Friday, April 10, 2009

The Blame Game versus the Reframe Game

The lead-in on the Yahoo homepage, “Kids May Hurt Marriages.”

The article’s title, "Kids Curb Marital Satisfaction.”

May or might, for fear or in spite, what the F?!?!?!?

Consider this ... divorce, splits, irreconcilable differences and other "shit happens" in couple-hood (and all other “hoods”), and there is not a single kid, dog, hermit crab or flowering plant that does not question, "Was it me? Am I the reason you and dad or you and sig other broke up?"

So, why rub this in by doing and reporting on the results of a study that is going to push the person who thought it was “all their fault” right over the edge?!?!?

Seriously, it's a question that pops up all the time, no matter the age of the kid, and I'm talking about adult “kids” who have the had experience of watching their parents go through a divorce after they are “all grown up" and have already moved out of the house.

Even in a case where the kid is “all grown up,” or in a worse case scenario where a kid was “too little to even remember,” this is not the type of theory that bears perpetuation, you know?

A kid who is supposedly “all grown up,” and sophisticated and so beyond this crap (not!), will even ask this questions of themselves, or of their parents, “Was it me/was it us/did we/did we kids mess it up for you?

So Yahoo chooses the wee hours of Easter weekend to break this story, a family and friends’ long weekend, where people get together, break bread, eat ham and celebrate, bond and unfortunately in some cases … fight!

I've pulled and transcribed many ER notes for many years over the Easter holiday (from many locales in the US), and for some reason Easter weekend is the most psychosocially-challenging long weekend of the entire [religious] holiday schedule!

It never fails.

It beats out Christmas and even the drunken festival of drinking which starts at dawn and goes to dusk on St. Patrick’s Day!

People fight, take their grandma's meds, punch their brothers in the head, overeat, over-drink, underestimate all their limits, tell tall stories, and basically make butts of themselves.

It starts, usually, on Thursday nights (especially if people have Friday off, because then Thursday is "their Friday").

Everyone is going off and/or out to celebrate their three-day weekend, or heading out on the highways, etc. They are either loving or dreading whatever they will be doing, or wherever they will be going for the horrendously long and psychosocially challenging weekend!

So, why, in the world when it's seen as "mean" or "brainwashing" to tell your kids that there is an Easter Bunny (when supposedly there really isn’t), why then (and even for the grownup kids) do we now burst their bubble and tell them if their mummy and daddy have broken up at some point in their lives (whether they are children still, or adult children now) that it most likely WAS ..ALL.. THEIR FAULT!

An "eight-year study eight-year study of 218 couples found 90 percent experienced a decrease in marital satisfaction once the first child was born."

Shouldn’t that be something more like, “We didn’t even have to study people to realize that child-birthing and child-rearing are life changing experiences.”

“Life changing” is a lot more empowering than “life ending, and oh my aching ass, these kids are going to be the death of what we consider to be US!!!”

It strikes me as totally the wrong way to be looking at things.

The study also concluded that "Couples who do not have children also show diminished marital quality over time; however, having a baby accelerates the deterioration, especially seen during periods of adjustment right after the birth of a child."

How about this theory instead, "Couples who do not have children also show diminished marital quality over time; however, acting like a baby (whether you have a child or not) and being unable to handle day-to-day problems (whether you have a child or not) and basically losing sight of the reasons why you met and chose to stay together in the first place, compounded by an inability to persevere, managing your way through the short-term crapola and problems, to get to the bigger picture (the part where you stay together and live ‘happily ever after,’ so to speak) accelerates the breakdown in couples, especially when one or the other of the said ‘couple’ (whether they have children or not) is acting like a SPOILED BRAT!”

Let's get real, and let's get off our pity-ass pots!

I'm not slamming anyone who is depressed and/or otherwise psychologically, psychiatrically and/or physiologically considered a time-bomb in the heart and restart arena, but please let's not play the blame game.

I’m sure there is some hugely and widely successful psychoanalyst out there, who should have a TV show, and could replace even Dr. Phil, who is telling his patients, “Reframe, and don’t Blame,” you know?

My brain, as I've previously mentioned, since my stroke “mimics bipolar activity" at its best, and believe me I am frustrated on a daily basis by this crap, but I have learned after years (yeah, it's been quite the ongoing and not always pleasant process to "get good with this") that blaming what happened for what is, didn’t really cheer my ass up!

So .......... In the very least, LET'S NOT BLAME OUR KIDS, for crying out loud, for any of our problems, couples or singles.

And, I'm telling you kids will cry OUTLOUD (aka challenge and enlighten you), and sometimes seemingly for no immediate discernible reason they will act up and go mad, and they will probably even throw up on you at some point. But is that any reason to blame them, and their ongoing growth and transitioning into adulthood, as a significant component in the break-up of your marriage or significantly other-ly important relationship?

Shouldn’t you beblaming (oops reframing) it, in that it was possibly your own inability at ongoing growth and sustained adulthood (you big crybaby!) as to why things may or may have not worked out the way you might have imagined?

Shit happens, sometimes with no good reason, and sometimes it takes forever and then some to figure out the whys and difficult how of things, but blaming the kids?!?!!?

Yeah, so I THINK NOT!

Study or no study, and this one is full of Silly Putty (aka CRAPOLA!!), we should not be blaming our kids, or giving them any kind of terror ball to run with that even remotely reinforces the fact that it might be ALL THEIR FAULT!!!! that mummy and duddy broke up.

The above goes for real little kids, and real live adult kids, who even without this giant ball of fire implanted in their gut, might already be thinking, “I wonder if it was my/our fault?”

You can read the article here:, and I’m not saying that there is zero-merit to the study, but I think the study is more important when it comes to understanding the aspects of depression and unhappiness and the way in which people are too quickly picking a person, place and/or thing for which to lay BLAME!!! and thinking that if only it, there, that or this other THING would change, they would be happy.

The reality is, emotions are processional by nature and worth working through which does not include "blame" as a tool.

Certainly, people, places and even ordinary and extraordinary THINGS can be components or partners in crime to our bruised hearts and psyches, but choosing one, and/or blaming one (backed up by studies and/or not) is not the way to go!

I’m back to the “reframe don’t blame” thing, which actually what a catchy phrase, so if no one else is using it, can I have it?!!?!?

But I digress … Suffice it to say (by Christ, and/or the Easter Bunny), people, PLEASE find something (someone, animal, vegetable, mineral and or even an 800-CHAT line!!!) to hold onto this long weekend (any weekend, and any day of the year), and hold on tight!

If this person, place, or thing works for you, great!

If it ceases to be functional, find something new to hold onto.

This is a far better mode of operating than kicking the beasts (your dog) after a bad day at work and/or blaming your kids if your marriage is all f’d up!

So … Peace out, and bless you all, you beasts and children, and have a happy, safe, and wonderful long holiday weekend.

Seriously, do not be punching yee brethren in the head!


... bless the beasts and the children, for in this world, they have no voice, they have no choice ... keep them safe, keep them warm ...

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