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How to deal with blamers

(36 Posts)
cheersfrasier Thu 11-Jun-15 01:14:24

DH has a horrible habit of needing to find someone to blame for every bad thing that happens. It has become a lot worse as he's got older and he has had less patience with delays, mishaps and other people.

I have actually seen him take events that have happened and I have watched his mind searching for someone to blame and actually retrospectively shifting responsibility to them. I find it highly disturbing. Obviously, I am a common blame target because I spend most of my time with him and we naturally do a lot together. I never stand for it, of course, and it causes huge arguments between us.

Blaming is completely not part of my culture as a human being. I believe that people make mistakes, there are accidents and coincidences, some people are naive and don't pay attention, and some things are just bad timing.

The latest in a line of incidents is that DH was supposed to meet a client yesterday at 3pm. He hadn't told me this, and was instead wondering around the house at 2.50pm looking for keys and various paraphernalia. As he was wondering round I asked him if I needed to book a baby-sitter for tomorrow (today) and if so, how long for etc. He seemed a bit frustrated I was asking him and kept saying "whatever you think, whatever you think," shutting me down.

I bid him goodbye, he left and the next thing I hear is that DH was late and the client had left by the time DH got there, thus losing DH the business. I then get a torrent of texts, basically blaming me for delaying him going out of the door! Connecting my asking a question about the babysitter to him losing this business!

I said I had no idea he was meeting a client, and if I had known, I would never delay him. But aside from that, it was absolutely not my fault that he missed out on this business.

He said "I know you didn't have a bad intention, but what you did led to us ultimately losing money for our family."

I find it completely preposterous that this should be labelled as my fault. Obviously, I am NBU?

It also frightens me that in the future he could potentially reserve the right to accuse me of anything and make connections out of thin air: "You're neglecting our children because you are one minute late to the school gate."

He makes me feel like I have to keep some kind of paper trail of our relationship every second, in order to prove my innocence.

Obviously this does not happen frequently enough for me to LTB. And he does not have other traits or red flags in his behaviour.

How do I address this? How do I explain the unfairness of it all to him? What do I say?

AcrossthePond55 Thu 11-Jun-15 03:05:08

You are absolutely NBU!!

My DH has a bit of form for this. As with you, it's more an annoyance than LTB territory. And as with you, it's not always me, sometimes it's something on the news or something with people we know and he 'decides' whose fault it was regardless of the fact that it was an accident or unforeseeable. He got this directly from his mother and her family. They were constantly saying 'Well, it's XXX's own fault' or 'XXX should have known better'. In connection with another issue, we had counseling years ago and it was 'dealt with' but I've noticed a bit of it creeping back in. Time for a tune up, I think.

You can choose to roll your eyes and just think 'whatever', make snarky comments about also being responsible for global warming and whatever-natural-disaster-is-going-on, too (that's what I did but I don't really recommend it although it made me feel better), or tell him you're sick of the 'blame game' and it needs to stop. Oh, and remember you don't have to justify yourself to him, that only feeds the beast.

goddessofsmallthings Thu 11-Jun-15 04:05:47

It appears his attitude has become so entrenched that pointing out the error of his ways until you're blue in the face is unlikely to cause him to make any alteration to his long-held belief that he shouldn't be held responsible for his own actions.

Without some form of behaviour modification therapy he's destined to become a Victor Meldrew character having some amusement value for those who don't have to live with him, but he's setting a dangerous precedent for your dc as he cannot in all conscience hold them responsible for their behaviour when he refuses to accept responsibility for his.

Atenco Thu 11-Jun-15 05:10:45

Well there are two types of blamers, IMHO, some who won't let an accident go past without having to fasten the blame on someone, and the others who never recognise there own contribution to their own problems. I hate the both of them, but we all have to fight against the second type in ourselves, IMHO. Alcoholics Anonymous does a lot of work on this second type of blaming, but from my experience, it is a problem that we all have to a greater or lesser extent.

Personally I could not stand to be with that type of person unless they were capable of recognising this fault and wanted to change it. No wonder he arrived late as when you blame others you miss out on the chance of changing how you do things yourself.

Handywoman Thu 11-Jun-15 08:03:46

Do you have children with this child man?

If not, please do NOT reproduce with him. It won't end well.

This kind of thing could really erode the love.

I couldn't live with someone like this.

Only1scoop Thu 11-Jun-15 08:08:14

Yanbu Dp does this but not cruelly directed at me as in your Op.

He cuts someone up at an island....it's their fault. Toddler walked out of sight and he momentarily lost her. Her fault hmm

I've started to pull him up every time he does it as I literally cannot stand it. He also struggles to laugh at himself.

I don't think you are over reacting Op and I would let him know exactly why.

NickiFury Thu 11-Jun-15 08:35:55

You should get "Why does he do that?" By Lundy Bancroft. There's a very enlightening chapter on "Blamers" in there. Changed my life.

SabrinnaOfDystopia Thu 11-Jun-15 10:44:55

My dh has a tendency to do this - although not in such a directly accusatory way as in your OP. I find it intensely annoying.

It has caused arguments in the past - and still does occasionally - but we've both mellowed over the years, and are a bit more understanding of each other. I'm more willing to ignore the subtle 'hints' he drops that something is my fault, when it totally isn't. hmm

Some examples of mine are outrageously petty- so much so that I can actually laugh out loud at it. I often say to him "it's always someone elses fault, isn't it?" which usually causes a bit of a bluster and then he backs down and chills out.

I would have dealt with the example in your OP with a breezy, light-toned "it's not my fault you were late for your client, darling" and left it at that. I find that it escalates into argument if I engage with him on the nitty gritty details of what happened, and start defending myself - so I don't. I just breeze off.

Tequilashotfor1 Thu 11-Jun-15 10:48:38

I would have text back "go fuck yourself - don't tell lies"

wingsflyby Thu 11-Jun-15 12:40:41

He sounds horrible, OP!

Nolim Thu 11-Jun-15 12:49:44

Omg this is horrible op.

wonderthunder Thu 11-Jun-15 14:37:19

Mr husband does this, cant remember if he was always like this (just never noticed) or it's something he has done since he got older.

Even if the error is his and the proof is right there he will still blame something/someone else. My children have also picked up on what he does and they get so frustrated. In fact my teenage DD struggles now to have any proper relationship with him because she get's so annoyed at him.

Some of the things he will blame others for are really petty. For example, he burnt his toast, it was my DD's fault because she didn't feed the rabbit the day before. I asked why was it DD's fault, he said because he was thinking that he should go and feed the rabbit as she hadn't!! DD was not at home by the way.

badbaldingballerina123 Thu 11-Jun-15 14:40:26

People like this BELIEVE that you are responsible for them and feel justified in openly blaming you or Gaslighting you. They will do anything to avoid responsibility. It's childish and abusive. Arguing with their warped beliefs is futile. It's not their fault and that's that.

I would call him on it every single time ie stop lying. I wouldn't discuss it beyond that.

Hoppinggreen Thu 11-Jun-15 14:40:28

My DH has a habit of doing this and I usually reply along the lines of
" if it's easier for you to blame your failures on someone else than face up to and learn from them then I'm happy to take total responsibility for this, I apologise unreservedly"

AcrossthePond55 Thu 11-Jun-15 15:00:00

I'm amazed at the number who have said their DH does this too! I thought DH was the only one!

Perhaps it also has something to do with the fact that some men (probably older men) feel they must always be 'right' as they are conditioned to be a 'protector' or 'head of the house' & so must always believe that their decisions are the 'right' ones. I think younger men (thinking under 40-ish) were mostly raised to think of their partners as perfectly capable of making the right decision.

Or maybe they're just idiots.

Ouchbloodyouch Thu 11-Jun-15 18:47:41

My ex is like this. A really nasty piece of work he is. He wouldn't pay child support. So I went to the csa who in turn investigated his tax (or lack of) he said that it was my fault he nearly lost the house. Because I rang the csa. Not because he witheld maintenance or tried to fiddle the tax office. All. My. Fault.
This is one of many examples. Twat
I'm so glad he's gone.

rumred Thu 11-Jun-15 18:52:07

Yuck. Who wants to be with such an unpleasant person? Really?

trackrBird Thu 11-Jun-15 19:24:56

Someone who blames others for everything, is someone who will never take responsibility for anything. And it's rarely their only negative trait.

It's tempting to suggest you answer 'No, that was entirely your own doing. Take responsibility for your own life.' It wouldn't go down well, in that form, but you do need some version of this.

Don't offer any form of apology, or even refer to any theoretical culpability on your part (eg I didn't know, I would never delay you, etc). You are aiming to calmly and assertively reject any attempt at blaming you. 'No. You did that: do not attempt to blame me.'

pocketsaviour Thu 11-Jun-15 19:29:03

I think this needs addressing smartly, TBH. How do you think he'd react if you suggested counselling? Has he ever admitted that he has this fault? Does it become worse at certain times, or is it pretty constant?

My dad was like this. He was a sociopath. "Now look what you've made me do!" was heard at least 5 times a day in our house. When he molested me, he blamed it on my mum for not putting out enough hmm

teatrailer Thu 11-Jun-15 19:43:34

I laughed so much at DH every time he did this that he hardly does it at all now, not even when he dropped his coffee in the car park today. I could see that he was struggling to find a reason why it might be my fault, but wisely didn't say a word.

My boss never accepted responsibility for a mistake ever, I think it made him look rather pathetic, which was not how he perceived himself at all.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Thu 11-Jun-15 19:54:39

Jesus, pocketsaviour.

My mantra is "your cock up is not my emergency". Especially when hit from behind by twats in company cars. The last one was fun: apparently I should have seen him coming and pulled into oncoming traffic. Yeah, right.

SabrinnaOfDystopia Thu 11-Jun-15 20:00:51

I laughed so much at DH every time he did this that he hardly does it at all now, not even when he dropped his coffee in the car park today. I could see that he was struggling to find a reason why it might be my fault, but wisely didn't say a word.

Yes! My experience exactly. I can see his mind actually ticking, doing the mental gymnastics to somehow make it my fault! Sometimes it's the children's fault too. I just give him the hmm look now.

Imbroglio Thu 11-Jun-15 21:41:37

I think you are right to be worried about this. As you say, what next?

lovespuds Thu 11-Jun-15 22:05:15

Yeah, my ex did this. I hated it. I found myself preparing arguments in my head when I thought I might be blamed for something.

In my ex's case, the blaming went hand in hand with other traits: anger, very "black or white" rigid thinking...

ArgentinianMalbec Thu 11-Jun-15 22:13:10

God, my DP does this! I've only just realised whilst reading this! confused No advice sorry OP, it's very annoying and I get what you mean about the paper trail.

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