I was coaching a friend of mine yesterday. She told me her husband was bullying her. When I asked what happened, she told me the specifics of a conversation with him in which he accused her of doing something behind his back and threatened that he was going to hire a lawyer if she didn’t comply with his command. Of course, she shot back at him with “I didn’t …….! It was you who…..!” Blame, blame, blame all around. Needless to say, their conversation didn’t end well (nor will their marriage, in my opinion).
So what to do in the midst of a blame game like this? Blaming is so common and, frankly, I have to be honest to say that I’m tired of hearing it over and over and over again. It’s ALWAYS about the partner, right? Never about me. It’s not me who did anything wrong. Heck no!
So, to be short and sweet here, this is what to do to stop the blame game — you accept influence, or in other words, YOU LET YOUR PARTNER INFLUENCE YOU.
One huge problem couples experience is an unwillingness of one partner to share power with the other, or in other words, the one not wanting or being willing to appreciate or accept the other’s point of view. When there’s an imbalance of power, there’s a great deal of distress and a great deal of blame.
The only way to calm that stress, stop the blame and save the partnership is for the power monger to be willing to “share the driver’s seat.” The power has to balance out. The power monger has to begin to honor and respect the partner, which allows him or her to appreciate the partner’s point of view, even if he or she doesn’t agree with it.
So, how do you begin to let your partner influence you? Do this exercise:
When your partner is making a vehement statement or commanding something of you, stop for a second and ask yourself “What is the reasonable request here that I can sense in my partner’s statement or command? There's always something, even if just a little something, in their statement that contains a reasonable request. Then, write down what you could say to express your cooperation.
Here’s an example:
You come home tired from work. You'd like to stay home, eat dinner and watch TV. But your partner, who works at home all day, wants to go out. One night your partner gets angry and commands that you’re inconsiderate of her need to get out of the house.
The reasonable request: your partner’s desire to get out of the house.
What you could say to express your cooperation: “I’m sorry you’re going stir-crazy. Why don’t we have a relaxing dinner at home so I can rest and then go out for dessert?”
Try out this exercise yourself and comment below. I’d love to hear your examples!
1. What’s an instance where your partner stated, commanded or asked something of you?
2. What is the reasonable request part of your partner’s statement, comment or question?
3. What could you say to express your cooperation?
If you’re interested in exploring what more you can do to get out of the blame game whirlwind you're in with your partner, reach out and let’s discuss! I’m all about providing help and assistance where I can. Schedule a time on my calendar for a free consultation call and let’s talk. Sometimes you’re only a few tweaks away from creating the true peace and harmony your really want. Here’s my calendar link to schedule a time: https://calendly.com/kimrileycoaching