Blame Game

Would someone please explain the blame game and what's behind it.  We are trying to work through things one piece at a time but I still don't get what's going through his head when he blames me for things that defy logic or reality.  It's like he re-creates history and actually believes it.  I don't understand the need for it and I don't understand if in his mind he truly believes the new improved version.  A friend's ADD daughter does the same thing and sometimes just makes her mother's jaw drop it's so incredulous.

HATE the blame game!! It goes

HATE the blame game!!

It goes something like this:

HIM: I behave badly because you ___________. (nag, are angry, try to control me, are a b!tch, etc)

HER: I nag/control/b!tch/am angry because you ___________. (insert various hurtful/destructive behaviors)

I have found that one of the most important parts of keeping the blame game alive is believing that you are, in fact, responsible for the other person's behavior...OR believing that the other person is responsible for yours.

You cannot make him stop blaming you...but you can A) stop blaming him ..if you're angry and controlling like many of us non's are...for your behaviors and B) stop letting him blame you/taking the blame.

"No matter what I do, you are responsible for your own choices and behaviors"

"I refuse to accept the responsibility for what you have was your choice and your behavior"

"I am sorry that you feel things happened in that way, I respectfully completely disagree. We will have to agree to disagree" This doesn't get us the acknowledgement that we are being falsely blamed for something we didn't do/say, but it does at least let them know that we are NOT accepting their deflection of blame and takes a lot of the fuel from their fire. Part of the fun/thrill/stimulation is to make the spouse feel as horrible about ourselves as they do.

...and be prepared to walk away from the conversation because when the time comes that blame is being deflected/no personal responsibility is being taken for actions then things have gone too far and they have shut down. (this happens to us non's as get so far caught up in the battle that all you're doing is treading water).

I have been through this blame game...and it is the sole reason I stopped going to counseling with my husband. I literally could puke at the thoughts of sitting in one more session with him taking no responsibility for his untreated ADHD. It has gotten a LOT better at home...because I just simply refuse to take the blame and drop the subject or walk away. He recently asked me to go with him to see his doctor...and when I did I was honest about what I was seeing, what had been going on. He accused me later of "manipulating" the doctor. I stopped him immediately and said "I did nothing but speak the truth. I was completely honest with him. Tell me one thing I said that was not true" and he couldn't, of course. I said "you are wrong. I did nothing wrong. I was honest and he came to his own conclusions" Very short, very concise, and although he never said "sorry, I was wrong" he did drop the subject and I know he "heard" me. I think he is slooooooooooooowly starting to see just exactly how his ADHD affects his perceptions. I am trying to show him when I get good opportunities...but I am trying to be nice about it. My goal isn't to make him feel bad about himself, but to make him understand that he makes a LOT of accusations against me (and others) that are very unfair and untrue. What I worry the most about are the ones that aren't spoken...the things that he may feel or think about me that he doesn't express. He has many times worked himself up to the point that he is convinced that I am the sole cause of everything wrong in his life...and the results are devastating.




Chit I was just typing and somehow managed to lose the page...start again.

Thanks Sherri for your response. 

So far I've been trying to deal with it as a boundary..."Stop, do not blame me.  This is what actually happened" and ending the discussion by changing topics or walking away.  I couldn't let him get rolling on it or it would take on a life of it's own and would, as you infer, start doing real damage.  One thing lead to another thing, lead to another thing. I too worried that just ending the conversation wasn't fixing the problem and that his own unspoken thoughts are damaging. 

It hadn't occurred to me that he might be trying to make me feel as bad as he did about himself.   He is very, very responsive to positive feedback and you've opened the door for me to try another tack.

I love him for the effort he's putting into fixing the issues between us especially when it's not easy.  He absolutely can't survive in an environment of discord and neither, for that matter, can I.  We are making really big progress but for now it's taking constant thought.  For my part I have to understand that sometimes the blame actually is mine.  Whether I agree or not his perception of our interaction is just as valid.  When I'm focussed on something I do have trouble splitting my attention and will be short with him if he is interrupting.  Being as sensitive as he is, he just can't take it.  Perhaps he is feeling judged and self-critical.   It's the times he's re-writing history, twisting the facts or blowing things out of proportion that were/are throwing me.

The biggest thing that is helping us right now is coming to the understanding that a bad day doesn't mean a bad relationship and just because we run smack into something doesn't mean I don't love him, or that he's less than or we won't have a happy future.  It just means we had a bad day.