Tuesday, May 08, 2012

The Blame Game... again


Last Friday, I shared a story about a friend of mine who is struggling. Her circumstances with her husband are problematic but she is determined to remain true to her commitment to him. I really shared it in the context of "there but for the grace of God go I". But some of you simply could not help yourselves from climbing up on a high horse and going in. You were bold enough to email me your points of view while being too chickenshiggity to reveal your thoughts in the public comments section. I did not reply back to any of you who wrote. There's a forum for that. Here. In the comments section. But I will share a few of these folks' thoughts and my responses.

1. For the 6 women who wrote various forms of "Your friend should be glad she has a man" - Really? That's what's hot in da streetz? As long as you have any ole man, you should be grateful and glad? I vehemently reject that doctrine. Ve. Hem. Ent. Ly.

2. To the two women who declared, "I would've divorced him the minute he lost his job" - So... not too attached to the actual covenant part of marriage, hmm? Divorce is not always the answer. And having the divorce option on a hair trigger seems a wee bit shallow. If you want a relationship where you can bail the moment things get tough, marriage may not be for you. 

3. To the 3 men and 1 woman who suggested, "She should initiate sex" - Why should she if doesn't want to? Perhaps you meant to write "she could initiate sex" which makes far more sense. I'm not even to get into the one dude's assumption that sex is some sort of magical cure-all "everything looks better after some hot cocoa" - oh. Alright then.

4. To the one check with four paragraphs who preached, "A lot of women would kill for a man making $40k a year" - And a lot of women wouldn't. Particularly if the man was making close to 4x that when they met. Of course she's happy he's bringing in some income but sweetie, don't impose your set of standards on other women. And the "so many women have men who make less that $20k" argument falls flat. Good for them, what's that got to do with this situation?

5. For the over ten people who  asked, "She took vows for better of for worse, this is worse - what's the problem?" Believe me, she knows this is the "worse" section, no reminder needed. Is she supposed to hmm merrily and act like it's all okay?

My overall reaction - why are some folks' so determined to make it the woman's fault? Or to assign fault at all? Why not just agree that the situation is troubling, make a suggestion or two and move on? 

It's not just on this blog - it's everywhere. It seems as though people cannot size up a troubling situation without assigning blame and getting judgmental. Far as I know, Jesus has not come back yet and no one else is perfect. Glass houses, people. Help me out - Why play the blame game? Who does it help? 

38 comments:

SingLikeSassy said...

Interesting that these folks didn't just post their thoughts anonymously. Did they feel that there was group think going on and people would attack them for their opinions?

Now I will step into it and say that off the top of my head I can't think of one career-track position that pays less than $20K, so the chances of me dating that brother are slim and nil 'cause just gettin' by brothers are not my cup of tea.

Miz JJ said...

Like most things in life, those comments say more about the people making them than about the situtation you described.  

CaliGirlED said...

"Chickenshiggity"!!!...Let's marinate there shall we?

We all know that the hit dog will holler. So some folks throw the rock and hide their hand because we also know that often times after the hit dog hollers he/she bites a chunk outta that behind.

This blog is all about open conversation, in respectful taste. The back and forth dialogue is what makes it what it is and have helped with personal/professional/spiritual/financial growth. SHARE people!!! And if how you feel does not sit well with the masses, re-evaluate your stance (because you could possibly be wrong), or stand by what you have said. Le Huge Sigh

tishatweets said...

Oh. Too bad nobody emailed you anything of substance. 

tishatweets said...

"Now I will step into it and say that off the top of my head I can't think of one career-track position that pays less than $20K, so the chances of me dating that brother are slim and nil 'cause just gettin' by brothers are not my cup of tea."

This here.

thinklikeRiley said...

 They ain't bring that ish round these comments cuz we'd have bbq'd dey asses. We ont e'en play like dat. My thoughts on their thoughts:

Sorry but dis here be Black n BOUGIE. Ain't nuthin bougie about a grown man pulling down $20k. Take that weak shiggity to some other blog.

Cocoa ain't never cured a damn thing but the itch for cocoa.

No s/o is ALWAYS betta than a sorry s/o.

Marriage ain't fo ev'body.

Riley out.

JoycelynC said...

 co-sign all of this. 

TrulyPC said...

Why play the blame game? It's a default response to avoid accepting any responsibility in the situation.  I've been there.  I was so angry when my last relationship was tanking because I felt that I had been a victim of a bait and switch.  But once I placed the focus on my part in the tragedy it was the most eye-opening and freeing experience EVER.   I was able to move on and continue healing.  Sure he had done the bait and switch but I chose to keep stewing in the misery longer than I should have without addressing it.

CaliGirlED said...

 I feel like I've paid my dues to men on the struggle. *shrugs*

bashowell said...

You pretty much covered it all.

Othaniel Cruickshank said...

No blame game just life....ish happens. The poor guy probably did everything by the book, school, networking, 40plus hours, made sacrfices, so on and so forth, only to be cast aside as if none of it mattered. I believe her husbands self worth/identity was really wrapped up in his title, bank balance, etc.

I believe her self worth/ identify is also still wrapped up in her husbands achievements or unachievements. They both need to get past it. She needs to supportive without enabling or affirming average or this " get by mentality"

1. Does he want to go back into a corporate position? If not, what does he really want to do? He's been successful before and can def do it again. what does he want to do? Regardless, of what she feels or how much money said dream/goal can bring in ...support it. even if it means downsizing for a while.

2. Push him to get off his ass. It wouldn't bother me that he lost his job, makes less money, or even started DVR'ing soaps.....giving up or cashing out of life would. I'd want my husband to be a happy person because an unhappy, miserable person can't contribute to a healthy relationship. The bottom line is they need to discuss that and work it out together or in therapy. She can also support him by going for walks and perhaps preparing healthy meals together (bonding thing love couple's cooking).

They really need each other and it's more important now than ever for them to communicate. As a team you're only as strong as your weakest person and they'll both take turn being the weaker of the two in their marriage.

blackprofessor said...

Riley has said it all for me! 

Mo said...

I have cried, laughed and learned on this.here.blog

Othaniel Cruickshank said...

I also want add -Why work more hours when your significant other is going through severe depression? No blame ......It's just funny to me. Our nation is so driven by maintain or having X amount of things . Time doesn't seem to matter. In my humble opinion, I think downsizing and intense family bonding / support would be  necessary.  The kids lives are changing drastically and one parent has pretty much checked out. I'd think the other would need to be home more. $40K in Texas right? isn't bad especially if she's making a decent salary as well. IDK ...I found that to be really strange. It's only natural working more hours and being stressed at home would take a toll on anyones health.  The mans working and the unemployment rate is still pretty high, this couple should reframe things; they have each other , healthy kids, good friends ( Michele), both employed , etc.


It's not that bad. He needs to work on his depression and needs support. She needs support too and they have each other.

ishtar_79 said...

I weep at the pathetic all up in those emails. 

CaliGirlED said...

 Ditto!

Othaniel Cruickshank said...

hmmm so sorry is the term applied when things aren't on an upswing. In that case, we've all had sorry partners or s/o and have  been as well.

Marriage isn't for eveyone but thats something that one should be aware of before reciting VOWS to another before God and family.

Do you love the person or their earning potential, svelteness, etc? A bit of a double standard because if the this were a woman ...the reaction wouldn't be so tough. I guess as a man he should get over it....

JoycelynC said...

 no sorry is the term applied when someone is sorry.  We all know there is a difference between a person in a funk/depressed and someone who is wholly unmotivated and have always been.  That statement was in reference to the people who wrote her letters telling her to be glad she had someone no matter that he has changed drastically and though his income suddenly dropped, their lifestyle did not move as quickly forcing her to try and keep it all a float.  Downsizing may be necessary but so is having some standards and not being ashamed of them. 

From what I read yesterday she knows something is wrong and he is going through something but she cannot figure out how to fix it.  It seems like she just wants the man she married back as he no longer has the same personality and habits due to depression.  Though we may not all be married, we all understand that marriage is not something to just run out on when it gets tough but how to work through the tough points (of which the friend is definitely in) was the topic posed.   

Jubi The Great said...

No country for "grown" folks who are too scared to leave a public comment but instead wanna email the blog author. Grow a pair & get a clue folks.

lessie brown said...

I think the reason people get all judgmental and play the blame game in situations like this is because they're terrified that something similar could happen to them. This guy did everything right. This woman did everything right. And yet, here they are suffering from some legitimate set backs. Some things are out of our control and that terrifies folks. So if they can figure out what he or she did wrong, they can assure themselves that these things won't happen to them. But most of us are one supervisor's decision or car accident or unexpected death away from being in a similar situation even if we are doing everything right. It sucks, but it's the reality. So, you know, gratitude for the here and now and all that trite stuff. And for real? Stop judging. That doesn't help anyone.

FullBloom said...

I read all the comments from that post as I do most days.  I didn’t comment because the last couple of weeks have been crazy.  I am in graduate school (had exams last week) and work full time.  I just recently began commenting, but have been reading this blog for some time.  I too have learned so much.  As I attempt to navigate through life’s twists and turns; I don’t judge.  Honestly, there was a time when I did.  It is very easy to impose your ideas from the “records playing in your head”.  Meaning those records encompasses your upbringing, life experiences, education, and the list goes on…  One must try to move beyond those records to learn.  You don’t learn to put others down.  When you Learn, then you Grow.  When you Grow, then  hopefully you move Forward.  Your moving forward should not negate someone else’s good or doing the best they know how to do.  When you’re in a storm, often times you are doing the best you know how to do to hold it all together.  I hope she takes care of herself so she can continue to take care of their kids and him too.  I hope he gets help to be there for his family.  I don’t have the answers, but I know putting yourself up above others (being judgmental) is never the answer.

Monica said...

Shakes head at the critical thinking fail at the content of those emails.

1.  "Your friend should be glad she has a man", these words are usually uttered by those who wouldn't recognize a healthy relationship even if it showed up on their doorstep.

2. To the two women who declared, "I would've divorced him the minute he lost his job", I guess they overlooked the fact that he did find another one. 40K is still > 0.

3. How do we know that she hadn't EVER initiated sex? Maybe she tried and tried and tried so more before giving up.

4."A lot of women would kill for a man making $40k a year" -Perhaps, but at this point it's less about money and more about  mental and emotional health. Poor mental health can also affect job performance which of course, affects your money.

5. "She took vows for better of for worse, this is worse - what's the problem?" The problem is strategizing on how to make things better again. You're not supposed to go through "worse" and just stay there. As depressed as he is, he still needs to have enough hope left to even want to try to work on it. She can't do this by herself.

OneChele said...

All of this = awesomeness.

ClayJones said...

The thing that amazes me about some of the comments here is how invested and knowledgeable people tend to get about people they don't really know. I try to comment from the point of view of this is what happened to me or this is what I would do. I don't presume to know the whole story from a coupla paragraphs. The main reason I don't judge (unless it's truly something we're all laughing at) is that I want no judgment coming this direction. Judge not and all of that.

EvolvingElle said...

Folks are gonna always be scared.  And they knew they were wrong; that's why they went to the private sanctity of e-mailing you as opposed to commenting in the appropriate section.  It's so easy to say something and the judge when it's someone else's situation.  I bet these people would be sitting in a corner somewhere sucking their thumb if something like this happened to them (from the woman who was unemployed for 4 months).

IMHO, it really seems like they need some counseling. (Yes, I should have probably put this on the other post, but I'm here now.) Cocoa is not going to help anything substantial.  It's a temporary fix. 

nylse said...

I read that post last week and the comments, and this morning it was on my mind again.  Like you, some of the comments rubbed me the wrong way.  The bottom line is life happens and sometimes no amount of preparation can prepare you for the twists and turns.  I personally wish we were all a little nicer and less judgemental.  We are our brother's keeper and no man is an island. 

Perhaps folks misunderstand the meaning of bougie!

Gina said...

This isn't just about being on a downswing/upswing. You can't win without losing, and most people lose way more times than they win, it's just part of life. But just giving up and sitting on the sidelines IS sorry, depressed or not. Sometimes it's better to be with someone who has been to hell and back because at least you know they can handle adversity. 

Having a husband who isn't behaving like a grown man is no different than having another child. That's too much of a burden for an able bodied (and minded) adult to put on someone. 

Othaniel Cruickshank said...

I appreciate the clarification and respect your opinion. However, depression is an illness that can't be just shaken off.

Pure Choco said...

*sends side-eyes to the left and the right*

JaymeC said...

I too received some missives. For clarification's sake - when I said the man needed to start pulling himself out of it I meant that he needs to recognize what's going around him, not just in his head. Clearly he needs help to do it. I at no point suggested that one can just snap themselves out of depression just because they wish it to be so. It was a journey to descend to where they are now, it will be a journey to rise back up if they both wish to do so.

MsJamie14 said...

Wow...this is a blog... you're behind a computer screen which means no one is gonna come to your house and beat you down, the most that can happen is that you get some push back for your comment.

Yet folks were too scared to comment publicly? Really? ----->>>>

What really should have been done is been kept to their damn selves. LOL

lessie brown said...

 Thanks *blush*

CaliGirlED said...

Chele, this psot should decrease your email traffic some.

Even though you're too nice to, there's always the possibility that next time you will call them out by name. I know you won't, but never say never! ;-)

so.damn.koo said...

it bothers me whn ppl dnt hv gud advice for an obvious bad situation. knowing its a prob n ur rel. can lead to a)getn help b) workin it out in-house c) spendn time apart (not to end but to reflect) if all else fails & neither party is willing to b the big person thn move on no needfor 2 small minded ppl playn games that lead to big unresolved issues..... hope everythg works out 4 her seems like she reallly wants to stay but is it worth as much pain as u being single n relieved???

gina said...

Being depressed isn't the same as suffering from depression. Besides, depression was something the commenters "diagnosed".

Vee said...

40K means earning more than $3000 per month, and even after taxes it's a lot more than $2000. Assuming the other partner is earning more (since 40K was talked about in such a dismissive tone), their combined earnings per month would be over $5000. How is this not enough? You can live pretty comfortably anywhere with that money, right? Or am I just a poor-ass woman running my mouth? 

But I guess this is coming from people who don't like thinking about money or considering what they can spend on and what they can't. I understand the transition from being able to buy whatever you want to having to think about whether you can afford to go out to that gourmet restaurant, but I can't imagine this being about the money, per se. Probably more about his lack of ambition, which may have been what attracted her to him in the first place. But, unlike a lot of other men who lost their job in this economy, he didn't give up and sit on his ass all day, he went out there and got a job that pays decent money. To judge him for that seems ... well, it seems shallow. The other points she made I can understand better. But I guess the point is that they are both unhappy and need to do something about it. Whether it's therapy or something else, they need to work on it.  

One Chele said...

Riley has said it all for me! 


One Chele said...

I have cried, laughed and learned on this.here.blog

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