I heard a psychologist talking about the fact most of his clients can’t get out of their own way. I experience this with my clients in coaching as well. The psychologist message caused me to ask myself this question: Who is to blame for relationship struggles, someone who initiated the issue or how the other party responds to it? This is a tough question where relationships are concerned but let’s dig into it.
Does Blame Matter
When I’m coaching someone, it’s often important for them to understand you have to start with where you are, to get to where you want to be. Blaming someone else for a problem doesn’t resolve your issue. It’s not always necessary to rehash what happened and how you got to where you are, but it is important to know how you got to this sticky point in your relationship, so it doesn’t happen again. I think there is some limited value in blame, because by dictionary definition, blame holds one responsible and places responsibility for an action.
To hold someone responsible is important, because you have to set a standard of your treatment. If I can’t hold a person accountable and I can’t blame them for their actions, then every action becomes my sole responsibility which is not true. We have to be able to understand placing blame can be more than simply deferring fault, placing blame can be an honest attempt to show someone an error in a relationship. Everything should be done with compassion and this includes placing blame.
A Man Will Only Do What You Allow Them to Do
If you’re getting relationship advice from someone, many people are going to tell you the phrase “a man will only do what you allow them to do.” What they are saying is a man can only be abusive or disloyal if you accept the behavior. There is truth in the fact that you can remove yourself from the situation to get away from the abuse or infidelity. The fact is that men nor women marry expecting their spouses to disloyal, unfaithful or abusive.
When you tell women this statement a man will do what they are allowed to do, they also get the mixed signal that whatever behavior they are exhibiting is encouraging bad behavior on the part of the man and this is not always the case. There are no chains around our husbands or wives’ necks to snap them in line if they are about to mess up. We don’t have that kind of control. This is where his (or her) maturity and responsibility as an adult comes into play.
If your man (or woman) is out of control, communicate your awareness. Communicate you will not accept the behavior. If you need to, seek coaching or get some type of professional help. Therapist, coaches and counselors are trained to help you figure out what you need to work through to get to the brighter side of your situation. Your acceptance of the situation is more likely a reflection on your self-awareness and self-esteem than it is on “allowing” anyone to do anything.
Read How to Counter-Punch