The Blame Game (and another withdrawl from the emergency fund…)

yep, that's mold

yep, that’s mold

When does fault matter in a marriage? As I’m learning, the answer is “not often.”

Sunday night, hubby went out back to check on our new baby apple trees when he noticed the garden hose was hooked up to the outdoor faucets. Since it was so cold last week, he checked the faucet to make sure it hadn’t frozen…it had. Water poured from around the faucet and down into our basement.

When he came inside to tell me about the broken faucet, my reaction was admittedly not as mature as it should have been. I instantly began blaming my husband–at least, internally–for not unhooking the faucet before the cold snap froze our faucet. Though I held my tongue, inside I was fuming.

As I stood in the kitchen scrubbing baby bottles, I let myself get more and more angry. Can’t I trust him to do anything? I steamed. Why can’t he take care of such a simple thing?

Suddenly, I realized all my fuming was rather silly. Did it matter whose mistake caused the frozen faucet? My childish side said yes, but the calmer, more rational adult voice inside me said no. After all, no matter who caused the problem, we both have to fix it.

Meanwhile, my hubby was thinking the same thing in reverse. He was sure he disconnected the water hose the last time he used it. I must have reconnected it later to water the garden and forgot to disconnect it.

We actually don’t know what happened or who left it connected, but blaming each other wasn’t constructive. Either way, we have to fix it. Either way, we have a leaky faucet and a wet basement. Adding blame just adds stress and hurt feelings to the mix.

After moving basement furniture, removing ceiling panels and pulling up carpet, we discovered the problem was worse than we thought and that it actually did not matter whose fault it was…because the faucet had been leaking for quite some time. There was mold along the tack strips under the carpet and on the carpet itself, a clear sign the faucet leak wasn’t new.

We narrowly avoided an immature argument over an incident that actually ended up being a good thing since, without the frozen faucet, we wouldn’t have known about the mold and leak issues until they got much worse.

What a great lesson in teamwork and forgiveness! Like being part of a sports team, marriage requires the ability to share the good and bad…and credit for the good and bad.


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