As Ani Difranco says (is my 90s showing?): “You can’t really place blame cuz blame is much to messy/some was bound to get on you while you were trying to put it on me.” And it’s true, the blame game in relationships is about as messy as it gets. Because we like to act as though it’s easier to assign than it is, and also because there’s normally a whole lot of hurt underneath all the blame throwing.
“The blame game is something that has caused relationships to crumble for years,” executive editor and founder of Cupid’s Pulse Lori Bizzoco tells Bustle. “If your partner blames you for everything, then it’s time for you to speak up, share your perspective and ask them to listen to your point of view.” But it’s easier said then done.
When someone comes at you and makes you feel like things are your fault, it’s really easy to feel guilty— especially if your prone to guilt anyway. And you sort of loose sight of the fact that these things have nothing to do with you. So sometimes you just need to remember that there are some things that are never your fault.
Here are seven things your partner should never blame you for, because it’s time to be an adult:
1. Everything, All The Time
First and foremost: There’s a big problem when someone blames you for everything. I mean, obviously one person can never be responsible for everything, yet we still have people who love to claim that it’s “all” your fault. Not cool. “We should never think in all or none, always or never,” psychologist Nicole Martinez, who is the author of eight books, including The Reality of Relationships, tells Bustle. “We should calmly and rationally point this out to their partner.”
2. Their Work Stress
Work stress is one of the worst things. You spend so many hours at work, that it’s a lot of time to feel crappy, and it can be easy to take it home with you and take it out on your partner. But you need to get to the core of the issue if this is constantly happening.“What are they blaming you for?” Stefanie Safran, Chicago’s “Introductionista” and founder of Stef and the City, asks Bustle. “If this a phase because of other stressors in their life such as work, family, etc., talk out what the issues are…”
Try to talk to them about separating work life and home life, and explain that it’s OK to talk about being stressed but not to make everyone else feel worse because of it. You have to have stronger boundaries.
3. Not Achieving Their Dreams
When someone isn’t where they hoped or thought they’d be in life, that can cause them a whole lot of heartache — heartache that they don’t always want to accept responsibility for. “I once heard a person say that blame is the discharge of pain,” Dawn Maslar, aka “the Love Biologist,” tells Bustle. “I try to stop in the moment and realize that the blame is not really about me.” But even if you know it’s not about you, it’s not OK for them to act like it is. They need to take responsibility for their life and their choices and not pretend that you’re the reason they don’t have what they want. They’re a grown up, they made decisions, and they need to take responsibility for that.
4. Your Family
Your family is not your fault. I repeat: Your family is not your fault. How you deal with them— and you mediate between them and your partner— is definitely your responsibility. But if you’re doing the best you can with them, your partner can’t hold their quirks against you. It’s not fair, and odds are their family isn’t so easy either.
5. Your Needs
Sorry, we all have them. Yes, some people’s needs are bigger or more complicated than others, but that doesn’t mean they’re wrong. The same goes for your feelings. Although we may sometimes act irrationally or insensitively (and then we should totally accept responsibility for it), the most basic, instinctive place that need come from aren’t our fault.
6. Your Kids
If you’ve ever had dysfunctional parents, you’ll know what I mean. Do these words sounds familiar: “She got this from your side of the family.” Not OK.
7. Their Insecurities
We all have insecurities, but we have to do our best to act rationally and not let them sabotage our lives — or our relationships. If your partner has been burned before and is naturally a little more on the jealous or insecure side, fair enough — but they can’t take them out on you. It’s not fair to make them your problem or act as though you’ve done anything to justify them. Talk it out, let them talk about why they have those feelings, but don’t let them control you. It’s not your responsibility and definitely not your fault.
Originally posted on Bustle