When I am working with couples in therapy, I encourage them to bring in their arguments (conflicts, issues, etc), and work on them in ways that allow then to become more conscious of, and own, their part in each conflict. I encourage them not only to account for how it is that they contributed to the problem at hand but also for their contribution to ways in which it might be resolved. When people argue in ways that merely engage the blame game what they often have a hard time seeing and feeling is that along with the blame they are giving their partner, they are also giving up the power to do anything about it–to fix it. If they truly believe that they have no part in it, there’s nothing we can do about it.
Accounting for one’s own part in the argument is a very good way to prevent arguments from becoming too destructive. It also is a very good way to build trust that we–as a couple–can deepen our trust and intimacy with each other, as then come to accept each other as we really are (with differences of opinion, taste, etc.).
Contributor: Mark Borg Jr, PhD from psychology today