Dealing with blame and guilt


#1

In our marriage lately, issues have arisen that have gotten bigger and bigger. It’s hard to explain briefly, but the upshot is that I have not always communicated well, and when I don’t tell my husband everything or ask permission, he speculates bad things that are way beyond anything I could imagine, let alone do. So, while I am not guilty of what he is accusing me of, I am guilty of the cause of the speculations. When our sons (now grown) were grade-school age, I would spoil them a bit too much, stopping occasionally on the way home from church to buy CDs or stuff they liked. Now they are spendy, and my husband is livid that I caused all of this by not listening to him years ago. There is truth in what he says, and I admit it, but then the guilt weighs on me so heavy that I fight back or leave or do something irrational. He says that everyone has a way of dealing with guilt. I personally have never seen anyone up close that had a good way of dealing with it. When someone blames you for something that has some part of truth but you weren’t doing exactly that or didn’t intend to hurt anyone or cause any problem, how do you deal with that? I need really practical suggestions here, like what do you tell yourself in your mind to be able to accept the blame? Also, when he blames me, he often lays it on for several hours in a row. While I can handle it for a while, it gets overpowering. The more I just try to make it stop so I can think it through, the more he thinks I’m denying or escaping. It’s a vicious circle. Please make suggestions if you can.

Ruby


#2

Forgiveness.
Your husband needs to forgive you.
You also need to forgive yourself.

As a parent, even of grown children, you CAN still go back and correct those wrongdoings by talking to your sons. Talk to them. Explain that you think how you handled things was wrong in the past. Suggest that they consider your ideas in light of their current spending habits. Ask for their forgiveness on your poor example when they were young. Say it only once. :wink:

Then move forward - don’t look back.

That’s the best you can do! :slight_smile:


#3

I wouldn’t put up with this behavior for a minute, let alone several hours! Your husband is being emotionally abusive. I don’t know if you realize that.
When he gets into a state, leave the house and tell him you will return when he calms down.
You should not allow this type of abuse.


#4

Agreed… if your husband’s behavior continues after you’ve spoken to your sons and discussed how you were wrong in the past then it is abusive.


#5

I agree. This husband’s behavior is completely unacceptable.

RubyWannabe, please don’t take all of the blame, and you should not be subjected to hours of him laying it on. If you want to escape this vicious cycle, it would be a good idea to get some counseling.

You might want to check this out. I know that they don’t all apply, but I would bet that many do:

ndvh.org/is-this-abuse/am-i-being-abused-2/

Hopefully this is not overwhelming, but you need to know that no one should be held accountable to being perfect and then subjected to this treatment when they fail to please someone who wants to be totally in control the way that your husband wants to.


#6

I read through your other posts. It sounds like your husband is always suspicious that you are cheating on him, never accepts sorry, never accepts that you love or appreciate him. You have been on here non-stop looking for ways to show him that you love him, yet it sounds like he rejects all of them. Have you ever felt like he was happy with you or have you been walking on eggshells for your entire marriage?


#7

I would suggest you look for a Retrouvaille retreat and make one soon!


#8

Dulcissima,
Thanks for your posting. I recognized your name, too! Yes, there have been happy moments (and for a while, several years) in our marriage. If everything were always this untenable, I would likely have heeded the others’ recommendations.

A few things I didn’t mention - because I’m not asking what I should do about HIS behavior - I’m asking about how to handle the blame graciously. He was recently disabled and is struggling with how to deal with that. It is very hard, and I do believe that he will get through the struggles - though the disability is permanent. I don’t want to walk out. I want to stay with him and show him the support that Mary or Sarah or any other Biblical women would have shown to their husbands.


#9

This is a great idea to talk to my children in this way. I will do that - if not immediately, then at our next family get-together.


#10

For me, it depends on what I’m being blamed for, but now that I think about it, it’s nothing that cannot be corrected, so I usually try to do something about what went “wrong,” if it can even be called that. Also, sometimes when I look at one of those situations, I’m not totally to blame, if at all.

Communication is hard. And my DH would go bonkers if I told him everything. He’s a “give me the highlights” kinda guy.

My parents did not have much money, so we rarely got anything extra. Therefore, once I got to where I was making money, I became “spendy,” so who knows what would have happened if you had NOT spent money on your children.

Please remember that your DH also took part in raising your sons, so you have to ask yourself, “Why am I being blamed for everything that supposedly went wrong?” And surely, there are MANY ways that your sons have done well. None of us is perfect, and your sons are no exception. As someone else said, forgive yourself. I know it’s hard to do, but try it, because what you did was not intentional. Sometimes we just don’t know or realize that there are any consequences to actions/inactions.

Also, my DH has a disability, although he’s not disabled (if that makes sense). He is so impatient many times, and I know it’s the pain and aggravation talking, because when he’s having a good day, he’s loving, sweet, etc. But when it gets too much for me to handle, I have to set him straight, because he doesn’t realize he’s doing it.

I don’t know how often you get together with your children, but if it’s mainly holidays, don’t wait until then to talk to them about this. You don’t want to spoil the holiday and then get blamed for that. sigh

Don’t forget to pray.


#11

You guys should try marriage counceling. It sounds like his disability has caused him to be depressed and he is taking it out on you. Go by yourself, it he refuses to go with you.


#12

Well, it sounds like you have the answer here. His blaming of you isn’t exactly reasonable. You said it has some parts of truth to it, but it’s something from the past, he certainly doesn’t need to be berating you for hours about it, and you mentioned that this has become a problem since his disability/resultant depression. So, that’s how I would deal with it…I’d try to remember this whenever he starts in. He’s not being rational, he’s depressed, etc. In short it doesn’t sound like you need to deal with the blame and guilt anymore; it’s his behavior that you need to deal with.

And you’re trying…instead of insulting him even on this thread you’re trying to be sympathetic and trying to honor and support him. That, more than defending yourself, seems to be at the forefront of your heart. Others won’t agree, but I think it’s an admirable attitude. :slight_smile:


#13

QUOTE=Em_in_FL;5771910

Quote
Ask for their forgiveness on your poor example when they were young. Say it only once:–


#14

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.