Has the blame game become a constant fixture in your relationship? Has it begun to seriously affect your feelings for your partner or led you to second-guess your own worth? If it has it’s usually a sign your partner is either taking you for granted or using you as a stress vent. Don’t let someone else’s resentment, anger and insecurity flush you down the rabbit hole.
Don’t let guilt define you
The very first step towards dealing with any form of emotional abuse is to stop judging ourselves through our partner’s eyes.
Let’s put it this way; if your partner continues to play the blame-game they obviously get something out of it. Perhaps it is stress relief, perhaps it is a spiteful way of voicing irrelevant, pent-up resentment. In almost all cases they are able, by being aggressive, to mask their own insecurity.
If these kinds of behaviors go unchecked and uncontested (for those of us who shy away from confrontation and seek to constantly “make it right”) they often reinforce themselves and begin to define relationships.
Tackling the issue head-on can be tricky (more on this later), however, it is imperative that you don’t allow the guilt to redefine your role in the relationship.
[alert-note]If your self-esteem is taking a hit, I would advise taking a brief time-out in order to put yourself first again.[/alert-note]
Redefine your personal boundaries
While you shouldn’t blame yourself for your partner’s chronic blame games, it is important not to allow ourselves to be used. If you are being taken for granted it is up to you to end the abuse by enforcing your personal boundaries.
Ironically, I feel that always putting the relationship, or our partners first, can be a romantic death sentence. Love is conditional and based on respect. Manipulation is a very destructive form of disrespect. Not only will it subconsciously corrode attraction (should you allow it to thrive for fear of rejection), it will also begin to chip away at our self-confidence and turn us into something we don’t like staring at in the mirror.
Ultimately it is us to up the ante by evaporating the smokescreen of insecurity that blaming you for everything really is. Don’t let fear paralyze you from doing what it takes to make your own life better. But how do we do that?
Getting the message across
Being overly direct and confrontational will often on catalyze further abuse. A particularly prideful partner may act impulsively, creating an even greater communication rift in the relationship. How you choose to confront the issue will depend on who your partner is, and that is something you obviously know far better than I.
Nevertheless, there is much that you can do to stop the pain and curb the behavior itself by refusing to be baited. By not reacting defensively you will halt the emotional leaching occurring at your expense. Consider the situation objectively in the present. If the blame is not warranted, or is a gross exaggeration, you’re better off treating it as such by smiling. Arguing the point logically, or playing tit-for-tat will not work (and may possibly end in an argument) because the game being played is not based in logic. It is emotional.
If the behavior continues, remember that you always have the option to cut your losses and either opt-out of the relationship or take some time off. It’s your life. Sadly, only when they are deprived of their on-demand vent do some partners gain clarity and realize what it was they were putting you through.
Why does my partner blame me for everything?
My last point is simply that of urging you not to over-analyze their behavior, as it is rarely logical and rooted in reality. By playing by their rules you risk being sucked into a realm where confusion reigns, and the rules are ever-changing.
The only thing you can realistically do is monitor your own-welling being and set standards for your side of the relationship. It is up to them to cement their insecurity.
Images courtesy of FrameAngel and David Castillo Dominici/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net