Mandy Kloppers

It’s all my fault


my fault
Depressed woman in pajamas sitting in bed

It’s all my fault

When relationships go wrong or go through a bad patch, it’s quite normal, and even healthy, to look at our own behaviour to see if we have contributed in some negative way. People who never see any fault in their own behaviour or continually blame others can cause just as much harm and damage as people who take all the blame for their relationship woes upon themselves.

Women especially, although men act this way too but to a lesser degree, tend to place the blame upon themselves and try to work even harder to fix a relationship or change their behaviour to try meet their partner’s needs. Women often tend to think that when things go wrong it is their fault. I have come across many women in relationships, whom despite being in pretty awful situations with men who are disrespectful, selfish and critical, still look for all the good qualities in their male partners, justifying to themselves why they put up with the bad behaviour that ultimately leaves them miserable and lacking in self esteem and confidence. Always trying to make something work that maybe just shouldn’t be working or never will really work correctly.

Women are given a greater degree of responsibility in society to be the peace makers and the mediators and this often carries over into interpersonal romantic relationships. Smart women are sometimes conditioned to make foolish choices in order to please and to live up to expectation of having a relationship at the expense of their own self worth and pride.

Women who try too hard and who ignore the glaring signs of a commitment phobic man or a man who only gives out the minimum will, ironically, end up attracting those types of partners. (this works the other way round too – men who are too needy and willing to make things work in the face of huge adversity and obvious negatives).

How to avoid ending up believing it’s all your fault:

  1. Have clear boundaries

Know what you will and won’t accept in a relationship. The odd transgression can be overlooked but a systematic pattern of abuse or selfish, rude behaviour needs to be seriously looked at. It generally doesn’t improve over time.

2. Learn to say “no”

Stop the people pleasing and learn to honour your own wishes in the relationship. Begin as you wish to continue. If asking for what you truly want and expressing your individuality turns him/her off then that is a good indicator of where the relationship will head in the future anyhow.

3. Keep your friends

Keep your good friends around you and see them regularly. Don’t be one of those people that disappears the moment you are in a relationship. Sure -you may see your friends less but keep them close!

4.Find many sources of contentment/happiness – not just the relationship

One person alone cannot meet all your needs and if you believe this, you will surely end up disappointed. It’s not a realistic expectation. Socialise with others, have your own interests and take time out from the relationship now and then.

5.Remain equal in the relationship

Relationship dynamics do change and there will be times when you feel more in control and times when your partner is but if there is a constant inequality on the relationship – be careful. The happiest couples work to keep a healthy balance in terms of respect, compromise and communication.

Never assume that when things go wrong, you are fully to blame. Life is never that clear cut. Speak to others, make sure you have perspective. Abuse and misery can become ‘normal’ in a relationship if it carries on for a while and remains unchecked. Don’t let that happen to you. Listen to your instinct and inner wisdom.

Mandy X