"He is always blaming me for the bad things that happen in his life, and then he tells me it's my controlling him that is making him so angry. He yells at me and puts me down rather than deal with his own feelings. How can I get him to see that he is the one trying to control me? How can I get him to take responsibility for his own feelings rather than keep on dumping them on me?"
Lillian was clearly feeling victimized by her husband Rob. It is always amazing to me when a person who is blaming their partner for blaming them does not realize that they both are trying to control each other and that they are both blaming!
"Lillian, when you are trying to get Rob to see what he is doing that you don't like, aren't you also trying to control him?"
"Oh ... Oh, I never thought of it that way. I just thought that if I could get him to see that he is blaming me, maybe he would stop and deal with himself."
"But aren't you blaming him for blaming you?
"Yes, I guess I am! So when he says I am trying to control him, he's right?"
"Yes! Anytime you blame someone for your feelings, you are trying to control them. The two of you just do it differently. He does it with his anger and meanness, while you do it with your logic and explanations. He gets angry at your debating, and you debate when he gets angry. It is a circle between you — each of you reacting to the other with your own ways of trying to control."
"Yes, but he …"
"Lillian, you are about to do it again. You want to complain about him rather than look at what you are doing and what you need to do differently to take loving care of your own feelings. Your eyes are constantly on him — on how he feels and how he acts and what he needs to do differently. Because he is the angry one, he seems to be the perpetrator and you seem to be the victim. But he could just as easily claim that you are the perpetrator with your constant nagging at him, which he feels victimized by." Keep reading ...
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