When couples fight: Am I to blame or is she/he?

Updated: Nov 20, 2021

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Many couples, at times of conflict, find themselves playing the blame game. Some find themselves always feeling wronged by the other; some might find they are always right. Most of us grow up solving problems in terms of linear causality - this cause has that effect - "You said something hurtful, so I walked away. Hence, you are to blame for us not having resolved that fight". In this line of reasoning, the blame game is an entirely rational space to find yourself in. Then why does it not ultimately resolve the conflict?

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Although the linear model of cause and effect works well for straightforward problems - "I caught a cold because I had too much ice-cream" - it falls flat on its face within the context of a relationship. A relationship, by its very nature, is a system comprising of two or more members. Each member in this system exists within the system of other members. Hence, one's well-meaning effort to find who is to blame, to find the cause of the problem, in a misguided attempt to solve it, amplifies the problem further by throwing blame back and forth to no avail.

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The truth is, in the context of a couple system, there is no victim and no perpetrator (I do not include cases of abuse in this). Therefore, relationships are better understood within the framework of 'circular causality'. This means that each member within the system contributes to the problem and is affected by it.

When one member acts in a hurtful way, the other has a choice in how they respond - and the cycle continues. Each member is responsible - the blame is shared.

By breaking free of linear thinking and realizing that you are in a cycle of circular causality, you can take responsibility for your role in the conflict and be an agent of change and growth of the relationship.

We offer top-notch relationship and marriage counseling in Bangalore which will help you establish and maintain a harmonious and loving relation with your partner.

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