A person with Narcissistic tendencies may choose a partner to be their foil; looking for someone who is less socially confident and perhaps emotionally over reactive. These problems, as well as being generally anxious or naturally feeling a lot of guilt and shame will make that person an easy target to be scapegoated.

People with Narcissistic tendencies often blame their bad behaviour on their partner. For example; they may say the reason they have affairs or seek attention outside their family is because their partner is angry, jealous or complains too much. They may also accuse their partner of being crazy (see our page on mental abuse) to excuse them doing things (like staying out late) that otherwise could not be justified.  

Facing your own problems, becoming more emotionally mature, learning better relationships skills and setting effective boundaries will help you stop being a soft target for scapegoating. You should be aware, however, that in the beginning this may cause your partner to behave even worse. You becoming stronger may cause them to try and knock you ‘off balance’ and back to your old ways of reacting that make it easy for them to point the blame at you. 

No matter how much you feel you are the innocent victim of your partners bad behaviour, statistics show that if you leave (and put all the blame on them for your relationship problems), in the future you are like to form exactly the same type of relationship again.


Some common things people scapegoat on their partner

What makes a person likely to be used as a scapegoat?

How do I stop being scapegoated?

People with codependent tendencies will be more likely to blame their addictions, moods and other negative emotional states on their partners behaviour. This may include them being more concerned about getting their partner to help them ‘feel better’ or ‘make up’ rather than effectively setting boundaries against being exploited again.  

“People with Narcissistic tendencies will often scapegoat their

partner by blaming their bad behaviour on them.”

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This does not mean you are to blame and there is nothing you can do to protect yourself. We want to help you learn to stand up for yourself effectively. This may or may not earn your partners respect - but if their bad behaviour continues and you do separate, it will leave you in a much better position in the end.

People with codependent tendencies may scapegoat their children too. They may blame their addictions, emotional immaturity or volatility on their children’s bad behaviour.  

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Scapegoating is when you blame your problems on something or someone else. The person you blame is then called your scapegoat.

What is Scapegoating?

This is very common in a Narcissistic / Codependent Marriage with each partner blaming their bad behaviour and emotional immaturity on the other instead of facing the areas in their own life that need work. 

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NOTE: If feel your husband or wife has narcissistic tendencies please

do not confront them with this matter, instead you can direct them to www.thelovesafetynet.com (our site for general advice about love) where

they will be offered a survey to direct them to the right material for them.