What To Do When Your Partner Shifts The Blame Every Time You Disagree

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Woman looks at arrogant man in disbelief

How long does it take to realize that your partner is never going to accept responsibility for making a mistake? 

For whatever reason, your partner has decided (probably a long time ago) that it is important to always have the right answer, be the good boy or girl, and never be seen as having done anything wrong. Therefore, he has developed a deflective maneuver to always try to look guiltless, even when it doesn’t work.

When your partner always has to be right 

He or she lives in fear of being found out to be wrong (or bad). 

More than likely, he was raised with a punitive parent who was physically or verbally abusive if they didn’t measure up according to their perception; i.e. have the right answer, always have the chores done, get great grades in school, look good no matter what, etc.

The quicker you can figure out how to communicate and get to that discovery, the sooner you can strategize a way to get along and enjoy the relationship.

In the meantime, here are some things you can do to make your life easier.

RELATED: 8 Communication Skills That All Happily Married Couples Know

Start with communication

The first thing is to do is accept the above truth so that you are now able to develop communication skills that can reach your partner. Of course, these skills will work well in all challenging situations, so cultivating them as a self-development exercise rather than doing this strictly to strengthen your relationship might serve you well. 

When talking to this person, do not use the word "you." That's because “you” is interpreted by the other as someone pointing the figure at him and saying, "You did something wrong." Thus, he immediately converts to feeling guilty and deflects judgment. 

His thought: “It is my fault; I am guilty, I did something wrong.” And, because doing something wrong is unconscionable, he must shift the blame to you. This behavior is predictable once you understand his backstory. 

RELATED: If You Notice These 5 Habits In Your Relationship, Your Communication Skills Need Serious Work

Make it about yourself

Thus, you approach a subject from “I". I am having a problem. I need help.

Example: When I am watching a television show and the channel is suddenly changed in the middle of the story, I feel sad, dismissed, and unimportant. What I would like is that if you inform me if you want to switch to another channel, and we can come up with a strategy or solution.

If the problem is, for example, that the invoice or bill he or she was supposed to pay wasn’t paid and you would like to know what to make of that, the approach would be. “I am confused. I thought the plan was to pay the XYZ bill last week. But for some reason, it didn’t show up on the bank statement. Can you check that and see what happened?”

It won’t hurt you to always assume the best about your partner. 

That is, unless and until he or she makes it clear that he or she is not that person.

The second approach is to take over the planning yourself.  Example: One woman got tired of being rejected when she asked her husband to plan an evening at the theater (or whatever) with her and she resorted to setting up her own theater outings, adventure trips, you name it, and then she invited him to come along if he wanted to. 

This was her way to get to do some of the things she enjoyed and not feel rejected or resentful when he wouldn’t create a plan with her. And by the way, she had friends she could invite if he said “no.”

The bottom line in managing situations where your partner deflects or shifts blame is to remember these four techniques:

  1. Manage your own emotions.
  2. Don’t blame, discuss.
  3. Create your own scenarios.
  4. Invite him to join in!

RELATED: The Secret Way Some Women Turn Casual Conversations Into Deep, Unconditional Love

Jean Walters is an international best-selling author and transformational coach. Her specialty is personal and spiritual empowerment.

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