Whether the sin was as minor as a white lie or as major as infidelity, when indiscretions come to light it is often all-too-natural for many of us to start pointing fingers in a disillusioned effort to draw the attention away from our own part in the story. Though we are quick to blame others when things go wrong, it is rarely acceptable. In most circumstances, those in intimate relationships will inevitably find themselves in situations where blame is the default setting. But to engage in battles of blame is never helpful and often results in additional feelings of resentment and betrayal. In marriage counseling sessions, we work to unarm those who are ready to lay blame and work to overcome the urge to point fingers. By taking ownership of our role to play in the situation, not only can we defuse the growing animosity but we actually set ourselves free.

Though certain situations obviously have a source, too many circumstances often come into play. A cheating spouse is obviously the culprit responsible for causing an entire family’s pain and ensuing torment, but their partner never wins by holding onto the need to blame him or her for all that follows the indiscretion. Her choosing to not leave the house for weeks on end, or he turning to alcohol in order to assuage the pain are choices of the individual and not the fault of the first partner. By fully acknowledging their own part in their continued unhappiness, they can fight to get a semblance of their old lives back. Of course, the unfaithful spouse needs to avoid blaming their partner for “sending them into the arms of someone else”. Doing so, and not accepting responsibility for their indiscretion is a recipe for marital disaster.

Those stuck in a finger-pointing position, need to fully assess the entire situation in order to move past what they see as a detrimental life-changer. Marriage and family counseling offers a variety of tools that help one to be honest with themselves and their partners and move on to a richer, more fulfilling relationship.