The Blame Game: How to Avoid Letting it Damage Your Relationship

Do you play the blame game? To keep your relationship healthy it is imperative not to place blame onto your spouse for all that goes wrong. People make mistakes and conflict is a part of every relationship. Even if your partner misbehaves, it rarely pays to play the blame game.

Although you may feel that they are at least partly to blame for your relationship problems, blaming only distances the other person and increases the likelihood that he/she will want to avoid you. It is better to accept your part of the responsibility with a smile. Otherwise your blame will act as a wedge that pushes the two of you apart.

Some people spend too much time trying to figure out who is at fault in a marriage, rather than coming to terms with a workable solution. It is time and energy wasted. Someone has to be at fault. Or act as the scapegoat.

I have known those who were absolutely obsessed with being right or finding out who was right in an argument. But what good does that do? it only ruins relationships. Why do we allow such trivial concerns to interfere with our relationships?

Don't Like Being Blamed?

Man screaming

It really doesn’t matter who was right or wrong, and who was at fault. What matters, according to research, is how quickly and earnestly the couple makes up after a fight or meltdown, and how quickly they can back to having fun and being happy again.

Successful couples make "quick repair attempts," according to world-renowned marriage researcher, John Gottman.

You will be able to save your relationship a great deal of trouble, once you begin to cheerfully accept responsibility for your actions. If you make a mistake owe up to it. Say you're sorry. Your relationship will go much better and the amount of conflict will decrease, once you stop pointing the finger.

Be the one who provides leadership in your relationship. Do the right thing. Accept your part of the problem and avoid dumping the blame onto your partner's shoulders. Work on solving the problem and move on to happier times!

The Blame Game Works for Neither Partner

This may sound like a contradiction, but if you want to save your relationship with yourself, then you must avoid blaming yourself, too. Feeling and acting guilty won’t help anyone. It just may entice others to manipulate you.

Forgive and forget.

Why obsess on a mistake either of you makes? No one wins. Learn to resist the urge to blame someone when something goes wrong, and get busy fixing the problem in a cheerful, optimistic way.

All you have to do is accept responsibility for your own actions, avoid the narcissistic tendency to blame or criticize the other person, then work toward a fair and acceptable resolution - with a smile on your face. It sounds difficult, I know, but it’s not, really. It will take practice. And a great deal of resolve for you to make the change.

If you want to have a great relationship, playing the blame game won't help. It only crates frustration, anger and resentment.

Sometimes we project blame onto others as a way of protecting ourselves, but it doesn't work. It' so much easier to simply own up to our part of the problem.

If You're Married to a Narcissistic Spouse

The argument may be about where you go on vacation, but the anger leftover from last month’s fight about how to spend the new bonus or windfall may be still simmering underneath the surface.

If you have a narcissistic spouse, it's important to remember narcissists like to get their way, be the center of attention and have someone adore them at all times. A narcissistic spouse won't easily forget not getting their way, or being embarrassed in front of others, or criticized in some way. You may wonder why your spouse is so upset.

Just stop and ask, “what this is really about?”

Think about how easily a narcissist is offended. And, once you know what may have triggered him/her, you need to think rationally about what your options are.

It helps, when dealing with a narcissistic partner, to let them have their way more often than not, and to make them feel honored and loved. Try never to blame them, as a person, but instead focus your criticism on their behavior . . . it may be a little easier for the narcissist to accept your comments.

But, when bringing up a problem, watch how you say it, give praise where possible, and reinforce your faith in the narcissistic lover. 

Also, it helps to turn your criticism or complaint into a request for action or change. Ask your partner to do something differently and be specific about how you want him/her to do it.

It's easier for them to respond in a positive way, if you make a request, rather than a complaint.

Everyone wants to feel he has control over his life, that he has a say in everything. No healthy person wants to be controlled in a relationship. But, for a narcissist, those needs are even greater. They want to be in charge and on stage.

If a narcissistic spouse feels attacked, criticized or blamed, they will go on the counter-attack and blame others for all the problems. They are masters at playing the blame game. You can expect to be blamed, but avoid becoming defensive and try not to sink as low as the narcissist by projecting blame onto him/her.

Enjoy Your Relationships More: Avoid Playing the Blame Game

Whether you are dealing with your spouse, business partner, child, friend, neighbor or co-worker, never play the blame game, and you'll have a great deal more fun in life. Your loved ones and relationship partners will love and cherish you all the more.

Yes, it can be tempting to find fault and place blame when something goes wrong, or a relationship starts to fail, but resist the urge. Stay positive, look for the causes of the problem and get busy solving it. No one has to be the recipient of shame, or be the scapegoat.

Two people enjoying the beach

The Blame Game: In Sum

Placing blame is a dangerous and ineffective relationship strategy. It is an attempt to control someone, and to protect oneself, but only backfires. Avoid blaming your partner for your problems. Accept personal responsibility and work to find solutions. Handle a narcissistic spouse with kid gloves, or any egotistical person, being sure to help them save face, and your relationship will be the better for it.


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