What Happens When We Blame Our Mate?


What happens when we blame our partners like this angry, pointing woman?

When couples struggle in a relationship, someone or both might see their mates as the one who caused the hurt. If this is the case, then one or both might blame the other for making them feel bad.

Blame is Common, and We Learn it From Family

Parental scolding and blame can be the start of a lifetime habit of blaming others.

This is very common among couples. I know this intimately because as a young girl I blamed everyone who hurt me. I did not know another way to communicate my hurt to the person who caused me pain.

I blamed the one who caused me difficulty and it was usually a family member. It would be strange if I did this alone, but we all did this. We just didn’t learn a better way of handling our hurt emotions.

If you grew up in a family that blamed each other for pain, then you will use this habit on your partner in an adult relationship. I know you are not doing it to intentionally hurt them, but it feels like you are to them.

Blame Isolates Us and Makes Us Feel Unloved

Feeling blamed and cast out by our partner can make us feel alone and unloved like the sad woman pictured.

When we grow up blaming others, we usually isolate ourselves and see the one who hurt us as a bad person. We make up all kinds of stories in our heads about them and then keep feeding those stories until our emotions die down.

Sometimes this takes hours. Sometimes it takes days. It is a problem for both people in the relationship. The one who got hurt and blames separates themselves from the other and there is disconnection. The one who is being blamed begins to wonder if they are even loved by their mate.

This is why it is so damaging for both. I was fortunate, my husband-to-be did not grow up blaming others. He was pretty shocked when I began to make him the target of my pain.

But eventually I learned that I needed to understand what was happening to myself, not just jump up and make someone at fault. And this is my wish for you. We all in this world feel pain. We all want to feel better. That is the truth.

Owning Our Emotions Moves Us From Blame to Love

Getting past blame and owning our feelings can help us feel as close and loved as the couple pictured.

We love our partners. We want them to feel our love, not our scorn. I know that your dislike for them at times is the way you grew up. Now is the time for you to do something different with your emotions.

Please understand that when you feel something that feeling belongs to you. Not them, YOU. You carry the hurt and lack of understanding and you funnel all that into your anger. No one does this to you.

I know we get our feelings hurt. As a therapist I work in the world of feelings. But I also know that if the outside world can throw you into a tizzy, then your responsibility is to get yourself out of that state and back to balance.

Sure, I still get my feelings hurt. And sometimes, (rarely) I take it out on another. But I have learned to always be aware of what I do to my beloved and if I am too big or too pushy or too unkind, you better believe the first thing I do when I cool off is to say, “I am sorry.”

Three little words that save the day. Always. Don’t make your loving mate your enemy. Say you are sorry. Make amends. It is worth it.


Reduce Blame in Your Life and Your Relationship

Read a Book About Relationships

'Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship.' A book by Linda Nusbaum.

Learn about how to communicate in an open, honest, and less blaming way, by Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It just might help you take responsibility, be more constructive, and prevent those around you from feeling as hurt. Give it a read.

Get Couples Counseling

Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.

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