When You Say ‘It’s Not My Fault,’ it Becomes Your Fault

Comments 47

your fault finger point
Imagine for a moment that two people plan and carry out an armed bank robbery.

Just like you’ve seen in the movies. Wearing masks and carrying guns, they barge into a bank, force customers to the floor, demand the tellers hand over money from the registers, and coax the manager at gunpoint into giving them access to the vault.

It’s stressful and scary for both the gunmen and the people fearing for their lives. The robbers are screaming for the bank employees to hurry up and fill their bags with cash. Everyone else is laying still on the floor praying they don’t die.

One customer has a concealed carry license and is armed with a loaded weapon, or maybe he or she is an off-duty police officer. It’s your imagination. Do what you want.

The hero draws the weapon in an attempt to save the day.

A gunfight ensues. Bullets. Blood. More screams.

When it’s all over, nine people are dead, including one of the gunmen. More are in critical condition at the hospital. The second gunman is taken into custody where he is interrogated by police.

The bank robber makes a credible and compelling case to investigators that his partner planned the entire robbery, and fired all of the shots that killed innocent people. Video footage from inside the bank and evidence recovered from the dead gunman’s house corroborates his story.

“I swear! No one was supposed to get hurt!” the bank robber says.

Because he cooperates with police and is willing to testify in court, and because he never fires any bullets or actually kills anyone, the judge and prosecuting attorney agree to an 18- to 24-month prison sentence, down from the standard five-year mandatory sentence for armed robbery.

Eight innocent people are dead simply because they were making bank deposits, or refinancing loans, or because they showed up for work. The victims’ families, the public and the media are outraged, and demand explanations from the judge and district attorney.

And both essentially say: “Welllllllll. We looked at all the evidence, and the entire thing was a lot more the other guy’s fault than this guy’s. The surviving bank robber didn’t even kill anyone! He didn’t mean to hurt anybody. So we’re not going to hold him responsible since it’s clearly WAY more the other one’s fault.”

Sounds Absurd, Right? 

Of course it does.

It doesn’t matter how much more to blame the other gunman is for the robbery or all the deaths. The surviving bank robber is going down hard, and responsibility for the deaths of those people will be appropriately laid at his feet. He will serve life in prison, even though his portion of the It’s-My-Fault Pie Chart is only 20% or whatever.

Yep! You’re Responsible. 

Next to all of the people who missed the point entirely, the second-most annoying response to the inexplicably popular She Divorced Me Because I Left Dishes By the Sink post was all of the men who thought all of the women who agreed with the post were a bunch of unfair man-haters, and attempted to prove it by sharing a link to another popular internet post called I Wasn’t Treating My Husband Fairly and it Wasn’t Fair.

Some people dropped the link without commentary, as if to say: “This post about dishes and my irrational wife’s feelings are bullshit. She’s guilty of treating me unfairly and being a nagging shrew, and here’s the proof. BAM. How do you like that, morons!?” 

Let me say this: The “I Wasn’t Treating My Husband Fairly…” post is great. I even included it in a post titled Marriage: A Global Epic Fail more than a year ago.

It appears to be the work of a wife practicing humility and introspection in an effort to grow, treat her spouse with more love and selflessness, and contribute positively to the success of her marriage. It’s awesome.

But it’s not some magical Get of Jail Free card for husbands who don’t understand that they’re hurting their wives or care enough to figure out how and why, any more than my loved AND criticized An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands series is some kind of free pass for wives who fail to honor their marriage vows.

In good times, and in bad.

So many people responded to that “dishes” post, not with introspective humility, but with finger-pointing outrage.

“You’re giving all the wives a pass, you feminist pussy! Be a man! So our wives get to just freak out about whatever they want, and if we don’t cater to their every whim, we’re shitty husbands!? You’re an asshole!”

To which I respond: Let’s pretend for just a moment that we can prove, beyond all doubt, that in a given marriage, the wife is 75% to blame for any relationship problems that exist. Do the people who feel that way also believe that the spouse with only 25% of the blame is somehow not responsible for that share?

If a man is a minority shareholder in the downfall of his marriage, is he NOT obligated to work to be the best-possible husband he can be in an effort to serve the union, or fight for and protect his family?

Maybe I’m wrong. I am sometimes. But it seems like many people believe that. That because their marriage problems are not entirely their fault, they needn’t concern themselves with being part of the solution.

Own your shit, please.

I don’t blame men more than women, philosophically.

I just know up close and personal what it looks like when the average guy fails his average marriage. It’s a whole bunch of stuff, that looked upon as one little incident, like leaving a dish by the sink, seems outrageously insane and unfair to blame for the demise of a marriage.

But I know it’s not one thing, and I still can’t believe so many people took the dish metaphor so literally. It’s a symptom of a larger problem. One where people so often want to point fingers and blame others for their problems in life, instead of looking in the mirror and asking: “What more can I do? What more can I give?” 

So. Guys. I don’t give a shit how petty and irrational you think your wives are. I don’t give a shit how much more responsible you think your wife or girlfriend is for the negative state of your relationship. And I don’t give a shit how much blame my ex-wife deserves for my failed marriage.

A booming voice from the heavens could thunder “HEY MATT! IN THE FINAL ANALYSIS, YOU ARE ONLY 49% RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR DIVORCE! SO, IT’S COOL NOW! YOU CAN JUST BLAME YOUR EX FOR EVERYTHING AND KEEP DOING WHAT YOU’RE DOING. NO GROWTH AND CHANGE IS REQUIRED!”… and I’d still have to ask you the question: Why don’t you want to be the best person, husband and father you can possibly be? Why don’t you WANT to grow and be better tomorrow than you were yesterday? What good can possibly come from all the ‘It’s not my fault!’ screaming? 

A life without feelings of guilt?

Because if everyone believes your story, does that really make it true?

When it’s just you and the silence, and nothing but your mind and heart, you KNOW what’s real and what’s not. You KNOW what’s right and what’s wrong. You KNOW what really happened.  

In a world full of blamers, take responsibility.

In a world full of hate, choose love.

In a world full of darkness, be the light.

47 thoughts on “When You Say ‘It’s Not My Fault,’ it Becomes Your Fault”

  1. Matt – I read your posts and I see myself as much as my husband. I know I’m still not “getting” all of my crap that drives him crazy but I’m owning that I have crap now. Some I know about and some I probably still don’t see. Only if both of us work on shoveling our own crap is there any way this relationship can survive. It may already be too late. I don’t know. But I wanted to say that for all the haters you are hearing – you words do help some folks too.

    1. It means a lot to me that A. You acknowledge that it may already be too late for your relationship and STILL you choose to own your “crap,” because that’s courageous and important, and B. Believe that this matters enough to help people.

      Thank you, Tina.

  2. Thank you! Everyone needs to take responsibility for their own part in the success or destruction of their relationships. Period.

  3. Ah, good old personal accountability. Unfortunately it’s SOOO much easier to point a finger at someone/something else then it is to face the mirror and try to understand the role you played in your own issues.

    After all, if you can blame someone else then it’s easy to absolve yourself of all responsibility and not have to change. Especially when change is scary.

    But another word for change is one you used here. Growth. And that’s something we should all strive for, all the time.

    1. I know you get it, sir. I also know you asked me thought-provoking and meaningful questions in recent posts I haven’t answered and need to. Every day has about six fewer hours than I wish it did.

    2. Love this!…..if 2 people are in a dance, and one stops dancing, is the one that didn’t stop still dancing….maybe, but 100% guarantee is that person is now dancing alone! If that person other person, still dancing or not, wants to keep dancing, something must change—PERIOD.
      What if babies were born and stayed that way? What if you never graduated from kindergarten? What if your seedlings you planted never changed to mature fruiting plants???? What if no addicts ever recover? What if you put raw meat into a hot skillet/grill and it never changes??? What if you season that same meat but even after you do, it still tastes the exact same, even after it changes to cooked? What if your bank balance never changes despite how much you deposit/withdraw??? (Some know this reality all too well, but the result they don’t like)…..
      Change, is the most feared yet most powerful aspect–of any (living) thing that ever exists. Without the ability or willingness to change (i.e. learn, adapt, grow) that entity dies (changes still occur after death–you just no longer have any say so). That is the point of the stor(ies). Bravo Zombiedrew and Matt! Any person, man or woman, or whatever label we’re using these days, who gets into any relationship with any other human being (or animal, plant, etc) and doesn’t automatically expect things to change, in fact constantly change, is setting themselves up for major disappointment.

  4. Another stunner Matt! Keep writing, you are profound and we need you. You have had a major impact on the IMPROVING state of our marriage. God bless you for all you do.

    Ignore the haters…it’s pretty obvious they consist mainly of very shitty husbands who fail to realize the one finger pointing at their spouse is far less than the 3 fingers pointing back at them!

    1. A little too nice, probably. But it’s a lot more fun to read than the alternative. 🙂

      It’s pretty cool to have been a small part in whatever good things are happening in your life. Thank you for saying so.

  5. Lift where you stand. Be the change you want to see in the world. Thanks Matt for saying this. If we all took a little more responsibility and blamed a little less we would see remarkable transformation in our homes, our hearts, our workplaces, houses of worship and ultimately the world.

  6. I wrote a piece called responsibility and this is exactly what I was trying to put across to my readers, taking responsibility for your involvement in situations is essential in understanding how the other person feels and helps you work out how to move on from that situation. Love it!

  7. Tired and confused

    I can completely see where my contribution to the frailties in my marriage are. The problem I’m trying to resolve is getting my husband to understand his contribution without getting defensive and aggressive. Any advice?

    1. I’m often accused of blaming men for marriage problems, and then by focusing exclusively on how men can be better husbands, I’m ignoring all of the ways wives could contribute to better marriage as well.

      My response is always the same, and sometimes criticized:

      Go first.

      Be the person who leads by example and accepts responsibility and takes on the challenge of giving all one can to making the marriage the best it can possibly be.

      The Hare Krishna, I once read, were once on the brink of financial insolvency. No one would donate money to their organization because people don’t like it when random strangers come up and ask for money.

      Then, someone within the Hare Krishna organization came up with a new strategy. They started going to large public places with lots of people, like airports. There, they would hand out single flowers to people. The people who accepted the flowers were asked for donations. They started to get a bunch.

      Because it’s in our nature to want to give back to people who give to us.

      This simple act of passing out cheap little flowers to people before asking for donations ultimately turned the Hare Krishna into a billion-dollar organization.

      I’m not recommending cheap flowers.

      But I think this story illustrates the importance of giving to receive.

      I think when we give and are the spouses we want our partners to be to us, we give ourselves the chance for beautiful, mutually beneficial relationships.

      I think when we sit around waiting for someone to meet us halfway or refusing to give unless we’re getting, we’re doomed.

      The next time I see evidence of selfish takers coming out better than selfless givers will be the first time.

      Kind and generous hearts lead to lives of peace, happiness and contentment.

      Anger, resentment, revenge, blame, etc. always lead to misery.

      I won’t pretend to know what your life is like. I won’t insult you or your marriage by offering specific advice because I have no idea what the details are.

      I only know what I want for myself and what I want other husbands and fathers to do: To lead. Courageously. Kindly.

      To put their wives first. NOT in some doormat, put-her-on-a-pedestal way.

      In an unselfish, loving way.

      I think if 100% of husbands did that, the world changes overnight.

      But 5% is better than 4%. The world will take what it can get.

      1. WOW! I am a bit late to take part of this conversation but I so much appreciate what you have written Matt. If only my “still” husband would have 1 % of you I would be the happiest wife on earth. I am going through a very painful divorce. I kept putting the whole blame on me about the failure of my marriage. I kept telling myself, I should have loved him more, I should have hugged him more, should of said a thousand times more ” I love you”. I have made my mistakes and so deeply sorry for each and every one of them. I NEVER meant to hurt him on purpose..not fo one second…believe me. I did not realise that my husband was unhappy, wanted desperately more appreciation and love. Instead of taking 10 seroius minutes to talk to me and face his / our problems together he chose to cheat and walk out of his beautiful son and wife. He now choses the “greener” grass some where else instead of giving more water to his own grass. I am so heart broken. I would have given my life in order to be better, to make all my weaknesses stronger. I would of loved him so much more if he only would of shouted out his anger and disappointment out to me. I so much wish I would of been worth believe me just “10” serious minutes to talk to and really save the marriage, a family and a home of 20 years instead of abandoning it all for a woman so much younger (hardly oder as our son) that is so full of life and gives him ALL his needs without him even asking. This hurts so much.
        If only he would think like you he would of avoided so much pain for his wife AND most of all for his son.

        God bless you!!!

  8. At one point in my life, I went through a recovery program, in which there was a woman whose ex had been just like that. Whenever they spoke, he always brought the conversation back to percentage of fault, and always wanted her to cop to a very tiny majority of the blame being on her (like 52/48). Finally one day, she said, she just felt this God-given sense of grace and she said, “I’ll tell you what. I will agree that I am 100% responsible… for the things I’m responsible for. I am also 100% responsible for the things I can do to become a better person and do better the next time around. I don’t blame you for any of what happened any more than I blame myself. We both just need to be doing what we can to move on.”

    Thankful that you are on path that seems to have given you so much obvious humility and some enlightenment. Thanks for bringing so many of us with you on your journey.

    1. If you’re making a general observation, I agree with you.

      If you’re addressing me specifically, then I’m inclined to stick up for myself.

      I fall short with typical human regularity. But one thing I’m pretty damn good at is NOT blaming anyone else for it.

      It’s one of the things I like most about myself.

    2. I disagree, those without the ability to admit their wrong doings will find it hard, yes, but those who are very aware or in touch with themselves no. I think shying away from responsibilities is a personal issue, it lies within the being and their inability to understand what they do wrong this is something that could date way back to someone’s childhood purely stemming from something that happened that they haven’t got over.

  9. You know what Matt, each time i read your post, i get so amazed at your level of sincerity and vulnerability towards life and your personal experience. Honestly, i think i need to come get tutored by you before i even think of writing another blog post. Your biggest fan

  10. Of course the opposite of this is blaming yourself for everything, which is a problem that is likely more prevalent among women. It is great to take responsibility for your actions, but another thing entirely to place all blame squarely on yourself. There has to be a happy medium where we realize we are accountable for our own actions, but that sometimes, a problem is not something we can solve alone without the other person’s participation… which would be a good reason to get a divorce if your partner refused to work with you in this regard.

    1. I suppose you’re right – if only one of you is participating, you have, at best, a 50% chance of succeeding.

      Of course, if neither of you tries, your chances drop to exactly 0%.

    2. What I like about Matt’s commentary is the way his direct address to men pushes back against the trend of male under-responsibility and female over-responsibility for the emotional work in a relationship. We need more men to recognize this gendered pattern, talk about it, and work to change it by taking this responsibility as seriously as Matt does. We also need more women to recognize this gendered pattern, talk about it, and work to change it by becoming more clear about–and standing up for– what they truly want, need, and deserve in relationships. Both projects are “feminist” in the best sense of that word; neither is easy in our deeply non-feminist society.

    3. As a victim of depression, that is my thing!
      I made it my business to take on extra work and at points blame only myself for the gross, abusive, twisted, unpleasant people I choose who choose me.

  11. There’s little more sound to me than to hear someone say, “Yes, I take responsibility for this. I did this wrong, and I shouldn’t have. This is a learning experience.” Very few people can say that.

  12. Well said, Matt. I often speak of symbiosis in relationships, the concept of one flesh. To say it’s not my fault would be like telling my right arm that it’s on it’s own, you’re not my problem, I’m not to blame for what ails you. Then our arm falls off and we wonder what happened.

  13. Yes. This. Personal accountability is so key. I’m trying to absorb and process and learn from and dispense with both my own guilt from my own mistakes and all the pain of my husband just giving up and walking away, putting my own heart and the hearts of our daughters through a wood-chipper in the process. AND on top of that I’m having to reprocess a whole ton of nasty from years gone by that I’d pretty well already processed and let go of but now need to recatorgorize in my head to allow myself the understanding that emotional abuse is never OK and having to live through it and process it and let it go only to be dumped by the person who refuses to ever grow and change is hell on earth. Keep it up. Please, telling us that owning our own stuff matters! How else will we ever have anything good and healthy and worthwhile in future?!

  14. I do think a lot about the blame game and how we let ourselves off the hook because the other party is over 51% to blame. As long as we don’t share most of the blame, and we believe we’re a minority stakeholder, that seems to give us some degree of permission to check out.

  15. The minute I say, “It’s not my fault because…” is the minute I know I have to start looking at myself to figure out how I’m contributing to whatever’s happening.

    Thanks for your posts. I’m yet another reader who showed up because of the “Dish” article. You have helped my husband understand what I’ve been trying to say for years. We’ve had a lot of great conversations about what you wrote, both there and in your “Open Lettters” – and even better, a lot of great actions. I think we both appreciate one another more and also feel more appreciated. I don’t know where we are going to end up, but for the first time in years, I’m looking forward to the journey.

  16. Reading this post helped confirm to me that I did the right thing in breaking up with a man I just recently briefly dated. I don’t think he had the relational skills that would have been necessary for him to own his issues like you talk about. Which caused problems at the beginning of a relationship but would have been even way worse down the road. Thanks.

  17. One year ago this month, my wife and I had what I refer to as a “marriage ending fight”. We were living 1400 miles apart at the time, and I was home visiting her. It was terrible, and I knew it. I was terrified that my marriage was going to end… so I started seeing a therapist, and started working out like a madman, both to manage stress.. and the fact that I wanted to look good for her when I moved back home.

    I found a job back home, and moved back in July… but it was too late. She had already moved on emotionally.

    And a month later, she started a relationship with a man who had been pursuing her since June.

    I had no chance… we had been married for 11 years… and she found someone else. And how could I ever compete with the “new car smell” of a new person?

    So I didn’t. I let her go. It was horrible… but I did it. I told her I couldn’t see her anymore, and that we could start the divorce paperwork.

    Then… in late December… she shows up at my house unexpectedly… she wanted to “see the dogs”. But in reality… she wanted to see me.

    We bickered… not arguing… no yelling… just bickering. It wasn’t particularly “productive”, but it opened up a line of communication the was non-existent even in our marriage.

    We ended up texting over the next few days. And it was nice. We talked… we owned up to our own shortcomings in our marriage… and we agreed to try to keep our divorce civil.

    A couple weeks after that first meeting, she asked me if I would go to the gym with her. We had always worked out together in the mornings when we were married… we really enjoyed it. So I said “yes”, and we started working out together… with us grabbing breakfast after… sitting and talking in a restaurant or the bagel shop.

    That was over a month ago. Since that time, she contacted her attorney to put the divorce on hold, and is trying to find a way to gracefully end her relationship with her boyfriend.

    I have close friends that are very supportive of a possible reconciliation, and other’s that are highly critical of it.

    I know what I want. I want my marriage back… I want my wife back.

    And this article is spot on… it’s about accepting responsibility for your part of the destruction of your marriage. It sure took a long time for both of us to do it… but when she told me about what she felt and how she felt she couldn’t talk to me about it before… and how she regretted not talking about it. And how I admitted my part… of being complacent, taking her for granted. It matters.

    Thanks for the article. It was a good read. I’ve learned a lot from your site. Thank you.

  18. Matt, i think one reason why many responded negatively to your post is not because they were overly literal, or didn’t ‘get it”. i think many man didn’t feel you is because in today’s married life, it seems overwhelming the thought process of women is this; from the blog you linked:

    “Why do I think it’s reasonable to expect him to remember everything I want and do it just that way? The instances in which he does something differently, does it mean he’s wrong? When did “my way” become “the only way?” When did it become okay to constantly correct him and lecture him and point out every little thing I didn’t like as if he were making some kind of mistake?”

    When you linked your thoughts or respect and empathy to the dish metaphor, rather than generate introspection in the males it I’m sure reminded us of that. The bumbling husband trope. That the ONLY way to do things is the wife’s way. The old saw: happy wife, happy life.

    Your thesis just reinforces that old trope. As was the case in your marriage, over 70% of divorces are initiated by women. Many because they feel their way is the one and true “right way” when it comes to pretty much anything to do with home and child rearing. It is a fine line where your thought process can go from respecting your spouse to walking on eggshells over their controlling ways and fear of divorce for not meeting your spouse’s unreasonable expectations.

    Accepting responsibility for your own shit, also means not taking on someone else’s.

    I find it telling that your “hero” in the metaphor above was the self righteous nob who decided to escalate the situation and trade lives and grievous injury to be an unnecessary hero who tries to stop someone from stealing insured money.

    1. I am a woman who initiated my divorce. I do not feel that my way is the only way or the “right” way when it comes to the home and child-rearing. But I was left to take care of the home and the children with virtually NO input or support from my spouse. My way became THE way by default. He cultivated his own “helplessness” at taking care of some of these things to the point that it was almost like having another child. And I don’t think my expectations of him as a partner and parent were unreasonable.

      Was I responsible for the crumbling of my marriage? Yes. Was my husband responsible as well? Yes. I can accept the role I play in my own situation. But I am not going to stick around “til death do you part” for someone who doesn’t want to do the work necessary to sustain the marriage.

  19. Thank you. It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut of blame and resentment. I know I have. Owning up to my own part in my failed marriage has actually been a relief. It’s the only thing that allows for real personal growth and change. My almost-ex-husband isn’t there yet.

  20. I bought a picture with a saying attributed to Anaïs Nin but to be accurate I looked it up and found this on quoteinvesatigator.com,
    When Nin wrote the adage she did not take credit for the notion. Instead, she pointed to a major religious text: (Lillian was a character in her story)

    Lillian was reminded of the talmudic words: “We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are.”

    I think you always have the core of this saying as an undercurrent in how you write on divorce. I guess it’s because you have had many, many days of introspective dissection into your own details of divorce. How else can you “see” different sides if you haven’t examined your own? I don’t believe people can “see” unless they do the deep digging within, themselves and it’s damn hard work. That’s what I think to myself when commenters like BM100 write what s/he did above.
    For any of us to question our own self means questioning that we’re “wrong” or not correct or (to some) broken, less than or whatever bad word they /we can think of but it also means that we believe that there is another way. That there is another route to take. I don’t know what it is that allows us/people to question ourselves with or without blame yet more so with the possibility of finding that better way you talk about.
    I hope you are more encouraged to enjoy and write by all of us who find you completely fair to men and women. The sad truth is that it is and has been a man’s world and old habits do die hard. I’m encouraged by all of the other people who agree with you on these very personal introspective, accountable posts you write Matt. Thank you for your balance. J

    1. “I’m encouraged by all of the other people who agree with you on these very personal introspective, accountable posts you write Matt.”

      As am I but, personally, that enthusiasm is sadly tempered by the fact that 90% of the audience in agreement is not Matt’s target audience.

      1. Tempered, indeed!

        All I can do is say it. Rule of thirds (and this isn’t even about agreeing with me, but simply reading a written piece) says:

        One third will love it.

        One third will hate it.

        One third won’t care at all.

        Plenty of loud, angry men, many of which have little chance for satisfying relationships, and will maybe come around one day when life gets hard because of it, screamed about it.

        But there are WAY more guys who silently signed up to receive posts by email, or who sent me private ‘atta-boy emails telling me to keep saying it because it helped them improve their relationship.

        There aren’t enough naysayers on this planet to overpower all of the good stories I hear.

        It’s awesome.

      2. Hello there. I’m wondering who his target audience is. I’m guessing that you might be thinking oit’s the men/husbands who thought as he did which he says was a cause od his divorce. His sharing of his experience has to create a certain audience but there’s no way he or anyone could “target” those husbands, right?! That Just seeing that his point of view is shared is encouraging in different ways to me. If you’re thinking his T.A. consists of husbands who could save their marriage by becoming aware of a deeper understanding of relationship dynamics….I don’t believe that reach exists through a blog. I hope it can but I think it would be very rare. I’m sad to say that. I’m going to go look at Matt’s about page now.

  21. Sometimes it amounts to having different goals. Sometimes one partner has the goal of managing the household or raising the children or bringing in money and the other person’s goal is simply bringing in money, pursuing their hobbies, or even at an unspoken level doing as little household or outside work as possible. I know both husbands and wives who will eventually admit that they deliberately do things in a half-assed way. They do this to create enough conflict so that their spouse will stop asking, start an argument so they can claim they’re being criticized. Sometimes the discussion of the dishes reminds me of my teenagers. By the way, there is a correct way to load a dishwasher.

  22. I have for the past few months been practicing Be First. I am extending my self much more, I don’t react when he does a shitty husband thing, I continue on and keep owning my part. But a new problem has reared up, I’m so much more aware that he doesn’t get it and its heartbreaking to see all of your shitty husband points playing out in my day to day life.

    And now that I see it so clearly, I know its just a matter of time. And my heart hurts so much now, I know I’ve turned the corner and I can feel the light fading and Im so sad about it. Every day I hope I’m wrong and I can see I’m not.

    Your blog and the comments are a tremendous source of comfort. Thank you for your thoughtful and honest post.

  23. @Jayne

    I can testify for the target audience as I found this resource P.D (pre-dishes) through a difficult time in my marriage. I did a google search for “why does my wife think I am an asshole” and found this:
    The website name is “An open letter to shitty husbands”, so I DO think it is a pointed to a specific subset of males, that do not currently have stellar marriages as I am currently working on me to improve mine.

    I am sure that Matt appreciates all of the affirmation from the wives & ex-wives that agree with the sentiment, commiserating in the experiences and telling him what a great “catch” he is for “getting it” but I am sure that is not the purpose of why he is writing this. If it was, he would have already accepted the marriage proposals and invitations and he would be happily married and no longer writing for the lost and wandering.

    I read Matt’s blog because of the vivid description of pain not for its entertainment value, like in a slasher film that is far-fetched and not real, but because it IS very real and it confronts me where I am at in my relationship. I am forced to decide if I want to continue my self-indulgent path, which is a path of destruction, or lead a relationship to a healthy and loving place.

    I have adopted the concept of “tail-light ministry” and am looking for ways to light the path for others to find behind you. This is not something a husband can very well post on FB to broadcast for all to see that I have a struggling marriage. I think the dishes controversy did quite a bit to spread the word through various channels and promote this channel to for improved marriages.

    While I do also appreciate when women affirm these sentiments and are absolutely integral to this discussion, I believe the primary intent is to share the wisdom with those that can benefit from implementing it.

    Let me know if I am wrong Matt, but I am interested in seeking ways to promote this message to those that will use it, whether it be someone’s spouse or someone’s brother.

  24. Projection is also a thing.
    You see something you hate, that you do, in someone you love and you take out your failings on them. Maybe they did it, maybe it was only once, but it was a crime against you and you feel guilty because you do it all the time. I know, I’ve been there, I do it, I say “you are a jerk for doing this” and then the next day I realise I do that very same thing.
    For me personally, the second I started taking ownership of my problems, internally, externally, habitually, I started growing as a person. Also taking the time to see ways I can improve my life and myself also helped, and I am at a point where disagreement or, hey, maybe I got wrong information, doesn’t make me feel defensive. I still have things I am defensive about, but I try.

  25. Pingback: The One Where I Defend My Ideas Against Charges of Sexism and a Lack of Credibility | Must Be This Tall To Ride

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Matt Fray

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