If your spouse blames you for everything, your initial thought may be to end the marriage.
What desirable and successful woman would want to come home every day to arguments that she can’t win and a spouse who refuses to own up to their own behavior?
But you don’t necessarily need to start looking up divorce attorneys if you’re tired of being blamed for everything.
Although you shouldn’t excuse your spouse’s behavior, it may help to understand the underlying causes of the blame game, so you can take action to improve the quality of your marriage.
When your spouse blames you for everything, it may mean that they are unhappy in the marriage, but they could also be narcissistic, feeling stressed, fear disapproval, or be unwilling to change or take responsibility for their own actions.
While you should never tolerate verbal or emotional abuse, your marriage may be able to be saved – if you and your spouse are both willing to take responsibility for your own part and put in the work necessary to change.
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If you’re tired of constantly being blamed for everything, you probably won’t be too interested in hearing all the psychobabble about your spouse’s feelings or unresolved childhood issues.
Of course, you’re the one who’s being used as a scapegoat! What about how you feel?
And you’re right, but before you can resolve any type of problem, it’s helpful if you know the causes.
Fear is one of the main reasons that people tend to blame others for their own wrongdoings.
Surprisingly, your spouse may feel very insecure about themselves and are afraid that you’ll be mad at them or even leave them if they admit that something was their own fault.
Some people have absolutely no interest in changing their behavior, and they know that if they take responsibility for things that they do wrong, change will be expected.
If your spouse is set in their ways, you can’t force them to change, and threatening them with ultimatums often doesn’t achieve anything besides placing more strain on your marriage. You can either accept your spouse as is or move on.
Sure, this explanation is a little cliche, as everyone always tries to blame mommy and daddy for everything.
But children do learn how to relate to others by watching their partners relate to one another.
Granted, your spouse had no control over their upbringing, but it’s still their responsibility to recognize that they learned unhealthy behaviors as a child and make the necessary changes in their adulthood.
Sometimes, blame is just another way of expressing unhappiness and dissatisfaction in a marriage.
It may have absolutely nothing to do with what your spouse is blaming you for. They may simply be looking for a way out.
In this case, you may want to sit down and calmly have a heart-to-heart discussion with your spouse about the areas that are lacking in your marriage and how to make changes.
Blame can also be a stress response. For instance, if your spouse is putting in long hours at the factory or office and coming home to a house full of rowdy kids, a tired wife, and a pre-packaged dinner, they may very well feel stressed – and you may, too!
They may find it to be easy to blame you for an out-of-control household or being behind on bills – but deep down they may be feeling inferior themselves.
You probably don’t even want to acknowledge this possibility, but your spouse may be a narcissist – or a perfectionist, at the least.
Narcissists are incapable of admitting that they do anything wrong or that they have any character defects.
They may also intentionally find things to blame you for to diminish your self-esteem and gain more control in the relationship.
It may be very tempting to argue with your spouse and try to get them to own up and take responsibility for their actions, but the blame can never be resolved with more blame.
And sometimes, a third party may actually be the one at fault!
The good news is that blame means that your spouse still cares about the relationship otherwise they wouldn’t bother casting blame at all.
They recognize that a problem exists, which is the first step toward making changes.
Say, your house has recently become infested with cockroaches and your spouse blames you because you’ve been too busy with work and kids to keep up with dish duty. But they haven’t taken out the trash in three days.
Who can really say for sure where the bugs came from? But is that the real problem here? No! The problem is that you now need to hire an exterminator.
Your spouse isn’t really upset with you. They are upset about the infestation, and you probably are, too!
Yeah, you’re tired of coming home from work to hear about the latest thing that you supposedly did wrong.
But instead of cutting your spouse off and interjecting your opinion, hear them out before you respond.
It’s also helpful to use “I statements” to take responsibility for your own feelings instead of feeding into the blame game.
While simply ignoring your spouse isn’t good for your relationship either, you don’t need to play the game.
If you were really not at fault, you shouldn’t admit to something you didn’t do just to keep the peace – unless it was really minor.
As the old saying goes, “Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?”
But you should take responsibility for things that were your fault or at least your part in them.
In the cockroach example, you could admit to slacking on the dishes, but also point out that it seems as though you both have been too busy to keep up with chores.
Instead of texting your BFF with your latest marital complaints, you can try journaling about the latest discord to calm down, review the incident, and brainstorm solutions before discussing the incident with your spouse.
In the end, blame means that there is a problem present. Only blaming does nothing to solve the underlying problem.
In the cockroach example, you may call an exterminator, but you could also discuss routine changes or task delegation to resolve the issue of household chores.
Often, you can resolve blaming issues in your marriage simply through effective communication and problem-solving. But sometimes you may need a little help.
If your spouse is willing to try marriage counseling, it can be helpful. But it takes two to make a marriage work.
If you’re unable to resolve the issues on your own and your spouse refuses to see a marriage counselor, you may need to go ahead and call that divorce attorney.
But it’s really up to you, and it depends on how much you’re willing to tolerate to uphold your marital vows.
Just don’t lose your self-worth in the process. You’re only human and you will make mistakes. But everything is not your fault.