• The Stepmother Who Blames: Is That You? (Yup!)

  • stepmother, stepmom, stepfamily, stepchildren, parenting, divorce, remarriage, Barb Goldberg

    Are You a Stepmother Who Blames Everyone Else?

    Do you find yourself blaming others for your life situation? See if any of these ‘stepmother’ statements strike a chord with you:
    These kids are a nightmare because their mother and father don’t discipline them. It is their fault.
    Our marriage is a nightmare because the ex tortures us. It is her fault.
    I cook, clean, transport and pay the bills. Am I ever thanked? No way. I am unappreciated because my partner is comatose. It is his/her fault.”
    Did you know that blame actually dulls that part of a person that employs empathy?  Our natural instinct is to be empathetic and loving, but the need to blame erases all or some of that compassion. We lose the ability to walk in another person’s shoes. It allows us to be mean, hurtful and selfish. After all, if everything negative is someone else’s fault, any behavior goes.
    Humans use blame to protect their own belief systems. After all, if you are a blamer and really had time to think about it, you blame because you are trying to get others to agree with you or give the illusion that others agree with you. So, what are you gaining by blaming? It is different for everyone but it may be a feeling of being right or a way of getting attention. Some say that you get a rush from the hit of anger that blaming brings.
    Or, are you blaming because you are trying to avoid something? You don’t want to admit that you made a bad decision. (Eg., “I have volunteered for too much!) Or, you don’t want to admit that you are wrong. (Eg., “I said that the ex was wrong about the stepchildren, but you realize later that she was right.”)
    Blaming is self-serving and a lazy way to deal with an issue. We all do it and that is okay. But, if you find yourself doing it constantly, it may be time to take a hard look. What is motivating your consistent blaming? A lack of control? Or, is it that you are so mad at yourself for getting yourself into this situation? I would vote for the latter.
    Bottom line is that if you always feel as if “this always happens to me”, then it might be time to take a hard look at yourself. Ask someone outside of your close family and friends and see what their assessment is. Be prepared to feel uncomfortable and to hear things you may not want to hear. Do not fall back on your blaming habits. It may be time to take a hard look in the mirror.