How To Navigate Unfair Accusations In A Relationship

Although no one is 100% a saint, it doesn't mean that there won't come a time when your partner might accuse you of doing something that you didn't do. Whether it's something small like forgetting to put on the coffee pot timer or something more serious like cheating, some people have a hard time trusting others, so it feels natural for them to toss around accusations despite there being no hard proof.


"Blaming is a very unhealthy communication style and often leads to us fighting unfairly and bringing in the past into current arguments," psychologist Kelsey M. Latimer, Ph.D., tells Bustle. "More often than not, it's not about the 'what' we are blamed for, but rather the 'why' we are being blamed or needing to blame."

Some people accuse because they're naturally jealous, some accuse because they've been burned in the past by someone they trusted, while others accuse because they have an anxious attachment style that goes back to how they were raised. But no matter the reason, it's unhealthy and unfair and needs to be addressed.

Ask questions

After the initial accusation and tempers have simmered, ask your partner the important question: Why? Why are they accusing you of this or that? What is it that leads them to believe you did this or that? In some cases, it comes down to psychological projection (via HuffPost). For example, if your partner is accusing you of cheating, but you're absolutely not cheating, it could mean they're the cheater. For some, it's easier to deflect from their bad behavior by blaming others for doing what they're doing.


But this psychological projection can extend past cheating. Gaslighters, too, are the first to accuse you of gaslighting them, even though you're not (via Psychology Today). While trying to get your partner to admit that they might be projecting their bad behavior onto you isn't very likely to happen, if you keep asking them "why?" and they can't give you a concrete answer, then it might be worth taking a deeper look into how they could have misconstrued things. 

Let them know the facts

Although your partner may be hard-headed when it comes to these things, and trying to convince them of the truth might not be easy, it needs to be done. It's completely unhealthy and, frankly, rude to have to walk around being accused of something that you not only didn't do but is also perhaps something you'd never do. So as much as you should listen and try to understand where they're coming from, put down your foot and assert the reality of the situation (via YourTango). But also let them know you won't stand for their accusations and how, in accusing you, it speaks to a bigger problem.


"A single false accusation could be a misunderstanding," licensed professional counselor Kara Nassour tells PsychCentral. "But if your partner is frequently jealous, lashes out at you, or gets emotionally over-the-top for reasons most people wouldn't, it may be part of a deeper and more unhealthy pattern."

Generally speaking, when it comes to trying to make someone see the truth about something they're so convinced isn't the truth, you can feel like you're banging your head against the wall. But, if your relationship is worth it and you believe you can get through to your partner with patience and understanding, then a little head-banging isn't so bad.