The Third Option: Summer Semester (Week 2)...Responsibility and The Blame Game
I didn’t realize what I was doing at the time, but I started the blame game when I was in Elementary School. There was always one stupid teacher who was making my life miserable. If they could just fall off the face of the earth, then my life would be fine. I would spend every class period and hours after school obsessing over that teacher. Sadly, this habit grew unchecked into high school, college and work. I was constantly irritated by some “idiot” who got in the way of my ideal happiness.
Since it was already a habit, I unwittingly brought blame into my marriage. Blaming Daniel made me even angrier at him because he wouldn’t or couldn’t give me what I wanted or needed. For instance, after reading The 5 Love Languages by Chapman, instead of really taking to heart how I could grow in loving him, I hyper fixated on what he wasn’t doing to love me well. It was the very same habit I’d been practicing since grade school. I hadn’t yet learned any of The Third Option skills, so I was an extremely unpleasant person during those years. [insert public apology here]
So, how have I broken this destructive habit? Well, to be honest, I’m still working on it. But I now practice 2 things:
I consciously spend energy thinking and journaling about all of the wonderful things about my husband, (similar to the orientation exercise I wrote years ago) and I try to express my thanks to him verbally every day.
I talk and pray with marriage friends who can help me see my side of the street a little more clearly. They are gracious and loving, so I feel safe examining my part of the problem. Facing my side of the street means I’m less likely to blame Daniel.
I’m still working on undoing a lifelong habit of blame. I think that Daniel can see a difference. Why don’t you ask him?