Stuffing it Down: Blaming

Upon disclosure of my affair, I was nowhere near healthy enough to own all of my failures, shortcomings and overall selfishness. Samantha was more than patient with me, although I was still practically paralyzed and stuck in blaming mode to justify my two year affair and endless amount of indiscretions.

As I alluded in the previous blog (Stuffing It Down: Avoidance), we stuffed and avoided conflict left and right. I also blamed Samantha for my affair and for what I perceived as perpetually rejecting me.  My blaming mentality was more of a way that I handled the conflict internally, and though I had several discussions with my affair partner about life and marriage, I didn’t talk too much to her about Samantha’s shortcomings as I knew my affair partner would only echo my personal feelings. Keep in mind, any talk was enough to be qualified as humiliating and a violation of Samantha’s privacy. Another caveat to the equation was my affair partner was best friends with Samantha, so my affair was a double betrayal: first by me then by her best friend.

Venturing into the waters of blame allowed me to stuff down even my own exploration of my personal issues. Rather than understand why I felt the way I felt, wanted what I wanted in marriage or in life, or had the patterns of reaction and rejection I had, I simply used Samantha as a scapegoat to my duplicity in life. She was the reason I was cheating. She was the reason I was experiencing the conflict I was feeling in life. She was the reason that I needed to get my needs met outside the home and be happy elsewhere. After all, my kids made me happy, my job made me happy, my church made me happy, my affair partner certainly made me happy; why couldn’t she make me happy to? (Notice the trend there: me, me, me. Totally focused on my “happiness.”)

The confusion and deception comes in for those who, like me, cannot see through the reality that while my spouse certainly has issues, my spouse is never responsible for my poor choices. The simple truth that they are human beings proves they are not perfect. They have vulnerabilities and weaknesses and struggles and bad habits. To be angry they are not perfect, and assume that we in turn are the righteous and perfect ones, is not only prideful but deceptive and outright delusional. They do have issues, but blaming our failures on their inadequacies will never work. Claiming, “I know I’m not perfect either, BUT….” only reveals the lack of empathy we have in life and in marriage. Our blaming is therefore dangerous as it only serves as a complicated encryption to prevent our spouse from seeing how hurt and confused we really are.  Blaming only intensifies the deception and drives the knife in deeper in our spouse. Both of you are married to imperfect beings who have made mistakes and have wounded you, but only one of you (typically) has an affair. So tell me, where does blame really get you?

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