Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Breaking the Cycle of Anger and Blame in Partnerships

“I’m unhappy and it’s all their fault.” 

When our partner wounds us, we feel angry, upset, and misunderstood. The bigger the hurt, the more we see ourselves as a victim. And the greater the odds we’ll lose our relationship.

Because rather than being a good teammate and supporting our companion, we’re too busy wallowing in our own pity or self-righteousness. 

To keep our relationship from falling apart, we can’t allow ourselves to become a martyr. Instead, we need to take responsibility for the problems that we helped create.

And that starts with changing the story behind our pain.

We’re not just innocent bystanders who intentionally get picked on by our partners. We’re both imperfect, adult people who’ve been shaped by a world that consistently harms and disappoints everyone.

Yes, our partners bruised us a little. And yes, they could probably be a bit better at taking care of our feelings. But would we really be feeling so wronged and righteously angry at our special person if we were more content with our lives and aware of our own flaws?

When our spirits are low and our egos big, it’s natural to go apeshit when our partner lets us down.

Anger feels so much better than being vulnerable. Asking for kindness often feels too difficult when we’re exposed and weak. We’d rather empower ourselves by screaming and yelling. It gives us a sense of strength that conveniently pushes the hurt away.

Little do we understand, however, that anger also pushes away the people we love the most.

Expressing anything other than fury will already be better for our relationships. Not just because it gives our mate less reason to lash back at us, but because it’ll be closer to the truth.

We’re not really angry that our partner hurt us. We’re afraid that we might be with the wrong person or that we’re not even worthy of love at all.

Giving them even a glance at the truth will already improve our relationships. It’ll motivate our beloved to be more helpful, patient, and caring. Anger only inspires them to reply in kind.

So try your best to share what underlies your rage and how much you need them.

It’ll make reconciliation much more likely. 

And please remember, occasional door-slamming and name-calling is normal in even the most healthy relationships. Sharing the mad, barbaric parts of ourselves is a weirdly romantic gesture that we only reserve for our most intimate friend.

So when we catch ourselves blaming our partner for everything, we should ask ourselves: 

“Are they making our lives more miserable than to be expected? Or is it about the same as every other couple in the world?”

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach