How to Deal With False Accusations in a Relationship
Carrie Leaf, MS, LMFT Psychotherapist | Life Coach | Hypnotherapist
Don’t add fuel to the fire
Your partner is likely already heated up, don’t add fuel to the fire. The minute that we raise our voices or go into defense mode is the same minute that we lose our ability to listen carefully, and your IQ drops.
When we are falsely accused, it might be our knee-jerk reaction to go into defense mode. This won’t help the situation.
In fact, if we get extremely defensive, it could lead our partner to believing even more so that we are guilty. In order to stay calm and regulate yourself, try to take a few long, deep breaths to slow down your central nervous system and buy the time to think before you speak.
Remind yourself that this isn’t fact, and it is your choice whether to get upset about the accusation or not. Your response could be a pivotal point in this discussion. The pause between the accusation and your response can make a world of difference so try your best to allow that space.
If you are struggling to deep breathe and regulate yourself, it might be best to ask for a minute to go to the bathroom or step outside for fresh air. If you decide to ask for this time, be sure to reassure your partner that you plan to come back and talk about this issue and that you are not avoiding it.
Kindly and calmly reassure your partner that the accusation is false
If you have information to back up your end, share that information in a kind and matter-of-fact way. A kind way to start off might be something like, “I am sorry that you are thinking and feeling this way, I assure you that…”
Pay close attention to your non-verbal cues and tone of voice
The expression on our face and our body language speaks volume and can also escalate or de-escalate a situation. Some Dont’s would include:
Do not raise your voice.
Do not cross your arms.
Do not move closer to your partner in an aggressive way.
Do not give a glare.
Do not roll your eyes.
Do not give a heavy sigh.
Do not look away disinterested.
Some Do’s would include:
Do face your partner
Do make eye contact
Do use a soft voice
If you move towards your partner – do it in a slow, gentle way
Ask your partner why they would think such information to be true
Most likely, this accusation did not come from nowhere, though it may feel that way on your end. Even if there was nothing that you said or did that led to this accusation, it could be a projection on your partner’s end. In other words, your partner could be projecting their fears and worries onto you and your perceived behaviors.
Perhaps your partner has an anxious/insecure attachment style that originated in their younger years, or perhaps your partner has been cheated on, lied to, abused, etc., in the past.
Projecting our “stuff” onto our partners happens all of the time. Maybe with curiosity, the two of you can gently explore where this accusation may have come from.
Let your partner know that you understand it must not feel good to have these thoughts and feelings and that you don’t want them to feel that way.
If you are able to have an open and honest conversation about where the accusation came from, this could lead to some really good vulnerability and connection between the two of you. Understanding, active listening, and forgiveness will be key here.
Ask your partner if there is anything that they need from you to help them through this situation. Maybe they just need a hug.
As posted on https://upjourney.com/how-to-deal-with-false-accusations-in-a-relationship