10 signs your partner is a major guilt-tripper, according to psychology

I hate the saying, “Love is blind”. But over the years, I’ve sadly learned that it’s very true!

When you love someone, or you’re falling in love, it’s easy to look past their flaws.

But guilt-tripping isn’t just a flaw – it’s a toxic behavior that can deeply impact you and your self-esteem (and not in a good way!).

If your partner is a guilt-tripper, you probably have a feeling that something isn’t right with the way things work out.

To know for sure if their behavior is toxic, here are 10 signs your partner is guilt-tripping you way too often, backed by psychology.

1) They always get their own way

First up, the most obvious sign your partner guilt trips you is if they always get their own way!

There shouldn’t be a scoreboard in relationships (more on this later). Things should feel equal between two people, with both doing things they want to do sometimes.

But what happens in your relationship? Is it their way or the highway?

Do you have to go their route to work or dine in the restaurant they want to go to instead of yours? Do you only see your friends on their terms? Do you only spend your weekends or vacations the way they want to?

If so, your partner might be guilt-tripping you into doing what they want all the time, instead of what you want…

2) They act out when you do something they don’t want

Does your partner dislike certain things you do or want to do? How do they react when you go ahead and do them anyway?

In my opinion, there shouldn’t be many things your partner vetos. It wouldn’t be fair of me to say my partner can’t go golf because I “just don’t want him to”…

But experts say it’s healthy to have some boundaries with your partner. Like if they don’t want you traveling home from a club late at night by yourself.

A healthy way to respond is to agree that you’ll call them the entire journey home.

When your partner is a guilt-tripper, they won’t have such a healthy conversation with you. They might act out instead, telling you they’re going to drive without their seatbelt on if you’re going to travel home late by yourself.

3) They give you the silent treatment

This is probably the worst thing your partner can ever do to you!

Experts say that stonewalling a partner (i.e., ignoring them or refusing to answer their questions) can be extremely harmful to their self-esteem and even their physical health.

Some people go quiet when they’re thinking or trying to calm down after being triggered. This is different from giving the silent treatment – as it isn’t intentionally done to hurt the other person.

Yet when your partner is guilt-tripping you, they’ll go quiet to make you feel bad for something you’ve said or done.

Like if you booked a coffee date with your friend. When you tell your partner, they refuse to talk to you. They won’t tell you what’s wrong, they’ll just stay intentionally quiet to make you feel bad for going out with your friend.

4) They throw past favors in your face

Doing something nice for your partner should be an enjoyable experience. You do it because you want to do it.

In a relationship, it’s normal – in fact, healthy! – to do favors for your partner and receive them in return.

What isn’t healthy is when a past favor is thrown in your face when you can’t do something for them.

Like if your partner needs a ride to the airport, but you’ve already agreed to take your mom to her hospital appointment at the same time.

If they get angry and say they can’t believe you won’t do it for them when they did it for you, this isn’t fair. It’s guilt-tripping behavior.

This can leave you walking on eggshells around your partner and feeling indebted for just being with them.

5) They blame you for their wrongdoings

To figure out if your partner guilt-trips you, pay attention to how they react when you’re hurt by something.

If you talk it out, apologize, and move on, this is healthy. But if they try to blame you for all their wrongdoings, this isn’t!

When your partner is guilt-tripping you, they might say things like:

  • “I only did it because you did [that]!”
  • “It’s all your fault”
  • “I did it for you”
  • “You’re just sensitive/paranoid/crazy”

pic1504 10 signs your partner is a major guilt-tripper, according to psychology

6) You end up apologizing after they’ve hurt you

What else happens when you’re hurt by something they’ve done? Do you get an apology from them? Or do you end up apologizing to them?

Some people get upset after being called out on their poor behavior. They feel rejected and they might cry or feel down.

But even so, they should still apologize for their wrongdoings so you can both move on. Yet a guilt-tripper won’t do this.

To hide their feelings of shame and rejection, they’ll get defensive or act upset – so you end up apologizing to them instead!

They might say something like, “I can’t believe you’re telling me this after everything I’ve been through”.

Or worse, they’ll bring up your past “mistakes” or ways you’ve hurt them to shift the conversation onto your wrongdoings instead of theirs.

7) They don’t support you

Another sign you’re partner guilt trips you is if they don’t support you. This might not seem like guilt-tripping behavior, but it is!

What happens when you tell them you want to go for the promotion at work? Or when you share the news that you’re signing up for a new gym?

Do they support you? Or do they make you feel bad about doing these things?

If your partner guilt trips you, they’ll say they can’t believe you signed up to a gym without them. Or worse, that they can’t believe you’re more focused on your health instead of theirs!

They might make your promotion (i.e., your good news) all about them. Like how badly it’ll impact them if you earn more than them or if your job is “better” than theirs.

8) They get jealous of you

I never realized this was a guilt-tripping behavior until a therapist pointed it out to me one day! Someone I dated used to get jealous of all kinds of things I did.

Over time, I stopped certain hobbies, started new ones, and even changed my mind about certain things because of it.

Experts say there’s healthy jealousy in a relationship and unhealthy jealousy. When someone uses their jealousy to get you to do what they want, this isn’t healthy.

9) They claim you “owe” them

Favors should be reciprocated to avoid getting into a one-sided relationship. But there shouldn’t be a scoreboard of who does what.

When your partner starts keeping score and says you “owe them” (and they aren’t joking!), this is a guilt trip – there’s no doubt about it.

Like we said earlier, it’s healthy to do things for your partner and you should do it because you want to, not to get something in return.

10) They withhold affection to get what they want

The final sign to watch out for that your partner is guilt-tripping you is if they withhold their normal physical affection to get what they want!

Like if they refuse to hug or kiss you if you’re doing something they don’t like. Or worse, they refuse to be intimate with you – purely because they aren’t getting their own way.

Experts say that partners who talk things through, rather than withdraw like this, tend to experience a happier, healthier relationship.

Final thoughts

Any and every issue in a relationship should be talked through if you want to resolve it. That’s easier said than done though, and talking things out takes a lot of practice.

If your partner guilt-trips you all the time, they might not realize they’re doing it. Or they might not realize the negative impact it’s having on you.

So it’s worth finding a moment to talk it out to see if you can move past it.

But if your partner continuously does these things, refuses to acknowledge their behavior, and never changes (despite you trying your best to communicate and be fair), this is a big problem.

I’m not saying you should throw in the towel now, but it’s worth considering where or when you’re going to draw the line on their constant toxic behavior…

Amy Reed

Amy Reed

Amy Reed is a content writer from London working with international brands. As an empath, she loves sharing her life insights to help others. When she’s not writing, she enjoys a simple life of reading, gardening, and making a fuss over her two cats.

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