You would probably be all over them. But you are doing the same thing daily by blaming her for every little thing that goes wrong.
You are responsible for your wife’s good name, too, and every time you criticize or blame her, you are tarnishing it. I’m not just talking about the big things, but also a general attitude of negativity.
For example, you are late meeting some friends because you wife didn’t put the car keys away. In order to make yourself look good (you probably don’t realize that is why you are doing it) you tell them you are late because your wife didn’t put the car keys up. Instead, you should have said, “Sorry we are late but I didn’t round up the car keys ahead of time and had to take time to find them.” Do you see the difference?
All the same things I just said about the husbands also apply to wives. You should always strive to protect your husband’s name. In Proverbs 31 it says that a wise woman’s husband is well respected in the town and part of that is because his wife has not gone around bad mouthing him. It also says that she does good to him and not evil. Are all of your words and actions done for your husband’s good and to make him look good or do you blame him?
How many things that are wrong in your life do you blame on your husband? Is the reason your house isn’t clean because your husband doesn’t help or is it really because you spent most of the day running around shopping, on the internet, on the phone or even at too many school or church activities? Are all of your money problems his fault? Remember, when one of you is having problems, the other needs to lovingly help.
Instead of spending all of your time and energy pointing out each others faults and placing blame, put your heads together and find a solution to the problem. Talk, plan and work together. That’s why it’s called team work. If two horses are pulling a wagon, how far do you think they will get if each horse is fighting the other and trying to go its own way?
Another type of blame that is rampant is blaming others. Not only do we blame each other, but we blame everyone and everything for our miserable lot in life. We blame the government for everything from the pot holes made by the last ice storm to our not being able to pay our mortgages. We blame our out of control anger and negative emotions on our parents. We blame the fact we can’t get jobs on the “fact” that we are too old, too young, the wrong skin color, the wrong sex, don’t have enough education or have too much education — We overlook the fact that other people with those same attributes somehow seem to manage to get jobs just fine.
It is so much easier to make excuses and blame everyone for our circumstances. We come up with every excuse under the sun to explain why we can’t fix something. Why do we think we are a special generation? People have always had difficult circumstances. The successful ones just took responsibility and dealt with them, whether it was fair or unfair, whether it was their fault or someone else’s. Placing blame is just a lazy, irresponsible way to live your life.
Here’s one last thing to consider: We often blame others when we are caught doing something wrong. Let me give you some examples. Say you can’t pay your mortgage. Do you blame the bank because they lent you more money than you could afford. Isn’t the real reason for the problem that you shouldn’t have borrowed more than you could afford, but you wanted that nice house. You did something wrong and you are caught in a mess so you blame the bank.
What about losing your job and blaming your company for your financial mess? But you say, “I couldn’t help getting fired so I did nothing wrong.” Think it through. While you had a job, did you just spend and charge, not giving one thought to what would happen if you lost your job? Who really is wrong– your company for firing you, or you for not spending and taking care of your money wisely when you had it and a job?
Does it really matter who is to blame? What difference does it really make? Will it solve anything by blaming anyone? Aren’t you just wasting time and energy by doing so? Think how much more you could accomplish in your life if, instead of using your mind like a broken record, going over and over why someone or something else is to blame, you used your mind to start thinking of the solution to the problem.