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Forget Playing the "Blame Game"

Part of being a responsible adult is taking the ownership of our own actions. Too often with a partner, we play the "blame game" instead of figuring out what we can do to help the relationship.

When we take ownership of our behavior and actions, we may not see an immediate reaction from our mate. He or she may still get angry over forgetfulness or social faux pas, or other missteps, but over the long haul, you will see a difference in attitude.

In his book, Grow Up!, Doctor Frank Pitman says, "Without responsibility there can be no happiness." By taking responsibility for our behavior, we are open to a more fulfilling life with our partner.

In The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck said that many people seek to avoid the pain of their problems by blaming other for their failings. This never solves anything.

If we accept the blame for our screw-ups, we are taking steps in the right direction in our relationships, our lives and we are on the road to fixing our problems.

Playing the blame-game is also a characteristic of mentally disturbed people. Instead of acknowledging when they make a mistake or act badly or cause some damage, they shift the responsibility for their actions to someone else.

This is referred to "projecting the blame" in shrink-talk. The implication is that the disturbed miscreant is projecting their feelings and actions into those around them as a means of sharing wrongful behavior.

In an intimate relationship like a marriage or close partnership, we should not project the blame for our actions into our partner. It only produces angry reactions and leads to schisms in the relationship.

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There are no winners in the blame-game. No one likes a finger pointed at them, when in fact they are innocent of any wrongdoing. The finger-pointer is labeled as a liar for not admitting their mistake and the accused is really teed-off.

Start the healing of a breach of this nature by accepting the ownership of all your flaws, mistakes, social blunders and other acts of idiocy, foolishness or just plain stupidity. Then work at what you can do to correct these character flaws.

You are not alone. We all have flaws, but how we respond to them is what separates adult from immature behavior. Our response is also what affects our relationships with mates, family and our circle of acquaintances.

Your intimate relationship will flourish when you avoid the blame-game. Your partner will still get upset when you mess up, but they will more inclined to be forgiving and work with you to correct your flaws, than they will to respond stridently to an accusation.

None of us are perfect, so if you make an honest effort to correct your flaws, or at least to minimize them, you will have a less contentious relationship with your partner.

What do you do if your partner plays the blame game with you? Refrain from blowing up is the first step. Then respond by asking why they are blaming you. If you keep asking questions instead of responding with anger, you may ultimately make them see how foolish they look.

At a later time, when there is no blame being passed around, have a calm discussion with them about their blaming other people for their own mistakes. Try to get them to accept the responsibility for their actions.

If this doesn't get the desired response, you might consider an "intervention" with a group of your partner's family and friends. This works in other circumstances where anti-social or bad behavior is evident, maybe it will work with a blame-gamer.

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