My Husband Turns Everything Around On Me: Why Is It Always My Fault When We Argue

You have heard the expression "It takes two to tango." It usually refers to the idea that when something goes wrong in relationships, both parties are responsible. Too often when couples are in conflict, they tend to blame each other for their troubles. In doing so, they risk passing up learning something that will help them improve their relationship.

Blaming your spouse when you are in conflict is a normal, natural, knee-jerk reaction. Unfortunately, it is at best unhelpful and at worst destructive to your marriage. Your ego does not want to be wrong, so it protects itself. OK, that makes sense.

But does it help you get closer to your spouse? Probably not. Does it help you resolve the conflict? Definitely not, unless your spouse is the type to apologize instantly. Still, I can guarantee that if your spouse apologizes whether right or wrong, there is bound to be lots of resentment hidden beneath the surface.

What if you decided to do something radically different? What if, instead of automatically blaming your spouse, you looked at how you are contributing to the conflict? "But I am not," you say. OK, if you are convinced you are totally free of responsibility, stop reading now and keep doing what you are doing.

Oh. You're still here. Great! Here are some questions I want you to consider that can help you stop (or at least slow down) the blame game:

* What was happening right before we got into conflict?

* Is there a certain time of day in which we tend to get into conflict?

* Is this a pattern?

* Is there something I tend to say that sets off my spouse? (Trigger words, expressions, tone of voice, certain subjects)

* Am I really angry or is some other emotion coming through? (Fear is often expressed through anger)

* How am I contributing to the conflict?

* What might I do differently that could reduce the conflict?

* Am I willing to let this go?

Answer these questions based on a recent or recurrent conflict. You may be surprised at the answers you come up with. Of course, you may also find that you need some extra help. That is where Relationship Coaching comes in handy.

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Can you save your marriage from the divorce courts? It is possible, to fight fair in your relationship. Here are a few ground rules you can use. So next time you and your spouse quarrel, work with this. And you will win fair and square.

Keep Emotions in Check

When you quarrel avoid screaming and emotional abuse. This never leads to any reasonable discussion and will not solve your marital problems. Never give an ultimatum. You will make your partner defensive or engender reactions that might destroy your relationship.

Deal With Yourselves

When problems arise, it is easy to involve other people. You and your partner are the only people in a marriage. Deal with it and learn to keep your challenges within marriage. Don't tell your family because they will take sides.

A neutral person, preferable a marriage counselor is a good bet, to help you out.

Stay Focused

When you have a fight in your marriage, it is normal to talk about everything wrong with the marriage. Stay on the main subject and do not defer into things that happened last month or last year.

When you show you bottled up things for so long, it puts a dent in your marriage and your ability to forgive or forget. Never allow little things get out of hand, when there will always be bigger issues that you can't avoid.

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Finish the Argument

Anytime, you have an argument make sure you finish it. Reach a conclusion on the way forward and what needs to be done. Never end up with lines like ' I am late for work' or ' I need to do something quickly'. This shows you do not hold your relationship in high value.

Ask for forgiveness. Move on. Don't start an argument and then come back to the same thing, 2 days later. Every argument should end with you pledging to work out your differences and love for each other.

Every relationship has to deal with arguments at some point. After all, a marriage is made of 2 different people with differing opinions and aspirations. You should turn this to your advantage by fighting fair and learn to use marital conflicts to strengthen your marriage.

So learn to keep your emotions in check and learn to deal with your problems yourselves without including other people. Also stay focused and never use an argument to settle personal scores. Make sure every quarrel you have is concluded and lessons learnt so they don't occur again.

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Couples engaged in a power struggle are often very critical of one another. The natural tendency for a partner when criticized is to become defensive which only serves to heighten and prolong the power struggle. However, when analyzed criticisms can be extremely valuable sources of information and can help couples to gain new understanding and insight into themselves, their partners and their relationship.

First of all, a marriage counsellor has to work with the couple to open them up to the notion that one's own perceptions offer a limited view of reality. When one becomes aware of and receptive to the views of their partner, a whole world of information is now available to them. So instead of defending themselves when criticized, partners can analyze the criticism and see if there is any truth there and look for insights and try to gain knowledge.

Criticisms can contain much hidden information, not only about the person being criticized but also about the criticizer as well. An important realization about criticisms in a relationship is that they have some basis in reality. Partners generally are very aware of their partners' negative traits and weak spots but often point these out in an accusatory manner, which elicits a defensive reaction. When a partner can overcome the need to be defensive and see the truth in a criticism, awareness can develop regarding a possible disowned trait and furthermore, the tendency to project this trait onto the criticizer can also be eliminated.

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An individual can also analyze their criticisms of their partner to gain insight regarding their own wounds suffered in childhood. Let's look at an example of a common criticism like "you are so disorganized". When a person can be shown to analyze this statement to reveal their underlying thoughts and feelings and ask themselves if they ever had these thoughts and feelings as a child some important discoveries can be made. In this case it may be that this individuals parents were very disorganized which left them unable to be attentive to their needs as a child. Therefore, when their partner acts in a similar manner it creates a feeling of being not taken care of.

It can be seen then that criticisms, especially the repetitious, ongoing and emotional ones, are often disguised statements of ones' own unmet needs. Further, one can analyze a criticism to see if actually they are guilty of the same thing. A person can ask themselves, "In what way is my criticism of my partner also true of me?" In this way it can be revealed if the criticism is an attempt to deal with a disowned part of oneself by externalizing it and projecting it onto the partner. This can greatly assist a person to psychologically own the projection and withdraw it.

Therefore, through analyzing criticisms, an individual may be able to make an important discovery concerning disowned parts of themselves. Further, a person may make the distinction that the criticism actually is a description not of their disowned self, but of their lost self. In the above example, a person may scrutinize their behaviour and find that they are indeed very organized. Thus the criticism of the partner may reflect the unconscious need to be less organized and more spontaneous and carefree. The criticism actually is a resentment of the partners' perceived freedom and represents a repressed or undeveloped issue that they can now address.

An analysis of criticisms can provide extremely valuable information about both partners in a marriage. The knowledge gained from this insight can be converted into a growth-inducing process. When the underlying basis for criticisms are discovered, partners can work towards alleviating or resolving the unmet or repressed needs and begin to help each other on the path to wholeness.

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Does the love/caring seem to be missing from your relationship?

Do you suspect that you both still love each other even though you don't show it?

Many couples still have love between them even though it may not be apparent on a daily basis. In so many relationships, the love is buried under layers and layers of unresolved issues. If you look really hard you can see it, even if the only evidence is that your partner is still with you, contributes financially or loves your kids. If deep down you still love and care about your spouse, but lately all you see are the hurts between you, we can help.

In our intimate relationship, both joy and hurt are part of the journey. Yet it is our natural reaction to pull away from the things that hurt us, whether they are physical or emotional. Although it is extremely scary to be vulnerable to these hurts, the alternative is even worse: isolation. While others can't hurt us when we isolate ourselves, we also are not open to the love and caring that is being shown to us. This is a profound paradox. Our hearts are protected, but they are also closed to receiving love.

So, how do we open ourselves to love in a relationship that sometimes hurts? We must uncover the love that has been buried. Start by recognizing it. The love may be difficult to see, but it is likely that there are ways your spouse is expressing it in her or his own way. It may be directly or indirectly shown through:

* Saying "I love you"

* Spending time with you

* Buying gifts or small trinkets when he/she is thinking of you

* Doing a task for you such as making your coffee just the way you like it

* Going to work everyday

* Being a good parent to your children

* Making love to you

Allow yourself to notice the things he/she is doing or has done that communicate his/her love. Be mindful that his/her way of showing you love may be quite different from your way of showing love. Acknowledge the goodness that exists right here and now. It is closer than you think. By opening yourself to love, you will feel the divine joy and closeness that you deserve. And what greater pleasure is there on this journey than to love and be loved?

Saying or doing the wrong thing can actually cause your spouse to feel even more distant from you. You can make your spouse fall back in love with you, all over again.

You don't have to worry about whether your spouse is on the brink of asking you for a divorce. You can control the situation and use specific techniques to naturally make them fall hopelessly in love with you.

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