I'm done with this marriage because of him. It's his fault. He always works late, he never calls, he leaves dishes in the sink, he never brings me flowers, he leaves his wet towels on the floor, he doesn't tell me I'm pretty, he doesn't romance me, he's addicted to pornography, and the list goes on and on. I'm done with this marriage because of her.
It's her fault. She always nags me, she leaves the cap off the toothpaste, she leaves her dirty clothes all over the floor, she never wants to have sex, she undermines me with the kids, she spends more time with her friends than with me, and the list goes on and on, too.
We hear it all the time in counseling, how it's the spouse's fault the marriage is crumbling or imploding. It's not a new strategy, and it's not any more successful now than the first time it was employed...and it is so far removed from what God intends for us in marriage!
Back in the Garden of Eden, everything was perfect, nothing was broken. Adam and Eve had free reign and the run of the place, with only one rule- do not eat from one particular tree. Yet eat from that one forbidden tree they did, and then they hid from their Creator God. You know the story:
God said, “Who told you you were naked? Did you eat from that tree I told you not to eat from?”
The Man said, “The Woman you gave me as a companion, she gave me fruit from the tree, and, yes, I ate it.”
God said to the Woman, “What is this that you’ve done?”
“The serpent seduced me,” she said, “and I ate.” ~Genesis 3:9-13 MSG
Adam blames not only his spouse, but his perfect Creator God. Eve blames the serpent. The blame game has begun.
Draw a circle. Think of that circle as a pie. Now draw a line to divide the pie into how much fault is yours and how much fault is your spouse's. What percentage of the fault pie is yours? 5%? 10%? Good! THAT is what you need to focus on, not your spouse's 95% or 90%.
How can you say to your friend, ‘Let me take that little piece of dust out of your eye’? Look at yourself! You still have that big piece of wood in your own eye. ~Matthew 7:4
Not sure you're at fault for anything? Pray, asking God to show you:
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life. ~Psalm 139:23-24
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
and blameless in your judgment. ~Psalm 51:3-4
Own Your Slice of Fault Pie
You've prayed, asking God to show you your contribution to the condition of your marriage and your part of the blame game. Next step is to own it, and seek forgiveness wrapped in humility, keeping your eyes on your slice of the pie, trusting God with your spouse. Focusing on your slice of the fault pie, taking steps with God, allowing Him to change your heart, changes everything.
You cannot change your spouse. You can only change you. Playing the Blame Game and pointing out each other's faults will drive you apart, bringing pain to your marriage...just like Adam and Eve.
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