It’s Not Me, It’s You — Living with a Person Who Doesn’t Take the Blame
My husband is a good fella. I mean, he really is. Despite being a constant pain in my ass and a freaking “planner of plans,” he is generally a very nice guy. The one you can bring home to mama and marry, which is exactly what I did.
Responsible, reliable, kind. A protector and a family man. But he is completely handicapped when it comes to hearing critique and taking the blame.
When you make comments or complain about his actions or looks or behavior, be prepared — because he will strike back. Hard. It’s his defence mechanism. His mother and father used to condemn him when he was young; they still occasionally do that. It’s their idea of parenting — to judge and reproach until you became so fed up with this crap, you actually go and do something just to get them off your back.
Yeah, our childhood is to blame for everything. No shit.
So he blames. He blames his parents for being too harsh on him, he blames co-workers for the failure of the project, he blames our friends for boring evenings, and he blames me. For as many things as he can. He is especially hard on me because I’m the closest one.
Every time I’m starting a conversation about something I don’t like about him or his actions, it almost immediately shifts to all of the things I am doing wrong.
“I don’t like the way you are talking to me.” — “If you haven’t started this conversation, I wouldn’t have said it.”
It’s an endless “blame game.” All I’m hearing is “you this,” “you that.” I’m so used to this pattern that I sometimes caught myself doing the very same thing.
It’s called “physiological projection.”
Everydayhealth.com defines phycological projection as a “defence mechanism that people subconsciously employ in order to cope with difficult feelings or emotions, projecting them onto someone else, rather than admitting to or dealing with them.”
I am no shrink. I can’t tell you how not to fall for a toxic person or how to deal with the blamer in a healthy way (because nothing from what I’ve tried have worked so far.) But I can tell you what it’s like to live with one.
It’s hard. So. Fucking. Hard.
“I’m sorry” became imprinted in my DNA. I say it way too much. Not just to him but to other people too — automatically, out of habit, or because I often feel guilty.
For me, most of the time, it’s just easier to say sorry and stop the fight (which is usually about nothing of particular importance,) than explain to him why he hurt my feelings or why I feel the way I feel. Rereading this last sentence made me horrified. What a fucked up way I chose to deal with the situation.
Here we go, I feel guilty again. For not finding the way to help him listen.
I’ve tried. And I failed.
We’ve always argued. A LOT. Our friends are so used to it, they don’t even notice it anymore. We usually try not to fight in front of other people but our group of pals have zero tolerance for keeping the argument inside. We all like to argue, no big deal.
It never really bothered me much, but now it does. Because I started being blamed for not supporting his opinion. If I agree with someone who is not my husband on some matter, I’ll better be prepared for “the talk” later. In that conversation, I’ll be explained in every detail how I never stand by his side, support him, and do what a good wife has to do.
A couple of months ago, he had a huge fight with one of our closest friends. It was nasty, and he acted like a total douche. When we were alone, I confronted him about that, saying that he was wrong and explained why. He blew up, screaming at me that it’s not his fault that nobody understands him.
I’ve been in deep depression this last year, which made me sort of numb in terms of experiencing strong emotions. A big part of it has to do with me being frustrated with our relationship. He was understanding. At first. But then, he said that “we” do not have any problems, it’s “me” who has them. And just like that, he refused marriage counselling.
Sometimes I think that we are not able to have a normal conversation. He switches to the “victim mode,” and in an instant, it’s not my husband anymore — it’s a little child who refuses to admit that he wet his pants.
You are no better. You always criticize me. You pressure me too much. You started it. I said it, just because you hurt me first.
I’m tired of these words. They are not doing any good. Not for me, nor for him. I’m stack in this and I don’t know how to get out of this cycle.
You might think that my husband is a real jackass, but he’s not. Of course, he apologises and takes responsibility for his actions from time to time. It’s just a very hard thing for him to do.
Maybe it’s my fault. Maybe he tries his best, and I’m just too angry and frustrated to notice. Maybe myself truly is the problem here. Maybe I’m just tired of hearing his accusations. Maybe we just a bad match. I really don’t know.
I started losing my mind, trying to figure out what to do (any advice?) Because it seems like no matter how many serious conversations we had, nothing changes drastically from a long-term perspective.
Communication is paramount for any healthy relationship, but it’s hard to have a conversation with someone who does not want to listen.