The End of the “Blame Game”

by Brian

Night DrivingYour headlights light up the road ahead of you. Your car races through lamp – lit street as your mind runs through the events that just happened at your house. You decided that you wanted a night out with your boys. Jen is a good girlfriend but the two of you spend a lot of your time together. One night out with the boys wouldn’t hurt.

You tell Jen that you’re going to be back at 12pm. You show up half an hour late and Jen’s passive aggressive attitude tells you that she isn’t happy. You ask her what’s wrong and she pipes up.

Jen: You said you were going to be back at 12! Where were you?

Flustered, you fire back and ask her why she always gets mad over the little things. Jen walks into the kitchen and tells you she’s going to sleep on the couch, calling you an inconsiderate prick.

Oops.

Working with client after client I find one common problem with every relationship issue that we run into. In almost all failed relationships there is a lack of responsibility for their actions. People are quick to point the finger at the other person for every issue that happens with their relationship instead of taking a look in the mirror and seeing what needs to get fixed.

The external world is a direct reflection of the internal world. The experiences that you run into in your everyday life are a result of your action / inaction. Let’s examine this situation to get a clearer understanding of this concept.

**JEN’S PERSPECTIVE

Jen: First of all he doesn’t invite me out with his friends. Why would he do that anyways? Does he not care about me? Is he ashamed of me? Then when he’s out he doesn’t talk to me or communicate with me at all! Then he shows up half an hour late and when he gets home he’s just a dick.

Different Perspectives

**YOUR PERSPECTIVE

You: All I wanted was one night out with the boys! I left Jen at home and I was having a great time with the guys. I just wanted to enjoy old times with the boys without any outside distractions so I left my phone at home. I couldn’t call Jen to let her know that I was going to be late and when I get home she doesn’t give me a chance to explain, she just trips out!

**WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED

You wanted to go out with your old guy friends. You told Jen that you were going to have a night out on the town with the boys. Jen wasn’t happy that she wasn’t invited but she didn’t communicate it. You left your phone at home to avoid distractions. Jen wasn’t able to get ahold of you so she thought you were ignoring her. You were having so much fun that you were running a bit late but you didn’t have your phone so you couldn’t call Jen. Jen was waiting for you to come home and she had to wait up an extra half an hour, plus she was angry that you didn’t take her out with you and she hadn’t communicated it yet.

Accept Full Responsibility

Every relationship issue that people bring to me they have an equal level of blame to the other person, no matter what the problem is. Even in extreme situations. Let’s say that your significant other cheats on you. That is also your issue. What did you do that caused this person to want to seek affection from another person? Did you respect yourself enough to leave when you saw the red flags? What can you fix in yourself moving into the next issue / relationship that much stronger?

The truth is this: every failed relationship is in some way, shape or form your fault. There was some factor of yourself that you contributed to the relationship that caused it to fail. It’s important to learn the lesson of your failed relationship so you can go into your next relationship that much stronger and wiser about how to make a relationship last longer. If you don’t learn your lesson you’re bound to repeat the same mistake over and over again, consistently pointing the finger at another person taking all responsibility off of yourself.

My Lesson

The Moment You Take Responsibility

I’ve never had a problem meeting people. I’ve never had a problem getting dates. My issue is maintaining a long – term relationship with people that I love. This week I was given a new perspective on why that might be.

My greatest strength is also my greatest weakness. Because I have the ability to go out and meet anyone I want, it keeps me completely outcome independent when it comes to every relationship. I honestly don’t care whether or not a relationship with a girl works out because if it doesn’t, I can just as easily go out and meet some more people and create some more dating options. There’s one flaw in this system though: no one’s perfect.

I set my expectations too high with the people that I was dating and when they would make one mistake I would look for a chicken exit out; afraid to allow them to come in to see the internal side of my personality. It wasn’t until I got an outside perspective from a girl that I’m hanging out with that I came to this realization. This whole time I had pointed the blame at the people that I dated saying “I value integrity, and this person was 2 hours late calling me so I’m not wasting my time,” when in reality, the flaw was just as much my fault as it was the other person. Integrity is valuable, but I shouldn’t use every chance I get to run away from an internal relationship because I’m scared of getting hurt.

The End of the “Blame Game”

The truth is that a problem in a relationship or a failed relationship is just as much your fault as it is the other persons; no matter how many reasons your mind can come up with to blame the other person. There is also a massive downside to pointing the finger at someone else for mistakes: you never get to see the real issue, the one that’s inside of you. And yeah, problems are a two way street however this much is true: you can never control the actions of someone else, you can only control the actions of yourself.

Take full responsibility for the problems you have in your relationship. Take full responsibility for the failed relationships that you’ve had and see where the flaw is in yourself. Keep pointing the finger during your failed relationships and you’ll miss the most important part of relationship struggles: the opportunity to grow into a stronger person.

About Brian
Brian is a firm believer in living in the present. Brian lives his life by the philosophy “Act for the future, not because of the past.” He is a passionate writer, a sober socialite and aspires to be a positive influence to everyone he interacts with. Read more about Brian here.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Angelo February 20, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Powerful Article. I agree that understanding both perspectives of a failed relationship (by being responsible and accountable) is crucial in moving on, whether to the possibility of rebuilding relationships, seeking out new relationships, relieving yourself of resentment, and forgiving yourself.

Cam February 21, 2012 at 11:52 am

Thanks for commenting Angelo. Couldn’t agree more. 🙂

Alden February 22, 2012 at 9:25 pm

I guess at the end of the day communication is really important in relationships. Emotions run high when something goes wrong, so I also think it’s good to take a breather and NOT let emotions thwart the simple message that either party wants to say.

As for taking full responsibility, I couldn’t agree more. It personally annoys me when people are quick to find excuses to try to justify their actions. I had many friends like that. Emphasis on “had”.

Alden February 22, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Although I might add, I wouldn’t wait 2 hours for anyone. That’s… really a long wait.

Cam February 25, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Great comment Alden. Completely agree with your comments. Taking full responsibility for everything that happens in your life is the only logical conclusion if you are 100% committed to GROWTH. If you don’t take full responsibility for your life, you will be blind to so many opportunities to grow.

Brian Mark February 25, 2012 at 2:34 pm

I completely agree with you Alden. Emotions are tricky sometimes and you’ve got to be able to take a logical step back and consciously assess the situation.

2 hours is a long time, but not worth leaving over. Situations should be dealt with in the way that’s most fair.

Thanks for commenting!

Alden February 26, 2012 at 3:25 am

Well it is okay to wait for 2 hours, depending on the latecomer. It baffles me, but some people think it’s okay to be late. They arrive late, no apology, no updates on the way, take it as no big deal. That’s crap. If the reason is legitimate and the latecomer is sincere about being late, then that’s cool.

I have met people who can’t seem to be punctual no matter what. I had a date once, and she thought it would be okay to arrive the same time as the movie starts. God, I hate missing the first part of a movie.

Simba December 26, 2012 at 12:36 pm

I love this site, every article has some kind of link in the end to link to other mission of self improvement. Great job guys keep it up

Cam December 28, 2012 at 2:31 pm

@ Simba – Thank you for your kind words! It means a lot to us that you enjoy the site. Hope to see you comment on other articles 🙂

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