I’m not good at this game.

Oh, it’s my turn? OK, as I stand up. I’m overtired, so I go ahead and go into the old 50’s Catholic catechism upbringing default mode. It feels like everything is my fault. I sit down. Game over.

Game Not Over, say the other players. What do you mean your fault? What about the SOB? He’s doing x, y, and z to you, and a, b, and c to your daughter. And what about what he’s not doing?

Well, he is to blame for what he’s doing and for what he’s not doing for his family, but I’m wrong for marrying the wrong person and not seeing who he was.

You did what you could with what you knew at the time, say the therapists.

It takes two to make a relationship, say the other therapists. If you look back and don’t like what he did and didn’t do, you put up with it, so you had an equal role. (What is this, like two choruses in a Greek tragedy?)

Chorus One: There were a lot of good times. He changed.

Chorus Two: You saw signs and ignored them.

Chorus One: You tried to work out the problems as a family until you saw it wasn’t a healthy place for you and your daughter.

Chorus Two: You didn’t use your intuition and ignored signs, even before you were married. You were so busy celebrating that you were in love and that someone loved you. You should have used your engagement for experimenting instead of celebrating. All those times you followed him around trying to settle disagreements… it never changed. It was the same scenario for 26 years.  What if, back in 1983, you once waited to see if he would come to you…..

Chorus One: You married because you were in love. Now you know there should have been other requirements before tying the knot.

Chorus Two: It was well after the Women’s Lib movement when you guys married. I think you should have known better. You…

SHUT UP.

I’m glad I’m not good at this game, because it’s a game I can’t win.

I QUIT.

But as I walk away from this game I can’t win, I begin to suspect that I can use what is said in the Blame Game. We humans are complex creatures. Too complex for “should”. That’s why the Blame Game is not a good game for us.

I turn around, and go back.

You know, I’ll play with you guys if you all just say what happened and what is happening. But don’t make it should and let’s not call it the Blame Game.

We all had a hell of a time hanging out with one another after that. We get together a lot. Some of the other players even say nice things about my STBX. We play the Insight Game.

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