My husband blames me for everything that goes wrong! Help!
This isn’t actually as uncommon as you might think (and some husbands certainly bear the brunt of this from their wives also). But what does it mean, why does it happen and (most importantly) what can you do about it?
What Does It Mean When Your Spouse Blames You for Everything?
First things first. You must acknowledge the fact that you do have shortcomings (everybody does). This is the best way to be sure your husband isn’t just making you the culprit for every other unfortunate happenstance. When you discern what you’ve done, then you will distinguish what you haven’t.
And now it’s fair for you to ask why he’s putting the blame for everything on you.
He is Under Tremendous Stress
Right. But who isn’t?
You run the household, take care of the kids, and work 9-5 to help out with the expenses. Surely, you’re entitled to feel stressed, too.
The thing is, each person responds to pressure differently. Some need a physical outlet, such as working out, gardening, or building their pet dog’s house. Others prefer calm creative activities like painting and writing.
And then there are a few who wallow and stew in the frustration and anxiety that stress brings. Unfortunately, bottled up feelings have several ways of getting out. One is blaming the person closest to them as being responsible for their ill lot. And for a husband, that would be his wife.
The Invisible Triggers
For Better or For Worse
Did you both make a big change recently? Maybe you moved residences, opened a business, or decided to adopt a child because you can’t have one naturally.
The outcome might have been positive for you, but not for him. And now he blames you for the despairing situation he finds himself in, even if you went into it together, with both pairs of eyes open. Resentment can quickly build up when he sees you thriving while he is not. When your husband quietly feeds and nurtures this grudge, it can multiply and take on various forms.
You will then become the reason why it rained when he forgot his umbrella, or the car getting a flat tire on his way to an important meeting. He’ll even throw in the faulty faucet in the proverbial kitchen sink as part of the blame game. Not to forget the neighbor’s dog which happened to be barking all night. All of these are happening to him because you alone decided to make the change.
My Hand Was Not in the Cookie Jar
This is directly connected to the above. If your man is man enough to acknowledge his mistake in the decision-making, then he will have only himself to blame for the negative results.
He doesn’t even have to label it as a mistake. The unexpected consequence is a more optimistic outlook, one that reflects a mature thought process.
Unfortunately, that isn’t the case here. Fear to take responsibility for one’s actions might be an indication of a more serious mental or psychological issue. Maybe his childhood was rife with emotional abuse from unrealistically high expectations set by his parents. So, he learned to place the blame on others each time he stumbled.
It’s Not Me, It’s You
How many people do you know who openly admit they’re a failure? Presumably, only a handful. Alas, a few won’t admit it even to themselves. They are generally those with low self-esteem.
You can’t tell he’s insecure because he packages and presents himself as unruffled and confident. Yet underneath that veneer of poise is an unsure, fumbling little boy afraid to look foolish. He’d much rather let you be that.
In Sickness or In Health
Some conditions can turn the afflicted into unwilling human cannons firing out blame and anger on the innocent bystander. A few examples are dementia, depression, and liver failure. Even certain medications, like sleeping pills or cholesterol medicine, can result in aggressive behavior.
Diabetes, in particular, may cause inexplicable behavior because the hormones controlling glucose are also the ones regulating stress.
This mental disorder characterizes a person who places the blame on everyone else except himself. He believes he is perfect and beyond reproach, so accepting blame doesn’t exist in his playbook.
If you’re lucky, you can turn the tables on your husband and make him see how he is equally to blame for some things that went wrong in the relationship. But with a narcissist, this hardly solves the problem. He will simply blame you again for making him do things he didn’t want to do in the first place.
Make no mistake. You are his life. And that’s why your husband views your relationship problems as all-encompassing. If he’s not happy anymore in that area, his anguish will seep into other areas of his life. Therefore, if he blames you for your married-life-gone-wrong, then he will also blame you for everything else.
However, chronic blaming could mean a different thing altogether.
It can be a sign he’s cheating on you. It’s called deflection. He knows he’s doing something that’s not right. Thus, blaming you for all the issues in your marriage is his way of convincing himself that he is justified in looking for happiness outside the home.
What Do You Do When Your Husband Blames You for Everything?
In as much as blaming is mostly about your husband, solving the problem is mostly about you.
This doesn’t mean you can, or should, singlehandedly turn the tide. Rather, in an offender-victim relationship between two people who know each other, the latter is more often the stronger one.
It takes a huge amount of mental and emotional strength to endure this kind of toxic emotional abuse. However, you cannot discount the equally huge amount of hurt you’re experiencing.
With that said, it is advisable to keep in mind that while both of you are not in a good place in your relationship, it’s not time to throw in the towel, yet.
But because you have no control over his internal turmoil which is causing him to treat you the way he is, you can start the restoration of the marriage with yourself.
Start with Self-Healing
It’s very tempting to strike back and give him a dose of his own medicine. But, as I said earlier, a blame game does not really help. Doing so will only reinforce his behavior. So, resist that urge. You are not adversaries in a battlefield but partners for life, experiencing a temporary relationship setback.
Instead, look inward to rebuild the self-esteem eroded by his constant blaming. You can also help him overcome the underlying issues that cause it. But you can’t give what you don’t have. If you need to see a therapist, by all means, do it.
Let this be your mantra: You are not to blame. No matter how many times he tries to convince you that everything that goes wrong in your life together is your fault, don’t believe it.
Did you miss something? With all the tasks on your plate, you might have been overlooking clues that could explain your husband’s attitude.
Check his social media posts in recent months. Observe his body language at the breakfast table. If possible, chat with his friends and co-workers, but don’t make it obvious that you’re investigating as that it will put him on the defensive.
Look at him from a new point of view. Consider him as someone in trouble but too proud to ask for help.
Reach Out Your Hand in Friendship
When you’re ready, and if you’ve found pieces of the puzzle, initiate the conversation.
This doesn’t have to be a face-to-face talk. Remember, your husband may be blaming you because he’s ashamed to blame himself. Write him a letter or send an email. You know him best, so you can determine the approach to which he will be receptive. Let your letter be conciliatory. Invite him to talk about it, but don’t force the issue.
The idea is to make him realize you are hurting, and his constant blaming is the reason. But at the end of it, he needs to be assured that you want to understand any emotional upheaval he may be going through. Most importantly, you do not blame him but instead, you are looking for ways to recover your once-happy relationship.
Many people who read the relationship advice I give on this website have found healing, moved on, and repaired their marriage. However, I always emphasize the context of a marriage, whether you are taking advice from me or from anyone else.
If you have a more specific question relating to your unique situation, drop me a line.