Who’s To Blame When The Relationship Fails?

Venus vintage card I was talking to my husband about an old love of mine…

“I’ve been thinking about him lately and wondering what he came up with. Do you suppose he told himself a story about how awful I am? Or do you think he sees it in another light?”

“He’s probably told himself a story,” he replied.

“Why do people do that?”

“It’s a defense,” he said.

“Against what?”

“Oh this way the relationship failed and it’s the other person’s fault. It wasn’t due anything they did. They never did anything wrong.”

“You don’t get anywhere doing that.”

“No you don’t, but that’s what people do. That’s what most people do, I’d say. It’s always something the other guy did. There is nothing wrong with you…”

I stopped blaming other people for my relationship failures when I was twenty-four years old. It was a brutal transition. I didn’t completely transform until I was beyond my Saturn return (28+).

This is the largest and most profound impediment to forming successful relationships. It’s just impossible to deal with someone who has no awareness of their flaws, over time. A person who won’t look at what motivates their actions and how they impact other people.

You have to go deep too. The person who says it is all the other person’s fault, and lists their partner’s flaws, while trying enlist and convince others it’s all true is very likely the victimizer in the relationship.

You can take this as a Venus Saturn thing. Take responsibility in relationship or you are sure to be deprived of one over time.

Rejecting people for their flaws when you can’t see your own seems to give the same result.

These problems can be solved. Here’s a great workshop on this topic – Finding Your True Love & Soulmate

What do you think prevents success in relationship?

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Who’s To Blame When The Relationship Fails? — 40 Comments

  1. that’s a big one, for sure. i also think people have different needs at different times, and once a relationship has served it’s purpose for that time in the individual’s lives,it will end.

    i also think the flaws people identify in the “other” are usually very closely tied to their own, either via projection or not taking the impact of their own behavior in account.

  2. It’s the fault of everyone involved, most of the time. Sure, I can name off my exes’s flaws, but god knows I’ve got my own, and at the very least I am a “broken picker” person, so my choices in men alone is enough to put the blame on me in a way.

  3. I always subconsciously picked people where were more dysfunctional than I was so that the negative focus would be on them. it’s only very recently I’ve become aware of this propensity. it’s actually very freeing to realize the problem is yours, cos that’s really the only way you can fix something, is if it’s your problem to begin with.

  4. with me it helps to start looking for people i like rather than people who feed my self destructive tendencies. (eh, venus pluto kinda’ overpowered my common sense for awhile.)

    and, yeah, i only started really digging into it into the lead up to my saturn return (which of caourse also hit my natal saturn venus and shortly afterwards trined neptune.) i think i took too much responsibility for not living up to other people’s little stories and not enough just figuring out what was my responsibility and what wasn’t.

    what i felt i should give to a relationship to feel like i was acting the part of a mature, respectful person. rather than feeling like if anything went wrong it was because i messed up somewhere.

    i’ve dated a number of people who made everything my fault, and it sure felt like victimization. but i chose to enter those relationships. and i typically chose, very quickly, to leave. but cleaning all those words out of your head can take some time. and figuring out how not to continue the pattern… well, that’s real tricky. and possibly quite simple.

  5. I guess I look for people who want to be nurtured and transformed (Venus in Scorpio in the 4th house).

    But I keep ending up with folks who haven’t yet reached that stage you describe, Elsa, and I know I’m past the first part of it.

    I don’t think it’s a bad thing, I just don’t want to do that any more. I guess it’s a trade-off, that I have had to realize that sometimes people won’t want or need my nuturing, and they can just go off on their own and do their thing and it’s OK with me. Preferable, actually, because the healing energy I give out to other people is something I ought to save for myself.

  6. I grew up living with someone who was exactly as you describe… he was the prime victimizer of everybody in the family, made us all miserable, but to hear him talk you’d think he’d spent his entire life with no love or regard from any other human soul. People were meeeeean. Life was haaaarrrrd. And he had a PERFECT RIGHT to make a big stink about it, especially in places where he could corral one of us to listen to him.

    You spend years listening to this kind of thing, and it’s like any other glaring childhood experience: you either grow up to repeat it, or grow up allergic to it. I’m pretty allergic, myself. If anything goes wrong in any of my relationships, the first person I attack is me.

    Which is way out of balance, too, so I had to do a backswing over the past year and start taking the actions of others into account. And ended up having some people accuse me of that victimizing behavior as a result of complaining about the way I’d been treated. *grin*

    Progress: hey, I can grin about it. 🙂 Couldn’t do that a few months back.

    I’m friends with most of my exes. As long as I can say that, I never call an ex relationship a failed one. I guess that one really big failed one was a case of me waiting way too late to act in a balanced fashion. Blaming yourself for everything is just as unrealistic as blaming everybody but you.

  7. Not everyone is willing to do the work it takes to look within to discover what and who they really are and how they behave. I mean, this crowd obviously seeks self-awareness, but I know more people who don’t bother searching themselves than those who do. And looking at yourself honestly in the mirror is not so easy.

    Another thing that prevents success seems to be *habit*. People get into dynamics that become habitual and don’t ever change them. So sometimes the habits are negative or hindering to growth, which could cause the relationship to remain stagnant or fail; other times habits become boring and that could cause a breakup as well.

    And if one person seeks within themselves, grows and changes and the other does not. . .eventually the relationship is outgrown.

    But I’m thinking real love can evolve and grow together, if you are into a lasting and monogamous sort of commitment.

    Says the Libra North Node.
    With Venus/ Saturn/ Neptune trine.

  8. I think pride and ego can be a deal breaker. When two people can stop pointing fingers and take responsiblity for their own actions the possibilties are endless.

    (Man I missed this place!)

  9. Just had a conversation with a friend on this. We’ve felt adept, even GREAT, at engaging in bad relationships, but when a potential good one comes along, it felt weird. So, just imagining what a good relationship feels like might be the place to start.

    Welcome back, shell! Was wondering where you got to. 🙂

  10. I agree with all the above. I also think there has to be a great desire for change coming from both people. Whatever problems/habits each person brings to the relationship must be slowly acknowledged in a non-judgemental way so that both people can take steps to deal with it. There has to be responsibility and effort put in by both sides. A relationship with another human being humbles a person fast – you get to see all your flaws and failures up close and personal. It takes lots of courage to own up to this stuff and take steps to change.

    As with many of the good things in life, the work required and the level of risk involved are in proportion to the reward. The more one is willing to face possible pain and really live, the closer they get to the heart of life.

  11. Stubborn-assed shit. An attachment to ideals about how people should behave. A reluctance to admit defeat–even with reverse egotism (‘Oh, my self-deprecation wounds you?’)

    For me? A loss of physicality can be the death knell. And I don’t just mean sex–I mean physicality. Reaching out and actually touching the other person. With love. As you love them.

    (North Node in Libra, having a little dance with Pluto, dang)

  12. Actually, I think what messes up most relationships is a simple lack of appreciation. People dont appreciate each other Elsa, and it astonishes me! Because we DO have a shelf life yk? I mean theres a LOT that goes wrong in relationships, but I think it all boils down to a lack of appreciation.
    It must be the Scorpio, but I see people being stubborn in their relationships & being horrible to one another & wonder if theyd behave the same way if they knew their partner wouldnt be alive a year from then? Puts silly arguments into prespective doesnt it?

  13. I have currently had what is probably the final falling out with my only sibling, a sister, two years younger. I am really getting the strong vibe that this is the final end to that relationship after it began to really go downhill in 2000/01.

    Two things are making it impossible to continue a connection: A) Failure of communication (all communication blocked, e-mail deleted un-read, phone calls not accepted, this is her doing, she refuses to hear me). B) Seething anger and rage about the past, and apparently inability to let go of same (7 years ago, she is the angry one, we both did wrong 7 years ago, but me worse than her). And C) both people gotta want it to continue; clearly she wants to break it, and I am not willing to fight as hard for it as I would have to do, with these walls.

    A touch of the astrology: My Saturn in the 8th retrograde 18 Scorpio opposite Mercury in the 2nd house 16 Taurus Applying opposition, Sun in Taurus (and forms a T-square with the Leo Moon). Her Mercury 16 degrees Taurus in the 7th house with a few other planets including the Sun and South node, and her N. Node in her 1st house in Scorpio.

    Looking at it from my end, her Mercury/Ketu/Sun combo triggers my T-square from the Mercury side, with her N.Node and Neptune on my Saturn.

    I don’t need to do the math to know that it is not pretty (and never has been).

    I just pray and send her blessings, blessings, blessings, because I don’t want to keep dealing with her in future lives!

  14. Oh Ho! this is an addendum to the above posting linked to my sister. I just want and looked at her chart again. Chart shows: this relationship IS old news, karma-wise, and it is NOT where I should be directing my energy anyway. Everyone is always telling me, “Make it work with your sister, it is always wrong when siblings allow a falling out and go their separate ways.”

    But here is what I see in the chart, I see her Mars (in her 8th house) at 27 Gemini energizes my South Node/conjunct/IC and she has nothing else at late degrees mutable (so prevalent in my chart)! For me to be caught up in her is like going backwards into other lifetimes and not following my path of the now and the future.

    I think this was suggested by what you were saying, Elsa, about a preference for spending time with people who support the N. Node by way of conjunction to it.

    In addition to that, her Mercury is Retrograde (she’s the one who now refuses all communication from me, deletes e-mail unread, kill the messanger, hmmmm)and is exactly 19.06 Taurus Retrograde partile conjunct her North Node in Taurus (19.40), which conjuncts my 8th house saturn at 18.37 Scorpio rx), opp Merc in (Taurus 17, 2nd).

    She also has a early degrees fixed T-square over her AC/DC/MC with Neptne right on the AC and Uranus right on the MC and Taurus stellium in the 7th including Sun/S.Node/Venus/Mercury.

    Ucky, ucky math! Emotional Detachment will be the key for me with this woman.

  15. Sometimes I think my s. node aspects provide me with an opportunity for a “do over.”

    There’s nothing logical about that, but I think it.

  16. Saturn opposite moon in my chart. Not a favorable aspect as it is prone to always see the flaw NO MATTER WHAT…So i figure alot of what I percieve as being wrong with people/life is due to this in general. This is hard to handle also, as most people tend to gloss over any flaws that do really exist. While I tend to see them all wether they are really there or not.. Used to be really hard on myself, like the whole world is too weird and disfunctonal you know, anger about personal relationships boiling over(scorpio sun) trying to escape (12th house) but can’t escape from my own chart. Just a different perspective I guess. I guess one funny example is that Tom would treat me like a doormat. Every time I would walk in the door and look down at the muddy shoes on the mat, somthing in me would feel unpleasant. Its a subtle distinction. It goes both ways though, because if its not the flaw I percieve around me, then the flaw in myself. But so as to be indistinguishable from everyday life. Strange because I have a very Venus oriented horoscope, lots of Libra and Taurus, and love to be in love, and beauty art, music. So say there is somthing REALLY wrong, how the hell should I know! I have had more than my share of experiences that I feel are far to intense, heavy, flaw laden. What i need is a nice peaceful relaxing life where people are not going to pull one over on me, and leave me stuck guessing as to if the flaw lies in me or them. Because with a chart like mine it is very likely to lie somwhere.

  17. When I was in my late teens/early 20s, I found out the story behind my adoption, which was a such a shock that I didn’t recover relationship-wise, for a few years.

    I unconsciously chose men that I thought represented my father (what little I knew, and I believed him to be a cold bastard), while I played my mother. I was trying to fix what happened 20 years before, and I wasn’t even aware of what I was doing.

    Around the time of the exact Uranus/Neptune conjunction–which exactly squared my Libra Moon–what I’d been doing to myself “came to light”, and I made a conscious, and successful, effort to break the pattern.

    You can blame your chart and continue to be a victim, but if there’s two people in a relationship, there’s two people that contribute to its success or failure. Not one!

  18. In response to liz… Don’t mean to sound like a victim… I guess what i am saying is that Saturn Opposeing the moon is like the mother(moon) and the father (saturn). As you said you were choosing men like your father and acting the part of your mother. Now I’m not saying that this is wrong or bad or anything, but when you woke up and relaized it, and consciously chose not to do this anymore then you were free from their patterns, and free to live your own life the way you wanted… hoorah!

    In my experience with a libra AC.. relationnships work alot better when two people know themselves well enough not to blame eachother for the relationships shortcomings… It happens all too frequently; and its sad….especially when it happens to you’re parents whether you see it in real life or in you’re imagination.

  19. I feel that my taste in men is shifting from older to younger ones. Like when you pick a fruit. If it is really ripe and juicey, you can eat it up right away, while the juice dribbles down your chin, and its just that way naturally but you’de better eat it right away if you don’t want it to spoil, cause who want to be stuck with a rotten apple. But if you buy the pear when its not quite ripe or even really hard still then you can keep it till it is exactly how you like to eat it and then consume.

  20. I love all of your “projection” articles. It’s taken some time, but I think i’m finally getting the hang and after all these years! Pluto starting it’s 7th house transit (mine).

  21. I think too many games. I like my relationships straight-forward. It’s all that Sag in my chart, I can’t stand too much subtly; you either want me or you don’t, there’s no if buts or anything about it.

    This is just my tastes though. I’m pretty boring and if someone wants someone who’s a little more subtly and exciting, I’d say you’re looking in the wrong place!

  22. Yes, it’s like every ex-wife is emotionally cold, hates sex, is demanding, favored her family over his, wasn’t adventurous.

    lol times a thousand 🙂

  23. I took too much responsibility, and ended up, finally, not accepting the blame for his mistakes. He denied things that actually happened, and told me that one huge thing wasn’t a rejection, but it was to me, because he didn’t pay attention, and dodged my trying to get answers. I was expected to just go along. I’ve gone over and over things, and it died a slow, painful death.

  24. I had nearly the exact same conversation this weekend and it all involved Saturn in Libra. “You are facing this situation again, because you faced it before. Now you are being asked..did you learn anything? If so, prove it. If not, be ready to do it ALL over again. It’s inevitable.”

    And i was speaking as much for myself as i was the other. I have a feeling we are going to see a lot of “finals” around the lessons of Saturn in Libra. Did you learn it? Are you sure? And I hope you’ve been studying collective, because I have yet to find anyone who is exempt. And this is not an easy test.

    And this part: “It is just impossible to deal with someone (over time) who has no awareness of their flaws, what motivates their actions and their impact on other people. You have to go deep too. ”

    Truer words do not exist.

    You cannot blame another’s actions for your own. You chose your response. Own it. Was it worth it? Shall we do it again and see? How many times is it going to take you to see the pattern here?

  25. I took responsibility for my side, and he put almost 100% of it on me. denying his own faults, and certain actions.

  26. I can say that I don’t reject others for their flaws, but work to find a way to love them, flaws included. God knows, I’m not perfect, so to expect others to be, well, duh! I’ve taken the hard road to learn not to blame others for being themselves. It’d be like being mad at purple for being so purple?!

    So what do I think prevents relationship success? Lack of effort and lack of acceptance of the other,
    Angie

  27. I 100% agree that most people are unaware of their own impact on other people. It takes incredible humility to be able to take responsibility for oneself and one’s actions.

    I think what prevents success in relationship is an inability to listen to the other … I mean really listen to another person. I also agree people have to take responsibility for their actions. Relationships require dedication and commitment on both sides to make it work over the long haul.

  28. As I scrolled through I noticed that I left a comment on this in 2008 when I was 24, and I “knew” I was past the first part of it, whatever that meant.

    Yes, I’m laughing now. 😉

    At least I “know” now it’s not something you can ever stop working on. What I’ve learned in-between is that humility is a virtue (not a character weakness), forgiveness and boundaries are equally important, and not every relationship has to last forever for it to have been successful.

  29. I prevent success in my relationships 😀 It’s so obvious, and I can’t blame anyone but myself. I used to want to blame other people when I was younger, but even then I knew I was part of the issue. Now I believe I am 100% the issue: not that the other person is perfect, but it was me that chose to have a relationship with them. Only common denominator is me. I’m not too hard on myself though, I’m just going to have to work on these issues and stay single while doing it.

  30. Always so insightful Elsa! Just this morning I was working on a story to tell at our local Moth event this month – Love Hurts is the theme. I decided to tell a story about my first real love and how I completely broke his heart in a really shitty way. I realized the error of my ways a long time ago and apologized – he had moved on and met someone far more compatible and kind and has had 30 years of a very happy life. It took me a lot longer to fully realize why I sabotage relationships and watching a marriage fall apart that I really did try to mend my ways and fix to commit to being as self-aware as possible, but if I ever find myself in a relationship again, I will be a better partner. And I am definitely a better mom when I own my own stuff and don’t project it onto my kids. Y

  31. I can detach (Venus in Aquarius) and look at where I screwed up! Not always easy to see past your ego (Leo opposite sign) and see that you’re flawed too.

  32. I think I might have the opposite problem? I think Ive taken on too much from others in the past. I have this tendency to take responsibility for everything, including others emotions and degree of happiness. Its not a virtue. Its as much an egoic expression as refusing to see your part.

    Ive gone through periods of extreme envy of people who can walk away from a relationship feeling that they are totally in the right and confident in their perception of their rightness. I cant imagine what that feels like, to be so sure. Of course its faith in a delusion, so its not ultimately Good, but damn if I dont sometimes look at people whove never metaphorically left Home and desire that kind of security.

      • Well ya, its not a confidence thats based on any type of self love or anything. Maybe stubbornness is a better word. I Definitely do not admire that kind of confidence, but I do…….from time to time, envy how simple it seems to make the life. Im good, youre bad, no thinking or self reflection needed.

  33. I was lucky earlier in life. Progressed ascendant in Leo and Sun into Scorpio – lots of fun sex. Oddly since my Sun progressed into
    Lucky Sagittarius I’ve run into bad trouble. Just had an insight – because my natal Juoiter is in Aries… I’m better off alone?

    Now I’m praying that I become aware of my blind spots. A string of bad relationships, and I was blaming the Other.
    I am chanting this mantra now: Welcome the difficulty. Let it wake you up.

  34. I think honestly, I’ve not had someone to relate to?
    My nearly 40 years locked under the staircase thing, a bit of a damper
    But damn am I ready now
    I’ve had a wonderful past 5 years
    Watching admiring quite abit
    And I am definitely attracted to
    People close in age and earthyness
    I still play in dirt, lovvvve to fish
    Small small town kinda feel here
    So lots my type,
    Motor running just gotta break that
    Not talking loud enough for someone to hear thing;so to answer question
    What stops success in relationships
    Too much looking and not enough talking( so someone can hear you)

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