Have you ever played Jenga? It’s that game with wooden pieces that sort of stack on top of one another, and players have to remove pieces from it without toppling the structure. (I’d post a picture, but I hate the whole making sure I’ve credited everyone possible for the use of the image, and it always takes be far longer than it should to repost anything- perhaps I should take a WordPress class now that I appear to take classes all the time)
I always think about relationships like they are Jenga games: a whole bunch of blocks that make up a sound structure. Each block represents a piece of a relationship- when you begin a relationship, you have all 100 pieces and the combined unit is strong. In the beginning, everything is wonderful, and the relationship is solid and will not fall apart.
But as time goes on, things happen in the relationship. Fights, arguments, whatever. And each time one of these things happen, the blocks loosen up a little, the foundation of your relationship is a little less strong. You still have 100 pieces. but 5 or 6 have loosened up. We know this is going to happen- no two people are perfect together all the time.
Now, sometimes, there are big problems in a relationship. Say, someone cheats. Well, that might knock out one or two blocks entirely. And they might be blocks from the bottom, the foundation so to speak. A relationship might not be able to stand strong and tall if this were to happen. But it all depends on the people involved in the relationship- how much the cheating affects it. Maybe a child becomes ill- though no one has done anything wrong, this can shake even the most stable of partnerships. Blocks may fall out.
Now- I’ve spoken about the big things- obviously, the larger the issue, the worse it threatens a relationship- that’s logical.
But what about the small things- those little every day annoyances? If something small happens enough, can it knock out a block from the bottom? Or lots of blocks? Can small things crumble a relationship as effectively as large things?
Now- lets bring this into context. Last night the Husband and I were going to see our neighbor in a one man show (my neighbor used to be an actor, and is trying to get back into it- he’s in his early 60’s- so I am in awe of his courage- and his talent, but that’s another thing) The show was taking place in a theater literally down the block from us, in a theater that has two performance spaces. To confuse you a bit further, we also have another theater, one street over and down the block, this building containing 3 performance spaces. Are you confused yet? Cause Husband was.
Let’s add on, that Husband had a lousy day at work- so much so that he was going to be late to the show. I text him that his ticket is at Will Call, it’s in the space known as The Underground, and I’m sitting last row, far left. I set my phone to silent and put it in my bag.
You know that Husband went to the wrong theater. He wandered around the wrong performance space, tried to reach me on my hidden phone…..
This added another layer to his already crappy day.
But who is to blame for him going to the wrong theater?
In my mind, it was just an unfortunate situation. I know I had said the name of the theater to him the evening before (seriously- it’s me- you know I went over this with him) Plus, The Underground is a theater that we have been to before, so my writing it in the text served as a reminder. (and you know- he could probably google The Undergound in 5 seconds……)
He blamed me. It was all my fault.
This wasn’t a situation worth engaging in, because I knew his whole day was rough. I wasn’t going to play into the who did what wrong game. I let it go. In this situation, I felt it was the right course of action.
But- my husband is a blamer. It’s not his fault entirely- he comes from a long line of blamers. In his family dynamic, every time something goes wrong it is someone else’s fault. That’s their MO- they don’t take personal responsibility.
Now- we’re going to swing it back to the Jenga analogy. Though Husband is a generally good guy, he has this one little peccadillo. And though it appears small, if you add up all the times he has shifted blame to someone other than himself…..
How many times does he have to do this before it takes a block out right from the bottom?
So here’s todays unwanted advice- be mindful of the little things in a relationship, the things you brush aside because they are not worth the argument. Though, they might not be worth an argument, they probably should be talked about openly and honestly. And if you can’t discuss something like this, maybe there are greater problems in the relationship that need to be addressed.