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Dear Stavroula

Ask Stavroula: My Husband Blames Me for Things that Are Not My Fault

September 25, 2022

Dear Stavroula,

I have been married for a year and we just had our baby. My husband is a very good guy and I have no complaints about the way he takes care of me and our son. What worries me is that he often has some outbursts that I can’t interpret. Then he becomes very unfair and cruel. These mostly have to do with my interactions with other men. For example, when I am with him I dare not speak to an acquaintance on the street, nor smile at a person. His behavior changes suddenly – he doesn’t talk to me and many times at home he makes incredible scenes where he accuses me of flirting with everyone, saying that I haven’t realized that I’m married with a child, and stuff like that. I try to figure out what I’ve done wrong and explain to him that I have no intention of flirting with anyone, but the times he’s like that he doesn’t listen.

The situation calms down relatively quickly, but I am very hurt by this whole thing. I feel like it’s very unfair, because I really don’t look at other men. Even if he apologizes for his behavior, he blames it on me, that I caused it with my behavior, adding that he reacts this way because he loves me and wants to protect our marriage. He insists that in the end nothing happened except a fight we had. All this makes me feel a lot of pressure. I’ve started hoping that I don’t meet any acquaintances on the street when we go out together.

I am very much in love with him and when we are good I feel blessed to have found my man. How can we overcome this problem?

Demetra

 

Dear Demetra,

There are various forms of manipulation, some of which are easy to recognize, while others are well-hidden behind words and even expressions of love. One of these is the attempt by one to make the other question their behavior, motives, or even their very reality by accusing them of things they did not do, say, or think. The recipient of this behavior feels confused, tries to understand what he did wrong, and often prefers to put the burden on himself, especially if he grew up with critical parents and feels familiar with this type of behavior.

Unfortunately, one cannot easily recognize this kind of behavior in one’s partner. And this is because many times it happens gradually and in minor incidents. However, along the way the situation can become complicated and dangerous, especially if these behaviors are stable and continuous. The perpetrator tends to question more and more the reliability of his partner, and the recipient cannot understand what is happening and begins to doubt even the way he perceives things.

“I didn’t say such a thing, you’re losing your mind” or “Well, what did I do to you that was so serious that you reacted like this” or “you seem sensitive” or “don’t you always do that?” are phrases that may hide a manipulative mood.

Perhaps something similar is happening in your case. The first thing that might help is to seek the help of a mental health professional. He will be able to help you understand what exactly is going on and how you can deal with it, perhaps together with your partner. This is probably the safest way to save your marriage.

It is also very important to stick to your own truth and not allow it to be questioned. Try to calmly explain your position to your partner and the reasons why you do not accept him questioning your reliability.

Don’t isolate yourself or adapt to your partner’s demands. Keep seeing your friends and your loved ones. Talk to people you trust about this particular problem or anything else in your partner’s behavior that worries you. The perspective of someone outside of the situation that is troubling you can help you see things more clearly.

Finally, trust your inner voice and your feelings. Love is not love if one cannot feel it as love. If a partner causes fear, anxiety, concern, maybe this is a sign that something is not right. In this case, it is very important to understand the situation early and find a solution.

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