I have to admit I’ve seen this in more than a few men. A couple is always late, and he privately blames his wife – never mind he’s late when he goes somewhere alone. He excuses himself from helping out because “my wife had a list of things for me to do.” So many things he can’t do because of his wife, so many things going wrong because of his wife. You have to wonder why he puts up with the woman! Or maybe we should wonder why she puts up with him always blaming her!
Blame is a basic human thing. Kids do it on the playground; adults do it on the job. We think we can avoid looking bad by making someone else look bad. Or, at least we hope we can confuse the situation enough to not be seen as badly as we deserve to be seen. I see this from both genders, but honestly, I’m more aware of it from men than from women. Don’t know if my take is accurate, but this is what I see.
A big reason we blame is fear. Fear of punishment, consequences, or looking bad. We are social creatures, and “losing face” is a major thing we avoid at all cost – even if the cost is throwing our spouse under the bus!
Ultimately, this comes down to not dealing with our own stuff. Wisdom and maturity teach us to own our mistakes and go on. It’s never easy, but it’s the best for all concerned. Strangely, some folks do this in one area but not others. An executive may be all over admitting his errors at work, but all about blaming his wife for other ways he falls short.
There is another possibility here. In the past I was generally timely when I went somewhere without Lori, and a hair late when we went places together. However, it was not her fault. Most of the time she was ready and waiting on me! I managed my time differently when I was going somewhere with her. I’m not sure why, I just know I did. It wasn’t her fault, but her being involved changed something in my thinking. I can see how it would have been easy to blame her.
If you want to address this, I’d say something like “I feel you use me to excuse yourself, and it hurts me.” Have a few examples ready.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and I’m work at owning my own stuff!