Why Couples Often Blame Each Other During Arguments
Fights between partners are pretty common. But when a couple argues, they usually end up pointing fingers at each other. They also tend to forget about each other’s good qualities. There are some psychological reasons why this happens.
Emotions Run High
When tensions start rising in a fight, emotions can boil over fast. Partners may lash out and say hurtful things. Or they take their own frustrations out on the other person. In the heat of the moment, it’s easier to focus on flaws than strengths.
For example, feeling wronged can cause accusations to fly. That reaction stops you seeing past kind deeds. All you notice are the current issues splitting you apart.
Fighting triggers our self-preservation instincts. We try shifting blame to relieve guilt. It helps distance ourselves from mistakes. Unfortunately, this also clouds memories of the good stuff our partner brings.
For instance, realizing a slip-up makes redirecting fault to your S.O. tempting. That way, you dodge responsibility for your errors.
Arguments skew our recollections. Negatives etched deeper than positives. So we recall partner’s fouls better than fair plays. That’s because pain impacts us more than pleasure.
If a spat leaves you stinging, that incident will haunt your mind. Yet acts of affection beforehand fade without trace.
Winning Takes Priority
In the heat of battle, being “right” matters more than being kind. We tune out good qualities to gain the upper hand.
For example, when viewpoints clash, a partner’s virtues vanish from view. Your sole focus becomes defending your corner.
We long to feel back in control after a disagreement shakes us. So unloading blame becomes a way to stabilize our emotions.
If accused unjustly, counter-accusing repairs wounded pride. That allows escaping nasty feels without confronting weak spots.
Disagreements between couples are all too common. But finger-pointing and forgetting the good stuff stems from emotional turmoil, self-preservation, biased recollections, priorities in the moment, and restoring equilibrium.
Understanding these psychological forces can help us handle disputes better. We’ll be more caring and less critical of our partner when tensions flare.