Day 42: The Blame Game

So, last night I was talking to the police officers  who serve at our church, two different conversations at different times, but oddly about the same topic: marriage and blame.

In the first conversation, the officer was telling me about counseling a young married couple who were having problems.  His counsel to the husband was that he had to quit blaming his wife for the problems in their marriage (her being overweight, overspending, never keeping a job).  And his counsel to the wife was to quit blaming her husband for the problems in their marriage (porn addiction, an affair 13 years earlier) and for each of them to accept responsibility for their own issues, and for each of them to be grown ups and get help for the issues they needed help with.

Seemed like good advice.

The next conversation I had with the second officer was about Adam and Eve, and how since the dawn of man, pretty much, woman has been wreaking havoc in the world by manipulating her husband into doing things that he should not do.  His "version" of the garden was that Adam told Eve not to eat the forbidden fruit, but that she did it anyway, and when he saw that she didn't die, he thought, "Awww, why not?  She didn't die, so maybe I will just take one bite." And so Eve ruined the world.  Pretty much.

I said, "So not unlike the first man who said, "Lord, it was that woman you gave me," you too are blaming the woman?"

He laughed and said, "See, you're trying to twist what I said.  The husband didn't do anything wrong.  He was just following his wife.  The wife that God gave him."

I said, "So now it's God's fault?"

He threw up his hands and laughed!

I said, "What if the woman accepted blame for not obeying her husband, who was trying to cherish and protect her by telling her not to eat the fruit?  And what if the husband accepted blame for not obeying God and for not leading his wife, but instead just followed her blindly into sin?"

Weren't they really both to blame?  God made it pretty clear they both owned a part of it.

What I take from both of these conversations is this; in every relationship,  each person in the relationship has some responsibility for the condition of the relationship.  (Some relationships are incredibly abusive, physically, emotionally, and verbally, and the abuse within the relationship is only the fault of the person doing the abusing . . . in case you're thinking I'm saying something else.)

However, in a typical marriage, what would happen if both parties just owned their own "stuff?"  Seems like that would at least be a healthy start toward marital health.

All that to say, sometimes keeping score is a good idea, just not in a marriage.  The Blame Game is a game with no winner.

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