What do you say to a wife who complains, ‘My husband blames me for his unhappiness.’? Are we responsible for our partners’ happiness? What role do we play, if any, in their sense of happiness? This is a sensitive subject for some women. Here are practical steps to take when you feel guilt and condemnation for not making your spouse happy.
One reader writes:
Hi, my husband is your typical man. He is passionate and is very sensitive. What I do not understand is that he is blaming me for his unhappiness and all the problems. We are not from the same tribe so he complains that I cannot make him happy. He says I make things difficult and that I make him angry a lot. I have been trying to make him happy. I am just a good person and don’t have any bad intentions. But he says I don’t make it easy for him and that he cannot love me. Please, help. I love him and he loves me, I feel he is also unhappy and is still blaming me. Please tell me what I can do to make him happy. I have tried talking to him but all I get is the same excuses.
Unfortunately, this is not a lone event. Many women feel guilty, rejected, and cast away by their spouse because they feel blamed for their husbands lack of joy in life.
Debunking The Junk
I call B.S. on your husband. No one can either make us happy or unhappy without our permission.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting we are never influenced by another person. Nor am I implying it is impossible to be hurt by someone. Both are obviously possible. We have all been wounded by people in the past.
It especially hurts when our spouse is the source of that pain.
What I am suggesting is we are responsible for our own state of mind (which is the source of our emotional feelings). In other words, our feelings generally follow our thoughts and beliefs. Not the other way around.
Suppose you were in a melancholy mood and suddenly on this website – as you read this article – a little box pops up with a notification that I was giving you a $10,000 check just for visiting our site. This is merely for illustration purposes, so don’t get your hopes up. But assuming you believe that I have integrity, would that notification change your feelings?
Of course it would.
Why? Because your feelings follow your beliefs. If you believe I was giving you something of great value it would change (if even for a moment) how you felt. Your beliefs determine your emotions.What I am suggesting is we are responsible for our own state of mind (which is the source of our emotional feelings). In other words, our feelings generally follow our thoughts and beliefs. Not the other way around. Click To Tweet
My goal is not to delve deep into the nature of human personality and the various schools of psychology; rather, I want to debunk the junk in your husband’s mind (his dominant thoughts and beliefs).
The blame game is the oldest one in the book. It goes back to the Garden of Eden when Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent.
The truth is, we are all responsible for our behavior, thoughts, beliefs, and feelings.
So your husband is wrong to blame you. When he blames you for his emotional state, he is doing several things:
- He is failing to take control of his own life.
- He is indicating you have all the power over his life.
- He is indicating he has no power to change; you have all the power.
- He is ultimately holding you hostage to his lack of emotional control.
In essence, he is making you ‘god’ (with a little ‘g’) over his life. He is saying, ‘Until she does something different, I can’t be happy.’ And that’s false. He can change his own life, even if you have hurt him or disappointed him in the past.
His actions (and statements) are immature and irresponsible.
My guess is, he is doing this more out of manipulation and control, that genuine belief. He knows this isn’t true, but he doesn’t want to grow up and take responsibility for his actions.
This type of behavior (especially when it is extreme) is a type of emotional abuse and rejection. It comes out of a victim mentality. He is in essence saying, ‘You are not enough. You can’t please me, so I’m rejecting your efforts.” Can you see how emotionally rejecting that is?
Why Do We Blame Each Other When Things Go Wrong?
As mentioned above, the root reason is it is easier to hold someone else responsible than take responsibility for our lives.
Why do people accuse others when things go wrong? The reasons are many but it’s human nature to assign blame, especially if we are in a crisis and then it’s easy to go “all blame them”.
Research presented by Peter Stawson identifies blame primarily with the emotion of resentment.
There are many reasons for blame but let me list a few:
When we blame others, we create a lot of negativity in the atmosphere and even more problems. If you blame someone for something and you are found out to be LUCKY because they did not succeed then you can get into a blame game. And you will lose any respect from others.
We are Human
There is an old saying, “We only act ourselves, we can’t help it”. In life, we are surrounded by people who shift the responsibility to others for their misfortunes and the world revolves around them. That’s why I find so much negativity around people who blame others for things. It is a big circle that gets very tiresome after a while.
It’s hard to Take Care of Others
When we are self-critical and blame others for things that go wrong, we often forget that we need to take care of ourselves too. When we are focused on ourselves we allow others to take care of us and we do not receive enough love, compassion, and attention. If we are critical of ourselves at all, then it becomes hard to accept love and attention from others.
We Get Comforting Emotions
When we assign guilt to others, we also assign a lot of blame to our own emotions. All of the guilt, anger, and self-pity that we feel can become fuel for others to fuel themselves.
So many times we are faced with situations where we make decisions that go against our core values. This is when we begin to ask, “Why do people blame others for this? “, or ” Aren’t they good enough?”. It is when we ask these questions that we realize that there is more going on behind the scenes than meets the eye. The blame game is a big tool that is used to hide our insecurities and to escape the responsibility of living our lives.
It Relieves Us of Responsibility
The Blame Game is the weapon of choice to use when you feel inferior or vulnerable. Why do people do this? It is because they believe it helps them to avoid taking responsibility for their own actions. The last thing that anyone wants to do is admit that they were wrong. We try to escape the responsibility of handling our own affairs by blaming others.
So, instead of asking “Why do people blame others? “, you might want to ask” How am I supposed to understand the reasons behind the blame? “. You might find that the blame is not always the right answer. If you feel like blame is your friend, you are only making yourself vulnerable. You should learn to listen to your inner feelings and trust your gut instinct.
What To Do When Your Husband Blames You: 4 Things To Do Starting Now!
We all hurt each other at times. If you are in a relationship long enough, something will be said or done that has the potential to wound the other person. It’s a part of life. I don’t say that as an excuse. We should seek to live in a way that is loving, not selfish.
What do you do if your spouse does blame you and you haven’t done anything wrong?
1) Walk Away
It’s okay to walk away from an explosive situation. If your spouse constantly demeans, blames, and ridicules you, take a break and walk away from the conversation.
2) Realize It’s His Issue
I know this is hard at times. Words wound us. It’s easy to get caught in the trap of believing you are the reason they are unhappy. Go back and read the first part of this article. Remind yourself that each of us is responsible for our own happiness.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t seek to please our spouse and do things that honor them; this should be our aim.
When your spouse continually blames you for their unhappiness, remind yourself it is their problem, not yours.
3) Ask them to explain.
You can only do this IF they are the type of person who will calm down enough to have a genuine conversation. If they are only interested in hurting you with their words, do not attempt this.
Sometimes asking your spouse to explain will not only help you understand what they are experiencing but will also help them see things more clearly. We tend to get a better understanding when we try to articulate our feelings.
4) Get Professional Help
I don’t always recommend counseling, but when you live with someone who is always shifting responsibility and is determined to make you feel guilty for their unhappiness, it could be beneficial.
I believe it could help in two ways:
First, they can help you know how to deal with the emotional upheaval in your life.
Developing the skills to deal with false guilt, verbal combat, and self-esteem issues is critical for your mental health.
Second, they can help you get a life plan to deal with this on a long term basis.
You need a strategy and plan on how to deal with your spouse ongoing. A wise counselor will not only help you deal with false guilt, but they can also help you better understand how to deal with that type of person.
What Can I Do If My Husband Has Anger Issues?
We have a series called, ‘Anger in the Family’ where we address how to handle anger issues in your spouse – specifically in men.
Depending on the level and degree of how your spouse acts out, you need to seek help.
If your husband is violent, leave. It’s that simple. Don’t hesitate to walk away from any situation if your spouse is abusive.
Final Thoughts on My Husband Blames Me For His Unhappiness
It is painful to think your spouse – the person you love and married – is disappointed in you and holds you responsible for their happiness. No one wants to think they are the reason someone they love is unhappy. This is most often a false sense of responsibility.
We saw that each of us is responsible for our own happiness. When a spouse blames you for their lack of fulfillment in life, it is important to remember you are not responsible.
One resource we recommend is a book by Frank Minireth called, ‘Happiness is a Choice.’
Whether depression is felt mildly or acutely, temporarily or persistently, it strikes just about everyone at some point.
Drs. Minirth and Meier believe, however, that the emotional pain of depression can be overcome and avoided. Drawing from their professional training, counseling experience, and biblical knowledge, they explore the complex relationship between spiritual life and psychological health and then spell out basic steps for recovering from depression and maintaining a happy, fulfilling life.
- Debunking The Junk
- Why Do We Blame Each Other When Things Go Wrong?
- What To Do When Your Husband Blames You
- What Can I Do If My Husband Has Anger Issues?
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