how our polyamorous clients build thriving relationships

But It’s My Partner’s Fault

You’re feeling stuck. On the one hand, you’re tired of struggling in your polyamorous relationships. The conflict, distance, and resentment are becoming too much. The relationship needs to be fixed.

But there’s a big issue: You’re not the one causing these problems. Your partner is to blame. And they don’t seem motivated to change.

Want to know what to do? Watch this episode now.


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Cassie 0:00
Okay, so your relationship is struggling. You're having lots of problems. And you know what? It's not your fault. It's your partner's fault. So now what? What do you do?

Josh 0:10
All right, we're gonna jump into it. Let's rock.

Cassie 0:33
Here at Touch of Flavor, we teach non-monogamous folks how to overcome their obstacles and build thriving relationships.

Josh 0:39
This podcast is about answering one question: how do you create loving, passionate, secure relationships outside the box? Even if nothing has ever worked before? If you want to know the answer, you are in the right place.

Cassie 0:52
All of this information is 100% free. So please subscribe to and review our podcasts.

Josh 1:02
Alright, Cassie. So, what are we talking about today?

Cassie 1:10
So what we're talking about is when in your relationship, there's challenges, there's problems, and you're looking around and you're going, "but it's not me." Where you are-- there's been arguing or there's been challenges or there's disconnection and you've been doing your job. And we've all been there, we've all been in a place where we can look at our relationship and say, "I've been stepping up." And we've all been there a place where we're like, "I don't think you have," when you're looking at your partner. And so we find that this happens a lot: where people get to a place where they're seeing the challenges, and they are upset that it's their partner's fault. And they don't feel like they should have to be the one to fix it.

Josh 1:57
Okay, so what are lsome of the situations where people find themselves feeling like this?

Cassie 2:05
So I'll throw a couple out. And then you can tell me if this is what you mean by situation. So, "My partner is really wrapped up in NRE right now. Like they are head-over-stupid right now for their new partner. They're not spending any time here. It's their fault." "My partner is jealous, and they just get super emotional and stressed out, and it's their fault."

Josh 2:34
I have to excuse the sneezing breaks today, okay, go ahead.

Cassie 2:37
Or, you know, "We're not communicating, but I'm communicating. It's my partner who's not communicating." "It's my partner who's not doing this thing." And really, it can really be any situation. It's where you feel like you're the one who's doing the right thing-- that you've been coming at it correctly, and your partner is the one to blame for the situation not going correctly.

Josh 3:06
I guess the only thing that I'd really throw in there is that you see this a lot, when you have one person who feels like they've put in a lot of effort and like they've done the work to fix things. They've gone to therapy. They've gone to coaching or they really feel like they put in the time and the effort. And their partner hasn't participated with them at all, or maybe does participate but never actually follows through. And so, you know, I've seen people who really get in this place of like, I mean, at this point, "This is your fault. You have to step up to fix it." So I do see that.

Cassie 3:41
Yeah. And so there's this place of being almost tapped out, and just being frustrated with your partner. And so what do you do? If you're in this situation, what can you do to shift that?

Josh 3:59
Well, I think before that... I think before what you do, I think it's more important to talk about the problem with that. And I think the first problem would be, is it really your partner's fault? I get that you feel like it's your partner's fault. But I think it would just be worth having and starting a conversation of, is it your partner's fault? Because I've got to tell you, this is kind of the conversation of when we talk about people seizing their power, and changing a relationship and how one person really can make huge shifts. And we see that all the time in our clients. And that's one of the things I think that we do very differently is we recognize that one person can raise the level of relationship and we show people how to do that. But this is one of those... you got to take the bad with the good. Which means that if one person can change the relationship and your relationship's crap, have you really been stepping up to the level that you need to? Is it really your partner's fault?

Cassie 5:00
And what I would also say is not necessarily "have you not been trying?" Okay, I just want to put a pin in that. Because it doesn't mean that you haven't been trying. But you're not actually stepping up the way you need to. You're not using strategies that actually work. There's a lot of reasons why you might be trying. And it's still not you being the person who's really able to-- that's really actually doing something.

Josh 5:32
That's a good point. I'm not trying to trying to downplay people trying. I mean, the truth is, I think most people try ineffectively to fix their relationships. There's very few people whose relationships are in the gutter, and there's arguing, or there's worrying about breaking up, or there's jealousy, or there's hopelessness. And they're just like, "I'm not going to do a darn thing." I mean, most people try. A lot of people try a lot of things. They try podcasts and books. I mean, counseling, that's the first thing most people do, right? I don't know. I've talked to very few people who haven't tried like counseling or therapy at some point, whether for themselves or for their relationship. So I don't mean to say that people don't try. But there's lots of things that people try that simply aren't effective. And again, I would just-- we all have to come up with ways that we cope with the problems that we're facing. When we're in a place where we're miserable, and we're upset, and we're hurt. And we're going through life depressed and sad. And like, we don't want to come home. We have to develop coping mechanisms to deal with that.

Josh 6:43
And one really easy one is, "Well, it's not my fault." Like, "I've tried. I've done the things. It's my partner's fault." But I guess the question that I'd throw out is, if you've tried but you tried things that are ineffective, and they haven't worked, can you really lay all the blame at your partner's feet? And I know, it may seem like a small thing, but I do think it's really important. Because at the end of the day, as soon as you make that jump, as soon as you're putting blame for the situation on your partner, what you're actually doing at the same time is you're giving up your power to make a change in the relationship, because what you're saying is, "It's my partner's fault. Why is it my partner's fault? Well, because I can't do anything about it." And I think that's just important to think about. Anything you want to stack on that?

Cassie 7:46
Just one of the things that I-- when I'm talking to folks-- that I really always have to stress is our challenges, and our relationships are a co-creation. There is never 100% this person's fault, or 100%, that person's fault. And yes, there's various degrees and things where things are like, on the extremes, where it's like 1% 99%. But for the most part, even if your partner is like 70% responsible, you're still 30%. Even if they're 80%, you still have that 20% That you're contributing to that to the challenge. And if you removed that 20%, how much of their 80% would go down? Because let's just be real about this. The way that we show up in our relationships, we tend to have negative behaviors and patterns, because of the people that we're with in that relationship. So you might be communicating, and having conversation and bringing things up. But maybe the way that you're doing that is a way that's actually causing your partner to withdraw and not talk to you. To not want to try to come to solutions.

Josh 9:15
So and then here's the other piece that I throw in. Which is--so I think I think there's two pieces. I think the number one "Is it your partner's fault?" Which is I mean, the answer is you always contribute in some way, whether it's now. Whether it's in the past and that's another thing. Even if you used to participate in all this stuff, and you've changed, you're still a part of why the pattern's here. But I would take it a step further and I would say that at the end of the day, when you get to this question of "is it your partner's fault or your fault," I think the answer is who cares? And look, I'm not saying this to downplay the difficulty of being in a spot where your partner is being incredibly difficult or is changing the rules under your feet. I use the example all the time of, if you sign up for a monogamous marriage, and now your partne-- you're 10 years, 20 years in-- and your partner has discovered that they're non-monogamous, and they're changing the rules to that under your feet. And I don't mean by cheating, but I mean, by being like, "Hey, this is what I want and need." That isn't fair. And that is a difficult place to be in. And I think you could if anything, you could say it's somebody's fault, and not yours, I think you could argue that that would be it. But again, I just come back to who really fucking cares? Because, you know, regardless of whose fault it is, or not, the question becomes, what do you want to do from here?

Josh 10:59
Like, let's say that you're in that situation where it's poly-mono, and you know, your partner's discovered that they're non-monogamous. And not only have they discovered that, but they really aren't in a place of really wanting to make change, and make sure that you two are going about that the right way. And it's their fault. I mean, at the end of the day, who really cares? And I say that because there's still only two choices here. Which is, either you're gonna figure out a path to make your family work, or you're not. You're gonna give up and you're gonna let it go. Whose fault it is doesn't really change the outcome and doesn't really change what you need to do if you want to see this succeed. Does that make sense?

Cassie 11:40
Yeah. At the end of the day, it's about what do you want to do about the challenge? Whether the challenge is your fault, your partner's fault, the world's fault, whatever-- at the end of the day, it always comes down to what do you want to do about it?

Josh 11:54
Right. And you know, if you're in a place where-- and this is what we see a lot-- but like I said, if you're in a place where like, "This is my partner's fault," by necessity, you're saying, "I don't have the power to change this." You're giving up your power, and you're dooming your relationship to whatever is lying in front of you, whether that's breakup or divorce, or separation, or just being fricking miserable, for the next five years, until somebody finally can't do it anymore. But the second, you're like, "This is my partner's fault," you've given up your power to affect the outcome. And you are basically like, "I'm just here along for the ride, because it's not my fault. So I can't do anything." And so I think, really, at the end of the day, what I would suggest, Cassie, is that a better idea than talking about fault is just to get out of that mode entirely. It is a... it may be a perfectly valid way to look at it in terms of it might even be true. But it's also completely useless way to look at it and get out of talking about who's at fault. And get into a place-- and this is what we do with our clients-- which is instead of "who's at fault here" is "what is the outcome that I want? And how am I going to get there?"

Cassie 13:10
And so from there, with changing that shift, what would you say is sort of the the next thing from there? It's obviously that decision of "what is the outcome that I want" and deciding how to get there. So what is the next step from there?

Josh 13:30
Well, I think it's important to say, first off, that that is the first step-- is figuring out what your outcome is. I mean, that's the first step really in anything. Figuring out what is your outcome here? Is your outcome to try and make your family work? Is your outcome to get back to a stable, happy, secure place? Is your outcome that you want to spend the rest of your life with this person that you love? What is the outcome that you have? And I think that you have to start there.

Cassie 14:04
And I think with starting there, I think for a lot of folks who end up in this place where they're like, "It's not my fault" or "My partner's the ones screwing things up," is that they get into this place of when they're-- instead of looking at the outcome and what do I need to be moving towards that outcome-- they're like, "Well, before we can move towards that outcome, my partner needs to realize this. My partner needs to do that. My partner, my partner, my partner." Rather than looking at what they personally need to do to reach that outcome.

Josh 14:39
Well, this is what we tell our clients. One of the big pillars when we're working with our clients is we talk about principle versus progress. And the idea behind that is that usually in any situation, you can be right or you can get what you want, but you can't have both. And this is why the outcome is so important. Like if you feel like your partner is at fault-- is the outcome that you really want to get them to admit that they're at fault, or is the outcome to actually move your family forward and get back to a happy, healthy place? Because you can't have both most of the time. And especially when you're talking about blame. And I don't want to go too far down this road, but really, when you're trying to get somebody to accept fault, you're really talking about blame. And anytime blames in the space, any kind of conversation on progress pretty much stops. But I'd say the first piece is-- and really, I think the most important piece in this discussion-- is figuring out what is your outcome? And why is that important to you? t's the outcome but also, I think, especially when you're in the place where your partner isn't maybe in the same spot, and you might have to move this relationship forward on your own, I think it's super important to build up the why this is so important to you. Because that "why" is going to give you the fuel to do the hard work to get to that outcome. Especially if your partner isn't so much onboard, and you're having to push this boulder uphill. So what would you say to people about figuring out their why?

Cassie 16:08
As far as figuring it out, I mean, as you said, it's really important for being able to move past those really difficult things. And when you're trying to look at your "why," I suggest looking ahead. Your "why" is the future that you need and want for yourself. That's really what your "why" is. "I want to show up and be a better partner in my relationship, because I want to have a future where me and my partner are able to go and do adventures with the kids and have our polycule and everything feel connected and good." And like really connecting to why this is important to you.-- why you love your partner, why your relationship has been something amazing, even-- maybe not at this moment when the challenges are there. But why your relationship is so important to you. So looking at the reasons why you love your partner and your relationship, but also looking at the "why" as far as the future. Why do this, so that you can have what later?

Josh 17:23
Yeah, I'd take that even a step further, which is the outcome is --I mean, for most people-- the outcome is going to be "I want to save my family. I want to get through this challenge. I want to build a future together. I want to build a together." Okay, what does that actually mean to you? What does that give you? What does that give to your kids? What does that change in your life? When you're back to a happy and healthy place? And this weight is off your shoulders? What does that even give your partner even if you're pissed off at them right now? To get to that place? And then I think from that point of saying, "Okay, here's my outcome. And this is why it's important to me." Then you have to actually figure out what are the steps you have to take to get from A to Z? "Okay, I want to turn the family around. I want to be in a spot where we have a future" Okay. "And here's why it's important to me. ABCD. Okay, well, the next, what are the exact steps I need to take? What are the actions? What is the path? That's going to get me from A to Z?" But I think underneath all of this is really just the truth that-- I'd take it back to this principle versus progress. I think if we could really sum it up to anything it's this-- which is, you really just, at the end have to decide what's most important. Is it to be right? Is it to get your partner to accept fault? Or is it to get your family to where you want to go? And I know that sounds like such a simple thing to say. But I think so many people struggle with that so much.

Cassie 18:57
I think it's because it's the motivation. We are creatures that, depending on where we're focused, is how our motivation goes. Because if my motivation is that outcome of wanting to save my family, wanting to stay with my partner, having a future, I'm going to do different actions, than if I'm focused on the outcome of, "I want my partner to say that they're wrong. I want my partner to feel bad about this thing they did." Then that's going to shift the target of my actions and what I'm doing.

Josh 19:36
And when the decisions you make and it's also, you know, at the end of the day, it's going to really stop you from getting started in the first place. And I think this is really the important point. Which is if you're really in a place-- because generally what people really mean when they say, "I need my partner-- it's my partner's fault. I need them to recognize their at fault," is there kind of like holding the relationship hostage in a way, and I don't think it's like an intentional thing necessarily. But it's kind of holding the relationship hostage of "Well, I'm not going to work on this until you somehow admit that you are at fault. Whether that is through your words are whether that's through you starting to work on things, or whether that's whatever." But at the end of the day, what they do is they sit back and they let a relationship that is perfectly salvageable fall apart, because they aren't willing to take action because they're waiting for their partner. And this again, goes back to that giving up their power. They're waiting for their partner to do something first. And you become at the standoff where "Well, I'm not going to do X, if you don't do Y, and I'm not going to do Y if you don't do Z. So we just sit there and the relationship falls apart around us. And the arguments get worse, and the disconnection gets worse and the distance grows, and the problems build." And I guess you can sit there at the end and be like, "I won," but I don't know a lot of people who do that, across a courtroom.Who are really like looking across like a courtroom, wrapping up in a divorce. And you're like, "you know what?"

Cassie 21:15
"I was right."

Josh 21:15
"I was right." I mean, it's just the place. So I guess what I'd say to you-- look folks, when we're talking to clients about saving their relationships, like the "how"-- I don't want to say it's easy. I mean, the "how" is easy for us, because we've helped hundreds of clients through this, and we know the exact steps that people need to take. And there's always a path there if you are committed enough, and you're ready to seize your power. But again, nobody can help you to get somewhere until you decide what the outcome is. And if you're in a place where you're feeling that fault, and you're blaming your partner, you know what, give yourself 5-10 minutes to sit down and really be pissed off about it. And the role your partner's played and how you got there. But after that, you have to sit down and ask yourself, is it more important to be angry? Is it more important to have them take blame? Is more important to be right? Or is it more important to save my family? What is the outcome here that I'm looking for? Because you're gonna get whichever of those things you wind up fighting for.Anything you want to add on to that?

Cassie 22:34
And really the only thing that I would add to that is no amount of help, no guidance, no books, no this no that, is going to fix things until you've made that decision anyway. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what your partner does, doesn't matter what you do, until you make that decision, that "this is the outcome I want. And this is where I'm focused," nothing's gonna work anyway.

Josh 23:08
That's why we don't take clients who haven't made that decision. But here's the other piece that I want you to realize, too, is that what we see over and over again, is that when people have made that decision, and then they have-- so they know their outcome, they've decided it's more important to save the family, to build a future-- they commit to doing that. They figure out why that's so important to them. And then they set out on that course. And then they get like the right help.They get help from people who actually know what they're doing, and the steps to turn that around. Well, there's always a path and one person is all it takes. One person who is so committed to saving the family, they're willing to put the blame and the rightness behind them and just sit down and commit and take the action and do the work to change your relationship. There is always a path. That's why we talk about one person seizing their power. What I want you to take away from this is that when you stop worrying about who's at fault, like when you can give that up and really focus on what's important, you have the power to transform your relationship in enormous ways. Regardless of whether your partner even wants to take the steps along with you. One person can absolutely change relationships. It's only possible from that place of "you know what, making this family work is more important than who's at fault or being right or needing to see my partner do X Y&Z first." And if you know if you're in that place where you're ready to make change, but you just don't know how, we can help with that. And what you're going to want to do is go to, right you'll see a spot to apply for a call with us. Go through, fill that out, pick a time on our calendar. And you know, we'll walk you through. Because we've helped-- I mean, the truth is about a third of our clients come through on their own. And they make these changes in their relationship and they seize their power. So if you are deciding that that's what's more important to you that moving the family forward, that that's the outcome that you're going for, well, we know how to help you get there, and we're happy to talk and happy to help and come up with a plan to make that work. Okay, so like I said, We can help you out. Anything else you want to throw in Cassie?

Cassie 25:33
No. That be it.

Josh 25:34
All right, then, for everybody have a fantastic week-- a fantastic holiday, I guess! This should be going out right during the holidays. So Happy Holidays. Hope it's full of people that you love, and as little stress and suffering as possible, and lots of happiness and good memories, and family and fun. And we will see you all here again, very soon.

Josh 26:02
Thanks for tuning into today's show. We release new episodes every week. So make sure to subscribe.

Cassie 26:08
If you're ready to transform your relationship and you'd like to see if you're a fit to work with us, here's what I want you to do next: head over to and book an appointment to speak with our team. We'll get on the phone with you for about an hour. And we'll get you crystal clear on three things: What's really not working in your relationships, what your dream relationships would look like and a step-by-step plan to close the gap and save your family even if nothing has worked before.

Josh 26:36
We talk with hundreds of non-monogamous folks like you every year. And here's the truth: building loving, thriving relationships-- that doesn't happen on its own. You need expert guidance to make that happen. And unfortunately, when you are building relationships outside the box, that's impossible to find and we get it but that's exactly what we do. We've helped clients all over the world, save their families, get the passion back and become best friends again.

Cassie 27:00
So if you want to see if we can help you do the same head over to I'm Cassie.

Josh 27:08
And I'm Josh. Let's talk soon.