Abusive Relationship Signs and Help
The Truth About the Blame Game
by Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.
Why do victims assume responsibility for their partner’s actions, feelings and thoughts? Here’s why: they are conditioned to do so. And here is what you must do to break the cycle of the blame game in an abusive relationship.
It’s All Your Fault
They are conditioned to believe that they caused their partner’s actions. It is what they did that led their partner to do such and such.
Abusive partners are notorious for inspiring you to step up to the plate and suck in all the blame. They need you to believe that you led them to feel whatever they felt that accompanied the altercation you just experienced.
They have convinced themselves that you are the cause of their rage, along with any and all behavior associated with it. And then in the deep crevasses of their distorted thinking is the belief that you, too, are responsible for their thoughts.
It may even sound as absurd as this... “If you hadn’t done such and such, then I would not be thinking ABC, which caused me to feel XYZ and, of course, would result in any ‘normal person’ doing what I have done.”
The Blame Game in Abusive Relationships
As long as they can hold you responsible for their behavior, feelings and thinking, they don’t have any responsibility. You heard me. They have no responsibility, nor ownership of their experience...and consequently will not be held accountable for their actions, emotions and thoughts.
This aids them in their being “your victim.” You see...because you “make” them do it, say it...feel it…think it… You get the drift.
Now take this further. Your partner can’t be expected to change what they claim they do not control. Right? So this, then, makes change and abuse prevention “your responsibility,” too. Because naturally—so they think and want you to believe—“If you don’t ABC, then they won’t XYZ.
Fundamentally what this means is that your controlling partner has given you control...in the form of blame. And the two of you pass it back and forth like a hot potato.
Responsibility Is the Hot Potato in Abusive Relationships
If you are conditioned to believe that you have the power to control your abusive partner’s thoughts, feelings and actions, then you live in the shoes that walk on egg-shells day in and day out.
I have seen survivor after survivor worked up into utter fear over how their partners are doing such and such because of something they said or did... And the partner reinforces this faulty thinking by continuing to hand over the “hot potato” of responsibility.
Ownership, Accountability and Change in Abusive Relationships
When you awaken to the reality that you are only responsible for your own thoughts, feelings and actions, you step out of the blame game. And from here, there remains only one person—your partner—left to recognize their accountability for their own experience.
This fundamental shift is a cornerstone of effective domestic abuse therapy. If you and your partner are caught in the cycle of the blame game, seek to embrace personal accountability for one’s own thoughts, feelings and actions. The sooner you do, the sooner you will interrupt the abuse dynamics that bind abusive relationships.
For more information about abusive relationship help , visit www.preventabusiverelationships.com/spousal_abuse_tx.php and claim your Free Instant Access to Survivor Success eInsights. Psychologist Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps individuals and couples nationwide end and heal from domestic abuse. © Jeanne King, Ph.D. — Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention
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Dr. Jeanne King is a licensed psychologist and domestic abuse consultant. Feel free to contact us if you need help with physical and/or emotional pain, stress-related illnesses, or relationship abuse issues at home or in court. Contact Us to reach Dr. King.