28th March, 2014
By Aidy Thomas
The desire to appear infallible is what makes people push others to a clumsy corner of blame and condemnation. Two consenting adults in love should know better than spending their whole life trying to figure out who is right and who is wrong; there seems to be an unending battle ensuing in this regard.
Blaming others for a mishap is a short route of escape for the feeble minded. The ‘proud’ is also flabbergasted by the fact that he/she has just made a mistake and thus would want to push it to others. They are too ‘important’ or ‘brilliant’ to make mistake and ever too ‘big’ to say ‘sorry’ to anyone around so they do all within their power to apportion the blame to the next available space.
Living together or relating closely with a ‘blame shifter’ can be a difficult experience. They always would want to attribute failure to what others did or did not do. There is never a mention of their part in the situation at all; they make others the weak link of every breakage. If you are in a relationship where your spouse blames you for everything bad happening, how would you feel?
I read it somewhere that “…a man’s way is always right in his own eyes.” This explains to a great extent why two people could be arguing endlessly about one thing and none seems to see reasons with the other. Everyone believes he/she has enough points to win the case and this makes the accusation and defence spiral out of place in most cases.
On the other hand, some blames are genuine and well deserved. There are instances where your partner would do something that makes you wonder if they were the same people you thought you knew so well. Then you find yourself expressing disappointment and subtly taking up the role of an unpaid lecturer trying to teach what would have been.
The human nature hates to be blamed or told off. A mother once asked if her only daughter could stay at ours for a few hours that she would be out and I agreed. As she was dropping her off she drew close and whispered to me “she doesn’t like to be told what to do”. Shocked and slightly embarrassed! I looked straight and said but I tell my children what to do and how to do it too and if she’s going to be here for this time; I’ll definitely tell her what to do. Oh no! Some parents make me sick; how would you let a young child that is less than ten do what she feels at all times? What does she know? And why are you the mum if not to provide guidance, protection, care, etc. Yes! There is a place for parental control; differentiate between love and nonchalant attitude which makes people ignore their responsibility and turn around to blame the society tomorrow when they did not play their parts as parents.
Any way, you need great skills and understanding to be able to communicate your spouse’s weaknesses or fault without offending them. This is so important for everyone who wants a peaceful relationship as loads of problems come from trying to decide who is wrong. Although some people are just naturally difficult and proud to deal with; they can never accept to be wrong at any point in time: no matter the manner of approach you adopt to convey your message, they’ll still be offended and unwilling to listen and reason with you.
The truth really is that anytime your partner senses you are about to start blaming, they put up a defence that makes you either angry or totally unable to drive home your point and at the end there is chaos. Sometimes the ripple effect of the friction caused by blame spills unto days, weeks and months as the case may be. There are even cases where relationships have been permanently damaged because of blaming. As difficult as it may be, you can attempt to make your feelings known without pointing accusing fingers on the other.
Simple and clear expression of how you feel about the situation may go a long way to help. You use ‘I’ instead of ‘you’ and tell how it affects you and not what harm the other party has done.Project peace. Letting your love know that what you are presenting is for the peace and progress of the union has a way of calming down flames and may work in your favour- who knows!
Choice of words is very important. What sparks fire is ‘use of words’. Little things can turn to a big fight because of what was said, how it’s said and when it was said.Taking responsibility by accepting it was your fault first. If you are bold enough to accept you would have done better, your spouse would be moved to own up their fault too. This puts both of you in a situation to find solution for the challenges at hand instead of pushing it on one shoulder.
Recently, I met a man who lost his daughter several years ago. She was born with an obvious birth mark that the parents thought would affect her in future. They didn’t want other kids to make fun of her in school so they booked for surgery to take off the mark on the girl’s face.
Unfortunately, she died during that operation. What baffled me was the man’s attitude. As he was narrating the experience, he never mentioned his wife, he never said the doctors did not know what they were doing; he just kept saying “It was my fault”. I had to tell him that he should stop blaming himself as he did it with good intention- to give her a better life but it turned out the other way. Other people would have said “It was my wife who put pressure on me”, “The doctors were not competent enough” etc. They faced that situation together and trusted each other deeply.