My husband never takes responsibility and blames me for everything – it’s making me lose respect for him.

Hi Evie, in all the years I’ve been with my partner, he’s never really taken responsibility for his role in our issues. If I call him out for snapping at me, he’ll somehow turn it into my fault. If he messes up with something (like forgetting to pay a bill), he’ll still somehow blame it on me – the most common thing he says is, “You should have reminded me.” The first couple of years I kind of brushed it off because I’m not a very confrontational person. But now it’s getting on my nerves. We’re both adults and I don’t feel I should be responsible for everything while he never thinks about his own actions and how they affect me. It’s making me respect him less and less, and I’m finding myself detaching from the marriage. I do still love him and I don’t want to leave because he has other qualities that are amazing, but how can I make him see he needs to stop blaming me for everything that goes wrong? – Sienna, UK 

Dear Sienna, 

Losing respect for your husband in this case is completely understandable – you’re married and as adults, you expect your husband to take responsibility for his chores/tasks without needing reminders from you. In fact, this is something many women are turning to social media to talk about – the mental energy that’s spent on being the organized one, the one who remembers where things are in the house, who sees to the kids, who keeps the household running even while working, all while their male counterparts seem to take a back seat. 

But in your case, it’s not just that you’re left to pick up the bulk of the load, your husband actually refuses to take responsibility and then blames you. This is a recipe for disaster in a relationship so I’m glad you reached out. 

You mentioned that he’s been like this since the start…I understand your desire to avoid confrontation, but in doing so, you’ve given him the go-ahead to treat you this way. Now it’s time to set some boundaries and hold him accountable, I’m afraid it’s going to be tough (but not impossible). To start, you need to sit down and have a frank conversation about how his behavior is affecting you. 

Don’t do this during an argument but instead, find a calm and quiet moment where he’ll be more receptive to what you’re saying. Try to focus on using “I” statements which will avoid him feeling like he’s being attacked. I.e, “I feel hurt when I’m blamed for something that wasn’t my responsibility in the first place.”

But be firm and assertive. Ultimately, this comes down to his lack of self-development – he’s clearly not taking time to reflect on his behavior and therefore isn’t able to take responsibility for himself. It also hints at poor communication skills as he’s essentially deflecting problems rather than addressing them head-on.

Encourage him to start thinking about his role in situations and how it’s affecting the marriage. 

If he values the relationship and your respect, he’ll make the necessary changes and work on himself to become more aware and responsible. And if he doesn’t, well, he’s showing you that he’s not prioritizing the marriage as much as you need, and a bigger conversation will be needed regarding your future together. 

Wishing you all the best, 

Evie 

Do you have a question for Evie? If you would like advice from Evie, fill out the form here or send your problem to askevie@ideapod.com.

Ask Evie

Ask Evie

Evie is on a mission to revolutionize relationships and help you sort through your emotional woes. Her popular column helps readers break free from societal restraints and create empowering relationships - both with their inner selves and with those around them. With a wealth of experience in relationship counseling, backed by several professional certifications, she’s open-minded, big-hearted, and extremely compassionate… But she’ll also be completely honest in telling you the (sometimes) brutal truth, so you can get straight to the heart of the matter. Maybe you’re trying to save a marriage that currently feels like a sinking ship? Or worrying that your new friend isn’t quite as nice as they seem? Perhaps you’ve accidentally killed your partner’s goldfish and are weighing up the pros and cons of going to the pet store and finding a doppelganger, or fessing up? Whatever the dilemma, Evie’s at the ready to help sort through the emotional turmoil and guide you towards the next best step. To get in touch with Evie, click here.

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