Excuses, Excuses…

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Excuses, Excuses…

Just as people make excuses for their own poor behavior, it seems to be human nature that we often make excuses for others as well — in particular, our significant others. Have you ever found yourself apologizing for the actions of your partner? “Sorry about that, they’re just tired and had a really long day,” or, “They don’t mean to act like that, they’ve just been stressed at work.”

Has a family member or friend ever directly asked you about the way your partner treats you? How did you respond? Did you come up with an excuse to put them at ease — or, to put your own mind at ease?

In an unhealthy or abusive relationship, making justifications for a partner’s behavior is common. When your partner repeatedly makes excuses for how they treat you, it’s only normal that you may start making similar excuses and echoing their sentiments.

What do these excuses sound like?

“It’s my fault. I made a mistake and did something that upset them.”

“They said that I’m controlling. I drove them to act this way.”

“They’re just stressed/tired/having a bad day/kidding.”

“They aren’t usually like this.”

“It’s not that bad. At least they don’t hit me.”

“They didn’t hit me that hard. It could be worse.”

“They weren’t always like this.”

“They were abused as a child/they grew up in an abusive family — it’s all they know.”

“They just have a drug/alcohol problem.”

They’re bipolar — it’s a medical condition.”

“I’m just overreacting. They say I’m too emotional.”

Why do we do this?

If your partner is treating you in an unhealthy way, it’s often really difficult to acknowledge what’s happening. It’s hard to believe that someone we care for and love could hurt us. Oftentimes a relationship doesn’t begin badly, so it’s confusing when one can change so drastically.

We may also be in denial about what’s actually happening.

It can be tough to stop making excuses for a partner who is treating you badly, but beginning to accept what’s happening is the first step toward holding them accountable for their own behavior.

You are not responsible for your partner’s bad behavior. Your partner’s hurtful words and actions are their own choice — there is always a choice.

If you’re in a relationship where your partner is emotionally or physically abusive and you find yourself making excuses for them, call us at 1-866-331-9474, chat here on our website or text loveis to 22522. We’re totally free, confidential and here to support you!

Comment section

7 replies
  1. I blame myself all the time for my husband’s violent behavior, I have even apologized for exhasperating him so he loses control and hits me, His mother tells me I make him do it cause I won’t shut up, or I don’t love him unconditionally. Two days ago felt so hopeless I left him and been trying to read as much as possible about it and I’m also looking for to a support group. Thanks so much for the article, is very accurate and has helped me identify all the excuses I make for his behavior.

    1. Hi Naara,

      Thank you for your comment. It sounds like you’ve been through a lot of pain in your relationship, and we’re glad this article was helpful to you. Your husband’s abusive behavior was absolutely not your fault, and you never deserved it. The choice to be abusive lies solely with him. We are glad to hear that you were able to leave, and we hope you are safe now. If you would like to speak with one of our advocates, please call, chat or text with us any time. We may be able to help you locate a support group in your area.

    2. Naara, it is NEVER your fault. We ALL do things that anyone could say “upset them”. Yet there is NEVER a reason for anyone abusing another. NEVER!! Just know that you can live freely and happily without him.

  2. Seeking some advice for my sister. She is in a very toxic relationship with an alcoholic. She is now pregnant, and recently the verbal/emotional abuse has really heightened since finding out she was pregnant. She was living with her boyfriend in his parents house. She often goes back and forth between our parents place and then back to his place. We are very concerned for her mental well being and the pregnancy. Who should we get in contact with to encourage her to seek help. She is very hard to detach from her abuser and he is relentless. Really looking for guidance. Thanks

    1. Hi Nicole,

      Thanks for your comment. This sounds like a very scary situation, and you are right to be concerned about your sister. We’d like to help in any way we can. Please give us a call at 1-866-331-9474, chat here on our website or text “loveis” to 22522 to speak confidentially with one of our trained advocates.

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