With such a spouse, we fess up. Yes, indeed, what we said or did was inappropriate and we are sorry. We know in that case that we have unintentionally stepped on our partner’s toes and that probably there were many times when we could have been blamed, but because of his or her love for us, we got a pass. Love is patient, but sometimes does need to speak up for itself after all.
People who blame a lot usually resist looking at their role or contribution to the problems.
If you are blamed for being impatient, for example, your spouse may not take any thought to why that might be so and how he or she may be contributing. You may be blamed for being sexually unresponsive but your partner may never take a look at the way he or she treats you during sex and at other times, too. You may be blamed for being a bad parent by a partner who never takes his or her turn at parenting.
Another characteristic of people who blame a lot is making other people responsible for their bad feelings, language, behaviors, or the situation.
If a blamer feels bad, then they think that someone else must have done something to cause that feeling. If a blamer has abusive behavior, whether it’s toward others (such as verbal or physical abuse) or towards himself or herself (such as in addictions and isolation), then they blame their victims (e.g. “It’s your fault that I drink”). If a blamer is out of a job or a relationship, then naturally (they believe) there must have been something wrong with the employer or the partner.
A person who blames must be helped by someone else (like you)
As I wrote about in my book, What to Do When He Won’t Change, change cannot be initiated by the person who blames because he or she believes that change can only result from other people improving. “If you weren’t so bad, then I wouldn’t be so mad.” Such people have a great deal of self pity and a whole lot of anger toward others. After all, they perceive themselves as victims of the world. They think it’s so unfair that they have to put up with your inadequacy and help to take care of you at the same time. They create their own feelings of resentment, and those feelings prevent them from feeling any kind of long term deep love.
People who blame hurt themselves as well as others
Their blame results in their hurting not only their partners, but also themselves. It cuts them off from experiencing peace of mind, and from having long term close relationships. A spouse of such a person has a chance to escape, but the person who blames cannot escape. He or she has only a few happy moments surrounded by a lifetime of frustration and struggle. If you have such a spouse, then I encourage you to see how much he or she needs your help. It is part of my coaching work with people to help them help their spouses and significant others to stop blaming them. It always turns out to very rewarding–for both of them.