Alan Rudolph - Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
RSS

Most Popular Posts

Why isn't a man more like a woman?
Therapy: The long and the short of it
The power of vulnerability
Living Life, One Day at a Time
Why Is Therapy So Expensive?

Categories

Gambling
relationships
We're only human
Why Is Therapy So Expensive?
why therapy?
powered by

My Blog

Seven Good Reasons to Blame Your Partner (And Why None of Them Are Good Enough)


Seven Good Reasons to Blame Your Partner (And Why None of Them Are Good Enough)

Robert Solley

Reason #7 — It’s Easy!
Under stress it’s often easier to see what someone else is doing wrong than what you are doing wrong. It’s easier to see the food stuck in your partner’s teeth than your own. To see your own you would first need to locate a mirror and then look into it. And then you would need to open your lips to be able to see your own teeth. And we’re not even talking yet about finding the motivation to locate and look in the mirror, much less to expose the ugly condition of your teeth to yourself.

Reason #6 — It’s Fun
Well, OK, maybe not fun fun. But it feels good at some level. At it’s worst, blaming someone else feels good in a vengeful, “I gotcha” kind of way. More often there’s a venting, energy-release part that’s somewhat satisfying. But then there’s another part feels not-so-good, in an out-of-control, guilty kind of way. However, even the bad part of this feeling may be more comfortable than it should be. For example, how you would you feel right at that point if you really took responsibility for whatever part of the conflict was yours.
Because there’s almost always some part that’s yours.
To really take responsibility you might have to fight through a wall of shame. In the moment, that would be painful — to really acknowledge that you did something wrong, were bad, screwed up, were unthinking, or whatever it might be. See Reason #5!

Reason #5 — Accepting Responsibility and Feeling Bad Are Hard
This is a corollary to Reason 2. What makes accepting responsibility especially hard is shame, which most of us feel to varying degrees (psychopaths are an exception). This is the feeling that fundamentally we aren’t good enough as human beings, that we’re flawed, inadequate, broken, defective…need I say more? So if we start to accept the idea that we might have done something a little wrong, for some it can tap into this big pool of “I’m all bad.” And that just feels awful! Since the function of shame in society is to act as a sanction against violating important social norms, it leaves one feeling alone. At its worst you can feel totally isolated in your badness, cut off from any possibility of love from anyone else, for eternity. Wow, no wonder it feels better to blame your partner! But wait, there’s more…

Reason #4 — We’ve Been Taught All Our Lives to Blame
Starting as little kids we were taught right and wrong — and especially wrong. First by our parents, and then by our teachers through the long years of school into adulthood. Right and wrong behaviors, right and wrong answers, right and wrong everything. That highlighted and underscored those feelings of shame for the most significant, tender formative years of our lives (to say nothing of adulthood). We also learned that if you can successfully deny it, or push the responsibility off onto someone else then you don’t have to feel that shame as much. “I didn’t do it, Gertrude did!”

Reason #3 — We Use Ourselves As the Standard
We each tend to think that “The way I do it is the best way.” Of course! We’ve spent our whole lives improving on (or working against) what our parents taught us, so this must be the way to do it! Perhaps the only way to do it! “If you would only do it my way!” Well, it turns out there are lots of ways to do things, and in many cases either it doesn’t really matter, different conditions may demand different ways, or at any rate it’s probably not worth losing your relationship over. But giving up ideas, beliefs, or ways of doing things, can be scary. It can feel like something terrible would happen, or you might lose yourself.

Reason #2 — It’s Hard to Fully Accept That Your Partner Is a Different Person
This is a corollary to #3. Things would seemingly be much easier and smoother if your partner just thought about and did things the way you do. But your partner is a different person, with his or her own ideas, personality, and habits. At some level we’re aware of this, but too often if our partners do something differently from how we would, we feel anger and frustration. And we bolster our anger will all manner of justifications and rationalizations. “But my way really is better. No, really.” And sometimes it is.
But how much of the time is it worth sacrificing your relationship for being right, or wanting your partner to respond the same way you do?
Coming to terms with those differences can be painful, can make you feel separate from them, can scare you that maybe you and your partner are too different after all. But it can also bring you closer in the long run if you can talk about and learn to accept each other’s differences.

Reason #1 — It’s Animal Nature to Bite Back
When we feel criticized or blamed it’s natural to criticize or blame back. This is an extension of our protective reflex to attack sources of physical threat or pain. So it makes perfect sense that when we are hurt emotionally we would try to hurt back in an effort to relieve our own pain. This instinct may be one of the most powerful forces behind blame, and especially the kind of reflexive retaliatory blame that gets us stuck in miserable escalating fights. Our best intentions can be little match against mother nature’s hard-wiring. But again, we can become more self-aware, learn the signals that precede blaming, and do something else instead.

Why None of These Reasons Are Good Enough
Think of a time when you have felt blamed or criticized. Remember how it felt inside? Think of a time when you were in a fight with your partner. Chances are, at least part of what you were feeling was blamed, criticized, hurt, and angry. Now think of how you felt the next day or perhaps days later (assuming that you did have some recovery from that fight). Remember how much more clearly you could think about the topics, how much broader your perspective was? Remember how much more you could think about your partner’s point of view in a more open way? Perhaps you were even able to come to some resolution with your partner in that calmer place. If not, or if it’s hard to even get to a calmer, clearer place after a day or so, then perhaps the pain you are causing each other is becoming chronic and this would be a good time to seek counseling.

When we feel blamed, criticized, or misunderstood, the feelings of hurt and anger take over our minds and bodies, making it almost impossible to have a decent conversation. Not only are we unable to think clearly, but it becomes much more difficult to really listen to our partners. Furthermore — since it is natural to retaliate in an effort to get relief from the pain, we strike back, inducing all of those same bad feelings that we are having in our partner. So now we are both not only impaired, but caught in an unpleasant cycle with each other that’s only getting worse.

Knowing how bad it feels to feel blamed or criticized, and knowing how it cripples the conversation and relationship, wouldn’t it seem worthwhile to learn to retrain those reflexes? Here are two alternatives to think about next time:
  • Identify and name your vulnerable emotions. Anger and frustration are usually the easiest to name — and better to name them than to act them out. But they are not the most vulnerable feelings. See if you can locate some sadness (loss) and/or fear and talk about those.
  • Push yourself to have compassion for your partner. Are they having a bad day? What other stresses are acting on them? What vulnerabilities do they have or are they guarding? Is this a pattern that was adaptive for them in childhood, in the face of painful events back then?
Learn to catch your blaming tendencies before they come out and hurt someone — especially your partner.

19 Comments to Seven Good Reasons to Blame Your Partner (And Why None of Them Are Good Enough):

Comments RSS
cheapessay writng service on Thursday, August 03, 2017 10:29 PM
Seven good reasons to blame your partner with this informative alanrudolphmft blog,keep it up. Thanks for sharing about why none of them are good enough mirror and then look into it finding motivation.
Reply to comment


top celebrity jackets on Sunday, September 10, 2017 11:47 PM
Living life one day at a time recovery or not,the only options incredibly frustrating better or recovered impatient. The alanrudolphmft blog decades along in the journey coutless experiences mistakes,million chances.
Reply to comment


help on Tuesday, October 03, 2017 12:23 AM
Excellent Blog! I would like to thank for the efforts you have made in writing this post. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well.
Reply to comment


Peter Parker Yellow on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 12:27 AM
Just think how bad it would be if you guys actually had to spell words completely and correctly.
Reply to comment


sports authority corporate office on Friday, April 27, 2018 2:12 AM
I thank you for the information! I was looking for and could not find. You helped me!
Reply to comment


marvel jackets on Monday, May 21, 2018 4:38 AM
Get all world news updates through this amazing website and I enjoy a couple of from the Information which has been written, and particularly the comments posted I will definitely be visiting again. Top gun leather jacket
Reply to comment


olymptrade on Monday, May 21, 2018 7:02 AM
I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. Really its great article. Keep it up.
Reply to comment


SPSS Assignment Online on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 9:34 PM
Things Are Very Open And Intensely Clear Explanation Of Issues. Was Truly Information. Your Website Is Very Beneficial.
Reply to comment


Process Selection Project Help on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 9:56 PM
This Is Really Great Work. Thank You For Sharing Such A Good And Useful Information Here In The Blog For Students.
Reply to comment


Economics Help on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 10:36 PM
I Am So Happy To Read This. This Is The Kind Of Manual That Needs To Be Given And Not The Random Misinformation That's At The Other Blogs.
Reply to comment


Write My Law Project on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 10:59 PM
Thanks A Lot For The Post. It Has Helped Me Get Some Nice Ideas. I Hope I Will See Some Really Good Result Soon.
Reply to comment


storspelare on Friday, June 01, 2018 9:16 AM
In any case, dissimilar to online spaces, this diversion requires you a triumphant mix for you to bring home the cash pool.
Reply to comment


lin on Tuesday, July 03, 2018 3:36 AM
nice
Reply to comment


celebrity net worth on Wednesday, July 18, 2018 12:47 AM
I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. Really its great article. Keep it up.
Reply to comment


buy jackets online on Thursday, August 09, 2018 4:03 AM
Ohh wow such an interestimg place. I will definitely bring the kids for their field trip. I bet It will be a whole new experience for them.
Reply to comment


play ojo on Wednesday, August 29, 2018 11:39 PM
Online club players can encounter an assortment of energizing clubhouse titles at online gambling club, for example, Kerching.
Reply to comment


ahtigames on Wednesday, September 05, 2018 2:57 AM
Taking in the ropes can be a great deal of fun with many free recreations out there to play.
Reply to comment


Blackjack on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 3:48 PM
It doesn't make a difference on the off chance that you are preparing to take the Road Ready Knowledge Test or the Hazard Perception Test
Reply to comment


things to do on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 10:22 PM
This article is very nice as well as very informative. I have known very important things over here. I want to thank you for this informative read
Reply to comment

Add a Comment

Your Name:
Email Address: (Required)
Website:
Comment:
Make your text bigger, bold, italic and more with HTML tags. We'll show you how.
Post Comment