It’s easy to believe it’s our partner’s fault when we feel unhappy, especially when we can link our feelings to something they’ve said or done. It seems as though we felt good until our partner did what they did and that’s when we seemed to feel bad. Obviously, it was their fault.
There are two problems that arise when we do this. First, it makes us feel like we’ve been wronged. We take on a victim role and start to focus on more things that make us feel bad. The more we look for evidence that we’ve been wronged, the more we find it and we start to really feel like they’ve done something to us. This makes it difficult for us to see evidence of all the loving and positive things and we start to become more and more upset with them. We create feelings of unhappiness and negative feelings in the relationship.
The second problem is that we are looking at something we cannot change. We cannot change our partner (though we often try through means of manipulation, guilt, silent treatments and anger). And we either wear them down and feel victorious or we don’t and we feel worse than ever.
Even if all the evidence points to our partner being at fault for our feeling bad, that is not really where the bad feelings started. If we think it’s about our partner, we don’t explore ourselves and discover that we’ve had some of those feelings before whatever it was they did. We tend to have negative thoughts and feel bad about ourselves without even realizing we’re doing it. We’ve become so accustomed to it and don’t notice until it starts to feel more uncomfortable. When our partner does something we don’t like, it highlights these feelings and those feelings suddenly become noticeable.
As easy as it is to blame our partner, it always has more to do with us than it does with them. Looking within is always the answer. Looking within is always the way to feel happier in our relationships and in our lives.