Sunday, October 6, 2013

Step Five: Accept Blame

This goes against every single lesson I learned in childhood. With three siblings it was much easier to play the blame game- so much so that mom always said her fifth child was "Not Me". Avoiding trouble and responsibility was like second nature- if I could get out of it, I would. If I could prove someone else might have done it, I would. But durn if that's not how marriage works.

Owning up is something I would like to go out of my way to avoid. Personally it's deeply shaming that I did something wrong and got caught for it- left the headlights on and killed the car battery? Forgot to hang Mr. E's T-shirts so they wouldn't shrink? Missed a bill deadline? Things like this happen all of the time but they also suck. I take pride in the things I do, be it chores or errands or craft projects, so to mess up or fail at something I'm working on is kind of a blow to my ego. But while my first instinct is to get annoyed and my second is to blame something else, I'm practicing my latent acceptance skills.

Just like any other skill, you have to exercise this one; allowing yourself to be at fault and accepting the responsibilities for it. 

How does this get my husband to do what I want? Because I'm setting the example for him that I expect responsibility and fairness in our relationship. That I don't get a "Get out of Jail free card" just because I was the one who made the mistake. That house rules and agreements are to be abided by equally and fairly. By making myself vulnerable and still accepting my load, I'm creating an environment of shared work and mutual respect.

I'm also refraining from blaming him. Being blamed for something you didn't do is a surefire way to feel like you're thrown against the wall, a tactic that is not only unfair but deeply threatening to someone who is supposed to be your equal. My husband has the right- as I do- to feel accepted and be treated fairly in our home. If I am able to swallow my pride and squash those nasty blaming habits of my childhood, I am better able to encourage and welcome an atmosphere of retreat. Or happiness and rainbows, whichever he prefers.

I think it's important to bow your head and swallow your pride every once in a while. You can't both be right all of the time and marriage is not a power struggle. I don't want to battle my husband to find fault in the Who Didn't Take Out the Trash scenario because my husband deserves a deeper respect than that. After all, that's part of the reason I chose to marry him.

No comments:

Post a Comment

It's so easy to comment and I would love to hear from you!
Mrs. E