How to Deal With a Spouse Who Constantly Criticizes You

Updated on December 14, 2018
Heather63 profile image

Heather writes to help readers maintain a healthy lifestyle by addressing both external and internal stressors.

Being criticized can be a tough situation to handle, but how you receive it can be very instrumental to your own growth.
Being criticized can be a tough situation to handle, but how you receive it can be very instrumental to your own growth. | Source

The ideal marriage contains healthy communication between two partners, however, the capacity for these channels aren't always clear and open. The reality is every marriage experiences its challenges at times, and many of us have had to endure our mate's sarcastic remarks and/or complaining at least now and again. Unfortunately, some people are in situations where negative comments are consistently directed at them all the time.

Living with a spouse who seems to always find fault can be difficult and painful. It's important for your emotional and mental well-being to find ways of handling the situation. Regaining harmony is possible when both parties equip themselves with the tools to communicate clearly and respectfully.

Why Is My Spouse so Critical

It can be both helpful and hopeful to realize that most (if not all) of your spouse's critical comments has little to actually do with you. That may be hard to believe when the comments are always aimed in your direction. It is important to keep in mind that some people think their way is better while others genuinely believe that they are being helpful

The truth is that anyone who finds fault with others is usually unhappy with themselves and their own lives. They cope with these undesirable feelings by projecting them onto their partner. Perhaps your mate grew up with a critical parent and learned to communicate that way. Or maybe they are carrying unspoken resentments or regrets around from years ago.

If your spouse is mature enough to look in the mirror and admit the true reasons for the anger, your marriage will change for the better. If not, you still need to understand the dissatisfaction is most likely not about what you do or don't do, and if you weren't there, chances are someone else would be hearing comments.

Set Boundaries for Yourself

When all is said and done, there's no excuse for bad behavior. Your spouse has a responsibility to treat you be respectful of your feelings and to treat you with care. When that doesn't happen, it's time for you to take action on your own behalf.

It's been said that setting healthy personal boundaries is like building a strong fence around your house—it keeps your property safe. Part of taking care of yourself is not letting anyone take away your sense of self-esteem. That's where boundaries come in.

Setting boundaries doesn't mean shutting other people out of your life, it simply means that you will be thoughtful about who and what behaviors you allow in to save yourself from unnecessary hurt. If you are faithful to sustain your "fence", it will teach both you and your mate a more healthy way to live.

Learn how to deal with a spouse that is always criticizing you.
Learn how to deal with a spouse that is always criticizing you. | Source

How to Communicate Your Boundaries

Clearly setting boundaries can be hard, but with practice you can learn. Practice with the following strategies:

  • Use "I" statements. This keeps the focus on you, and will sound less like an accusation leveled at the other person.
  • Don't engage with your partner while they're irate. Don't try to talk them out of their mood, just inform them that you recognize that they are upset and will speak with them when they're more level-headed.
  • Use a softer tone. if you yell or cry, your spouse may only hear the emotion and miss the point you want to make.
  • Stay positive. Setting a boundary might not feel good right away, but it is a healthy thing to do for both of you.
  • Don't try to force the outcome. Your words might be received well, or your mate could react with anger. That is not your responsibility. Be sensitive but stay firm.

Take a Step Back From Your Immediate Feelings

It's hard to separate from strong emotions, especially negative ones, but speaking or acting out from a place of hurt will most likely only keep you and your partner engaged in a painful conflict instead of helping each other move on.

Instead practice thinking objectively about each criticism your spouse gives. Determine if the critic is supposed to be constructive or destructive. Again, this is challenging to do just as the comment strikes, but at some point you must consider if the critique is justified at all. Honestly evaluate the situation and your part in it. Ask yourself whether you're doing anything, intentionally or not, that might irritate your mate or make him or her feel disrespected.

Depending on the context, sometimes it is best to let the remark pass rather then make a scene. Take a deep breath or a nice refreshing walk to give yourself a moment of clarity before confronting your partner.

Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.

— Dale Carnegie

The Pareve Response: Be Aware of How You React

One our most common reactions to attacks is the automatic fight or flight response. To fight is to literally provoke an argument by hurling a barb back at your spouse. Flight involves disengaging, whether by physically leaving the room, or pulling away emotionally. Both responses only serve to prolong the tension between you and your partner.

A better choice to try is what author Yehudis Karbal calls the Pareve Response—a method of acknowledging the comment your spouse makes while remaining neutral yourself. It shows you are listening to the other person while taking the time to calm down before addressing the criticism directly. These responses are kinder and more productive for both parties. They avoid engaging in power struggles and offer a refreshing approach to solutions instead. I have included example critical comments below as well as the appropriate Pareve Response.

Critical Criticism
Pareve Response
"You don't keep this house clean enough."
"You may be right."
"We have to get a newer car."
"That's something to think about."
"I wish you were more like my mom/dad."
"I don't like doing comparisons."
"Where did you get that idiotic idea from?"
"Im not sure."
"You're messy. You need to get your act together."
"I've noticed that too."
Avoid the verbal duel by using pareve responses.

Arm Yourself With Knowledge

One of the best ways to take care of yourself in a difficult situation is to understand it better. There are lots of books available that can help you start to make sense of what is happening in your marriage and what you can do. Here are a couple of titles you could read:

The Critical Partner by Michelle Skeen, PsyD

When you are in a relationship with a critical partner—someone who constantly blames you and holds you to unrealistic standards—you may feel picked apart, unworthy, and unhappy. You may start to wonder if you’ll ever be good enough for your partner. This guide can help you repair your relationship by getting to the root of why your partner criticizes you so that you both can build a more loving and supportive partnership.

Excerpt from Amazon.

Critical Condition by James A. McMenis

Everyone, at some point, has dealt with negativity and criticism. Criticism is wreaking havoc in marriages, relationships and society. It is vital to understand the spirit of criticism, how it operates and the fruit it produces. In this book, Pastor James A. McMenis thoughtfully emphasizes just how dangerous a critical spirit can be when it spirals into anger and resentment.

Excerpt from Amazon.

I Hear Youby Michael S. Sorensen

Whether you’re looking to improve your relationship with your spouse, navigate difficult conversations at work, or connect on a deeper level with friends and family, this book delivers simple, practical, proven techniques for improving any relationship in your life.

Excerpt from Amazon.

Consider Getting Professional Help, Ideally as a Couple

Counseling can be a terrific source of support for anyone going through a hard time. Another set of eyes and ears could bring you and your mate new understanding about his or her critical nature.

Even if your spouse won't attend, you can benefit greatly from talking things out with someone who understands the dynamics of a marriage. You can also learn more about your own patterns and responses. Just knowing someone else recognizes and empathizes with your struggle can give you encouragement.

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a model that is effective in reducing the disconnect and the amount of distance in relationships. The approach examines the root cause of the issue that needs to be addressed in order to defuse negative cycles of criticism. The goal is to bring vulnerable feelings to the forefront. This involves creating a safe space for exploration of those tender parts of the brain and its corresponding feelings.

Marriage courses can also have positive effects on how you and your partner communicate.

What Not to Do When Dealing With Your Partner's Criticism

  • Avoiding the Urge to Fight Back - Countering from a reactionary stance sends the message that there is something to prove to your spouse.
  • Never Take the Blame for Your Partner's Unhappiness - Reclaim your identity by becoming less dependent on their approval.
  • Don't Set Yourself Up to Be Criticized - Not delivering on promises and putting others down is a sure fire way to invite criticism (warranted or not.)
  • Don't Focus Entirely on the Negatives - Obsessing over the negative will only compound the issues between you and your partner. Practice counter-balancing the negative with positive thoughts and tendencies.

How Do You Handle Criticism?

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Questions & Answers


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        2 days ago

        Kay I feel like your telling the story of my life! My husband has given me “his opinion” in the middle of me helping a friend WHO ASKED ME TO DO EXACTLY WHAT I WAS DOING..(potty train her son) In front of her, her 4 yrs old son and my daughter proceeded to tell me I was going to ruin this child’s life and other poor choice words. Started a fight after I explained to him how his criticism made me feel whether he means to hurt me or not it does. He told me how stupid I was because I could not see how wrong I was!

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        3 days ago

        My husband (13 years now) thinks he is the only one who does things the correct way. If I’m driving he has an issue with how I’m steering, braking, placing foot on gas pedal...or criticizes me for waiting too long to pull out into traffic OR pulling out into traffic too soon. At grocery store he has to push the cart, make ALL decisions about what foods go in the cart (often highly processed or junk food) and where/how they are placed in the cart and how where they are placed on the belt at the register. If I set anything in cart or on belt, even in organized way with frozen together, canned together, etc he will pick up what I placed and set it down somewhere else. If I pull car into garage he will roll his eyes and tell me I should have parked in on driveway because he planned to do something in garage - if I park it on driveway he will roll his eyes and ask why I didn’t park it in garage. If I set a plate in dishwasher near another same size/same food remains he literally will pick up both plates and exchange their positions. If I fold towels one way, it’s wrong. If I later fold them the way he previously wanted them folded, it’s wrong. If I fold and stack clothes, how I do it is wrong. If I put a shirt on a hanger, i’ve Put it on facing the wrong way. If I feed a pet I give either too much or too little food or didn’t do it at exactly the right time or set the bowls down in the right spot. If I stop doing anything at all so he can do everything himself, he tells people I do nothing at home. He tells people the same thing even when I take care of a lot at home...and also says I go shopping every day...I seldom shop beyond getting groceries and gas. I work more hours than he does and I’m the primary parent. He criticizes pretty much anything I do, big or little (even how I put cleaned utensils in their spots in the drawer). Pretty much sick of it and now pointing it out to him every single time he does it now.

      • profile image


        2 weeks ago

        In the Quick Poll you forgot Option #4: Tell Her to Shut Up

      • profile image


        8 weeks ago

        We married before 6 months. before wedding she made me lot of promises and love words but after wedding she never spoken single love word for me. she always criticized me in everything. in my walking, talking, writing and each n everything she started criticism, he parents her mom, brother, mom, uncle always tried to insult me, now they trying for divorce but still i love her too much, what to do?

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        2 months ago

        I bought tickets to take my husband for vacation and been sacrificing myself tryintg to make everything romantic and pay for everything with out asking him for a penny. But he doesnt wanna go and told me to cancel everything, at this point the airlines wont refund my money and i cant cancel the hotel at last minute.. i feel so sad and stupid... i feel like im not being appreciated for what im doing i wanted to make it seem like a honeymoon just for us two with no kids, but at this point im just so sad i dont even feel like going anymore or even thinking about spending time with him alone in another country after being so stupid to work so hard for this for nothing. Im just so down right now. Wish i had someone to speak to and not judge me for the mistakes i make.

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        2 months ago

        Janie, no one should have to endure being screamed at to the point of physical violence. Wait a few days and then tell him you are planning a trip to see family. Then go and spend some time. Reach out to them. Maybe they could come to you. Either way this does not seem like a relationship you want to be in.

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        2 months ago

        My husband criticizes everything I do and then when I finally get fed up and tell him to stop, he gets very angry and shouts at me and gets in my face. I was backing away and he shouted at me and was getting in my face and waved the dust pan in front of him because he was scaring me and I was trying to get physical distance from him and he threatened me at that point. He told me that if he ever hit me, it would be the end of me. He then told me "F... You" several times, threw items around the kitchen and told me to leave the house. I would have left the house, but we have a three year old who heard everything and I don't know what to do. I have no family within 8 hours driving distance from me. I am about done. I love him, but he just loses it and says and acts so scary when he gets mad.

      • profile image

        Tired husband 

        3 months ago

        Hi I am getting tired of my wife criticizing everything I do it is getting to the point I am thinking

      • profile image


        3 months ago

        Rod, get out. Get counselling, and get them to help you get an exit strategy and then leave her. She’s not there for the right reasons.

        You will find someone better, and even if you never did, think about it, you’d still be happier alone.

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        3 months ago

        I wanted to add one more comment to Rod down below. Yes, people care. I care. Please do not do anything to hurt yourself. You have people in this world that love you. Especially your daughter. Show her strength and that her dad is a man who will always be there for her. You sound like a great man. Hopefully, all of us on this site can find happiness. Please take care Rod.

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        3 months ago

        Thank you Paula. My girls are older now. 2 in college and 1 in high school. My wife grew up with all women in the house after her father passed when she was in high school. I assume the way she acts sometimes that this was common practice in her home. I watched my own father go through similar things with my mother. They are now divorced and he is remarried and happy. Sometimes I feel I am living that life over again. I do not think my wife was always like this, maybe she was and I did not realize it. All I know is I am very tired. My job is very stressful, she doesn’t really seem to care. I thought a marriage was supposed to be a partnership. You’re right, I know what I should do. I just did not want to be another statistic. I also got married for better or worse. I always thought if you stuck it out long enough and worked hard enough it would even out in the end. All I want is to help my girls, get them situated and live a life with a woman who really loves me. One that I can grow old with and hold hands with and be everything to one another. There are times when I am so angry I am ready to leave but there are others where the pain in my heart is so big I am not sure if I can overcome it. Thank you again for your post.

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        3 months ago

        my wife and i have been married for 7 years in that time we have produced a beautiful little girl , this is all i have ever really wanted ( to be a dad ) my wife is thai and she has never been very nice to me , although she is very very nice to everyone else , we have made love once since the conseption of our daughter so about 20 months without , i protested this very much as i know lack of intimacy will destroy a marriage and i don't want my marriage to end, didnt matter to her , and of course nothing changed , i feel like i accepted the terms and promised god that through good or bad i will stand with her , and that i will not go back on , she beats the crap outta me everyday verbally , with temper tantrums , she is never ever wrong , cant think of a compliment she has ever given me although i do compliment her as much as i feel i can , she wakes up in the morning and starts in right away beating me down , never anything nice , my sisters and i were neglected as children so i have always had this low self esteem , i have worked on it over the years and thought i really conquered it ,or at least made good headway , but her abusive behaviour over the last years has made me question myself more than ever , self esteem is now zero again , i hang my head all the time , i even find myself stuttering sometimes when trying to talk to someone ,just a nervous feeling that i can do no right , all that work i did has been reversed in 7 years , she hardly talks to me , rarely makes dinner for me or any other meal , i went out fishing for 4 days and came back with a boatload of fish , didnt help clean or process anything when she knows i did all this to make her happy , then she says i dont want any of your fish , which isnt rare she says stuff to hurt me all the time like i said , i work in a remote place so the day before i had to go to work , i asked her if she could try and keep our little girl quiet so i could get another couple hours sleep as i would be leaving for work for 8 days at 5 a.m , she storms outta the house with our daughter loads up the car and is leaving just from me saying that and i must include i said it very nicely as i do with her most of the time ,

        well this being my last day at home for a while all i could think of was spending the day with my daughter so i run out there and stop her from leaving and took my daughter and put her in my truck and off we went for the morning cuz mom was having a mental breakdown over nothing so normally i will get at least a couple e mails with pics of our daughter but this trip at work she has not contacted me at all , first time for this and let me tell ya when someone is holding your daughter from you it makes a grown man cry his eyes out , i am at my wits end i dont know what to do , i pay the bills , i fix the house , i fix her car , i make meals for her ,i fill the freezer with food ,i look after our daughter , i clean the house , i do my laundry , and i know she takes care of our daughter most of the time but i do as she asks but i never get treated nicely anymore ,

        i have figured out that she is extremely selfish , almost seems incapable of thinking about anybody but herself , takes joy in seeing me hurting

        i really feel like shit all the time ,

        thought about counselling

        thought about driving off a cliff ( cant do that to daughter)

        my mental capasities have been seriously compromised by this destructive woman

        i really truly dont know what the fuck to do , i find myself hoping i will die in an accident at work or something (true)

        i know whats going through my mind is not healthy , does anyone care out there , i am as alone as i have evr felt in my life

      • fpherj48 profile image


        3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

        Dear Dad/husband88......Sounds like you have quite an unpleasant situation. If I have understood correctly, the girls are "your children." This tells me that if you brought those girls into this marriage & you've been married for 20 years, these daughters are grown adults at this point. Do they still live with you & your wife?

        As adult women, if they are aware of your dilemma with your wife, I cannot imagine them not understanding how unbearable it has become for you. Why would you be so concerned with your daughters assuming you have had enough and want to leave? I find it difficult to believe they would not want you to be happy, loved & supported by your wife. It would not be realistic of them to see you as a "deserter during tough times," if they are truly aware of the situation. Further, as adults, you are hardly setting a negative example that they wouldn't fully see as self-preservation.

        As for your wife, her attitude & behavior......she "berates your kids (whom, as I have noted are hardly "kids at this point) and she tires you with "talking about people." She sounds like an incredibly selfish, unhappy woman, who wants what she wants without consideration of anyone else.

        You must know you deserve much better than this. You're slamming your head against a brick wall & carrying 100% of the responsibility for your marriage & home life. You must also be aware, this is not how a healthy marriage is.

        To suggest anything to you or advise you, I'd have to know much more about you, your wife and your daughters. This entire scenario is difficult to understand, in terms of your refusal to take action toward a better, happier, more fulfilling life.

        I can assure you, after 20 years of struggle and continuing to try to are bound to ultimately break down. If something is this bad in your life, it IS up to you to find a solution. I certainly know what you SHOULD do, but you must make that decision and take positive action. Good Luck, Paula

      • profile image


        3 months ago

        Married for over 20 years. There is no sex, dinner or help with a job. I have worked a minimum of 2 jobs for the entire marriage. I fix things in the house, make dinner, do laundry, clean, pay all the bills, help the kids and her mother. I get criticized, yelled out and put down. I am mentally and physically exhausted. The problem is Instill love her. Sometimes I wonder why. Mostly I am just sad. I have sought therapy but that does not seem to help. She refuses to go since nothing is wrong with her. She berates my kids and always talks about people. It is tiring. No idea what to do or how to handle it. I do not want to leave because I do not want my girls to think this is how husbands react when things get tough. I try to put her comments behind me but it does not seem to work. I know I am not perfect but I try to be a good dad and husband. If anyone has any advice I would appreciate it.

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        4 months ago

        After 26 years of living with a never ceasing critical wife I have developed thick skin and a realistic point of view. First of all, I now accept it for what it is. She will never change and all of you thinking by being nicer, kinder, more Christian, more fill in the blank... Is gonna change your spouse you are wrong. It's not about that so quit blaming yourself and being someone's make me happy puppet. Never gonna happen. My wife is an unrelenting hyper perfectionist OCD. Always will be.

        So what do I do? Lower my expectations. Not gonna ever get a compliment from her so I stopped expecting it. I do things now to satisfy myself not her. If I do something and I think it's a good job guess what. It is!!!!! I listen with a different ear, take a lot of deep breaths and I get through alot of moments that would have previously sent me spiralling. I actually listen to the complaint and I act on what is reasonable immediately and let the other stuff go in one ear and out of the other.

        When she she now tries to bludgeon me with the ..We are never as close as so and so ...guilt trip language, I calmly say... No we're not.

        When she bashes me for not talking to her more or telling her everything I'm feeling I say.... Yep. Hard on both of us I suppose.

        When she reminds me over and over that I'm not the man she thought I'd be.....I tell her I agree.

        When she uses lack of sex as a weapon I quietly remind myself that I am a loving responsive more than adequate loving man and say something like ....yeah, there's a lot we are both missing.

        I now play by my own rules.

        I still give her compliments

        I don't put her down in front of our children.

        I don't wallow in self pity.

        I don't wish for things that will never come true.

        I remind myself that although I am not perfect I am well liked and admired by my friends and those I interact with at work.

        I still reach for her hand even though she stopped doing that to me years ago.

        I still attempt kissing her even though it's rarely on the mouth anymore

        I still remind her she is good looking even though she has stopped telling me that a long time ago

        I still thank her for doing things even though she rarely if ever thanks me

        Yes I have a lot of unmet needs

        But I don't wallow in self contempt any more.

        Because I know now it's not my fault

        She is a non stop workaholic perfectionist and she has to deal with thavery day

        Our home is perfectly kept

        Our children lack for nothing and get straight As

        She is an amazing cook and does it joyfully

        She is the first one to volunteer at church and spends countless hours there helping

        She is well respected at church and in the community

        She is faithful

        She still looks nice when she gets dressed up and even occasionally does it for me

        In another four or five years all the kids will have been launched.

        The year after that I will begin assessing what I need to do to spend the rest of my days being in a happier more loving relationship.

        I don't know it it will be with her.

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        5 months ago

        I have similar issue with my husband, he also has trust issue with other people. For instance his cousin runs his business overseas after he left his business to come join me in the states, and he continually critisizes him for taking money or not being honest about the business, until he finds out he has been wrong and he won't admit in front of me that he feels bad for misjudging the person. He behaves like a maniac when he is driving.

        For 5 years I have always washed all of the laundry the same way, finally he told me we have to wash the T-shirts under delicate like handwash. I forgot to do it just after he had asked me, and he made such a big deal for two Tshirts. I felt disrespected and hurt. He has always said many times over and over again, you don't do things right. You are always rushing through things, bla bla.. I know , I admit to my mistakes and I do apologize to him and each time he smiles and comes back around and forgives me and he is very kind. but when he gets mad and angry about an issue, he really makes sure I feel punished and i hate this feeling. I feel alone when he does that . We used to argue all the time, but now it's once every two or three months . I still feel like I want him to know that this hurts and he should not do this again, but people won't change. Oh Well. I have my flaws too so I cannot only blame him.

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        5 months ago

        My wife criticizes everything I do: the laundry, the way I dress the kids, the way I dress, the way I drive, everyone in my family, my job, my sexual performance or lack thereof, my goals, etc, etc, the list goes on and on. She yells, she gives the silent treatment, locks me out of bedroom and the house, gets upset even on vacations and ruins part of them. I don't know what to do. I've tried taking it, I've tried arguing back roughly, I've tried saying nothing, I've tried ignoring it. I've tried talking about it. She used to hit me in the head, until I put a stop to that. I brought her flowers at work, presents at work for her birthday and special holidays, I tried to take her out on dates but she refuses, I've read special books about couples and love, I've prayed, I'm just about out of things to do. But it is nice to know that I'm not alone. Misery loves company. LOL

      • profile image


        5 months ago

        Although I am reading this from a current "hurt" state, I am glad (and also sad to hear) that other people are experiencing the same as me. I am also wishing to share my story as maybe I too can help someone feel not alone and gain perspective. My husband and I have been together for almost 10 years and something is very slowly consuming me. To make a long post just a little shorter, I am a bit of a clutz at times and have really been working on ways to be more organized and aware of where I sit things down. I have a job that is incredibly detail oriented to a very high degree and I succeed there, but just can't ever seem to do things right at home. My husband is from Europe and we have very different cultures. However, there has been a trend for a while that literally everything I do is wrong. I think of myself as a self aware person and I take accountability for my mistakes and do everything in my power to fix them. Today for example, I locked myself out of the house due to a door that swings shut behind you and I wasn't aware that the locking mechanism was engaged. I tried to open it with some force but he is now livid with me for not trying to call a locksmith first. My husband is out of town and I am already receiving messages degrading me as if I need to feel any more stupid than I do already. Keep in mind you are only hearing my side of the story to keep things fair. But, what I don't like is the extra criticism I am going to get over this and over the top scolding. I have told him I would appreciate him not acting like my parent and instead be my partner, in the past. But due to the frequency of these events, big and small, I am feeling like I just can't ever seem to do anything right in his eyes.

        I get bashed for the tiniest (mind you the previously mentioned door incident I don't see as a small thing) things and many mistakes are turned into a huge deal and blow up session. I am a very confident person, but I am starting to feel like I can't ever seem to do anything right. I feel like I am under a microscope at all times. I feel like I am kicked while I am down. But of all else, I feel like no matter how hard I try, I will always be wrong and he will always be right. We have talked before about this and he explains that I am not always wrong, but his actions/temper says otherwise. What burns me a lot is that the times that I am right, I get blown up on still and once he settles down, then I hear how I was right. It's almost like I can't ever be right either. Another thing that burns me is that he acts like he never makes mistakes and that is always rubbed in my face constantly. To the point that I don't want to do things or suggest things lest I be accountable for things that are also out of my control.

        It pains me to feel that all the mistakes I make are always remembered and I get badgered and haunted by them. I do my best to not make comments mean anything more than they already do, but my own self confidence and image is really being tested. I feel stupid, unappreciated, useless, oblivious and many times alone. My husband is a good man, but I just wish I could get him to see that it's not always me and that my feelings matter and actually need to feel like they do. I don't want to be looked at as the useless spouse and also one that needs to be yelled at and humiliated every times something happens.

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        6 months ago

        We are married for 11 years and Im the husband as you can see. I read all the comments and most of the people are the ones that are criticized or discouraged by their husbands or wives. But I'm the one on the other side, I criticized, discouraged, made joke in public, didn't appreciate, said few compliments and downgraded her.

        We had a big argument 1 month ago and she left for 2 days with a girlfriend to another city and said that she was calmed down and said she knows what to do. I wasn't really clear in my mind and I though she was over reacting.

        We are here on a trip just the 2 of us and left the children with grandparents. Guess what, we argued again she is not in the hotel room and I'm reading articles and posts to see what is wrong in me.

        We have a family business and I was one of the founders. Over 15 people working together. I as a husband now I see what I did wrong.

        - I thought everything I did was right and I cared less of other people including my wife. She works in the company and said that I'm the criticizer and look for faults in other people. I should be thanking people and appreciating them. My view is that i shouldn't be too soft on employees and she got hurt in that group. So I'm thinking she shouldn't be working there or I should be 3 times appreciation and 1 critics.

        - I make fun of her in public and with friends. I say it for fun and didn't make a big deal out of it. She said several times that she didn't like it. Now I understand that i should stop it and on the opposite praise her when we are together with family and friends. She is my supporter, she cheers for me, she respects and praises me most of the time but I'm the one that is the opposite. My parents are similar style as me and criticizes and complains about each other. Its where I came from but I have to start changing.

        -I unintentionally compared her with some of the other workers who were more experienced, that really blew it up. Her self confidence went down the drain. She wanted to me make a decision different from what i was thinking and I made a simple comparison that hurt her a lot. Even if she was inferior to those people I shouldn't have said that. I am stupid.

        I was probably vacuumed by the positive comments, praises, appreciations that come to me from family, work and friends. These things blind you from being fair and nice to people and even your wife. You need a time of alone and think back about yourself. I see as myself growing towards a successful person but with a wrong attitude.

        My weakness is that I'm not so sharp in understanding people's feelings saying the right words delicately. I love my wife and my family. She didn't say anything like leaving me or whatsoever, I just want to make it right.

        For men and women, pls be extra careful if you are working together with your wife or husband. i would say its better not to because i know I'm not perfect. Hurting the feelings can start from a very small thing an unintentional act that can stay in the feeling of your partner for a very long time.

        She is just breaking down from so much negativity from me and so less positive words, feelings and actions.

        So I'm still reading, I don't know yet on what to tell her to comfort her and calm her down. if anyone with same problem who can give an advice would be very helpful. i really need to change

      • fpherj48 profile image


        6 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

        I could easily repeat Vladamir's (Val's) comment, ver batim. So, DITTO, Val...thanks for speaking for me!

        If I wanted my every word & deed criticized, I'd find myself an angry, bitter, self-absorbed S.O.B, whom I had no intention of loving, certainly not marrying...& then I'd tell him to hit the friggan road!

        .Spouses/partners, in simple English, need to be loving, supportive & understanding. This is not negotiable.

        Some of the comments here are nearly impossible to believe! Are there this many weak, needy, dependent, zero-self-esteem individuals who are being abused & steam-rolled on a regular basis? This is absolutely pathetic! Pull yourselves from the gutter. Know your value and your right to be happy, respected and loved.

        Anything less than this, is inconceivable!

        Some of you have admitted to lives with your partners as worse than being in a Nazi Concentration camp...Do I feel sorry for you? NO! Put your big girl panties on and get the hell out of that horrifying situation! Do not be an idiot!

        "We TEACH people HOW TO TREAT US!!"

      • profile image


        7 months ago

        My marriage has been a fairytale

        I have been married to a very loving , smart, responsible and kind man

        He loves me and I love him to death. He showers gifts and surprises at me every occasion. We have to beautiful children together. Life is good, both of us have been super successful at our jobs and we truly are living the dream our kids go to the best schools and we are 200% committed to better future of our kids. He adores me and I personally have never met a person like him in my entire life. People envy us. We are perfect together. It’s been a dream until now (9 years) but something happened recently I and his sister had an argument where she wrongfully accused me of things that I did not do, exaggerate/ misconstrued my statement s... this seemed to have impacted us. Also after 9 years of marriage I found out( his sister told me) that he lied about his age and also got my call records before marriage to see if I was cheating on him ( I was in a relationship before hi) I this felt like a blow but I love him sooooo much that I decided to move on. I am still deeply hurt though. But i truly and honestly love him to the core.

        Things took a turn for bad from here. I tried to tell him my side of story and he pushed me away. I cried , I begged ... he still is my world and forever will be ( don’t know why) but from then on he started picking on me. Every time he compares me. I started working on things, became a morning person, planned every thing in advance.tried to fix everything that was “wrong” with me. And eventually he did realize that he was hard on me and was taking his frustrations out.

        But things go on and off ever since. He says I should talk to his sister only if I feel like but then gets upset if I don’t. My self esteem is out the door. His sister gives me attitude and tries to tell me she can get things her way. I feel scared to tell my husband and suck it up. But then it creeps up on me and he goes back to his critical self.

        I have never felt so loved w in my life. I am independent, have a very high paying job people respect me but at home I am this stupid, immature, senseless person. I can’t fight it, I am hurt tooo much but I love him very much.

        I know I can’t live without him but am living an unfulfilled life. I think of dying but then I think about my kids. In my objective mind he was know I hav everything one needs loving husband, good kids good life. But in my heat I am hurt and empty. I love him and I know he loves me but his intentional criticism is damaging my self esteem. He is good and then he goes back to complain again.

        I am just a lonely person with a broken heart which is filled with love for him. My God be with us!

        Do you think it’s a phase you

      • profile image

        7 months ago

        so happy, I am not alone. my partner is a nitpicker whereas I am more easy going and he is still uhappy with something. mainly with me, what I do, what I dont do, how I do things... unfotunately, my boss at work is similar person, so I dont like going to work and going to home. instead I love hanging out at sport classes where people smile, laugh and I feel that positive energy that I miss.

        If I bake a cake, my partner instead of beeing pleased says it is too big or it is not complete as he would put a chocolate on the top...

        it is like this since beginning and this was my first relationshio I wasnt sure about since beginning /I started dating him because he is nice person/. we are very opposite people. I love healthy lifestyle I am veetarian, he eats es and bacon every morning, he goes by car everywhere (even 100 metres), I am more easy going, he takes everything too seriously.

        I never felt loved in this relationship as he never praise anything, never invites me for dinner or to the cinema, everything is half -half. finances (if we go e.g. for a holiday, he writes all expenses and than we have to pay exactly the same part). he never suprised me just with no reason. sometimes I want to hu him and he goes away from me. We are together for more than 3 years... there is nothing major that would not work.. but these little things make me feel wether is this elationship right or not.. sometimes I feel like housemates. I have no wish to have a kids in a future. I am not sure wether it is because of all this or just because I am wierd (I am 34). I always felt loved in a relationship and sometimes I remember my previous relationship and how I felt and how great time it was (although there was a major problem which made us separated).

      • profile image


        7 months ago

        omg it's such a relief to read this! This is me too! I can't do anything right. Everything i do is wrong. My partner is always criticising me and saying negative things about me. He never praises me or compliments me or supports me. I've told him this many times, it doesn't seem to make a difference. I've said to him that he doesn't seem to appreciate anything about me....not my personality, nor what I do or how I do it. He constantly calls me a goldfish, because he says i don't remember things - i've actually got a very good memory and remember tons of things but i don't remember the same types of things as him. He says talking to me is like talking to a post or a toilet seat. I told him this morning I thought he was being unreasonable and rude. But he always blames me.....he genuinely seems to think i do lots of things wrong and genuinely seems to think things are all my fault. I wouldn't mind if that was true but it's not! His criticisms seem so unfair and so unwarranted!!! I get positive feedback from everyone else but negative feedback from him. I suppose I wish I could make him see things differently and see me more positively. I don't; understand why he's so negative about me, it just doesn't make any sense to me. I suppose I'll have to accept that's just the way he sees things and I can't do anything to change that. Oh yes, and of course he's Mr Positive, Mr Charming, Mr Supportive and Mr Empathetic with everyone else!!!!, who all tell me how lucky I am to be with him!!!! I think i'll have to leave. It's very sad because in some ways we get on extremely well and in some ways are very well suited and the relationship makes me really happy. But in other ways I hate it and it makes me really unhappy. And it's been like this for over 4 years. I've changed a lot, but he's got worse!!! Very sad but I can't see how we can stay together because yes there are very good times but there are also too many times I feel like his emotional punchbag for no good reason at all!! And when I set boundaries and challenge him he just blames me, that its all my fault!!! He thinks he's perfect.

      • profile image

        barbara jean 

        7 months ago

        Used to be in a marriage like this , everytime me and the kid was too happy , he get in a snit. I kind of drank too much for a while to deal with the cheating and nagging criticism. One day I got smart, threw my drink on him and left. Lost my pool and my avocado green couch but got my piece of mind back.

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        7 months ago

        I hate coming home from work ( at least they appreciate me there) because of the constant barrage of criticism at home from my husband . I quit cleaning because he redoes it anyway and kvetches about it.

        I literally have been hanging out at cafe's , the bookstores and the park so I don't have to hear that I made icecubes the wrong size, put the dog leash on the wrong hook, or parked the car wrong or that I drink to much wine or eat the wrong things. I feel like all I say is leave me the f alone when I am home with him?The only reason I don't leave is I would lose my car which I need for work.

      • profile image


        8 months ago

        Am stunned that I have stumbled on these comments as I honestly though I was totally alone in this. So many things resonate ...i am shouting "that's me!!" Every few sentences. It's terrible and also such a releif to know am not Alone!!

        Qusimodo...i hope you are ok...yours in particular was a long time back now.

        In my case it's my one believes me as in company she is utterly charming. At home she is a constant flow of nadt criticism and stinging sarcasm. I work long hours bringing in the lions share and pay all the bills. I do the shopping..i do the cooking ...i help the kids with homework...i tidy. Not out of any control but to avoid criticism if I dont..yet all I get is more criticism. 15 yrs of intimate relations for last 3 as she has decided for both of us that this not for her. Sleeps with the teenage children...i sleep alone.

        Mentally I am broken. I have tried neutral work involves conflict management...but she takes it all very very critically and although gives it..can not take even the slightest back. She is in complete denial regards her behaviour so counselling out of the question. Her conversational end game is always divorce....where I lose everything..and I don't want that. Caught between a spiky rock and a red hot hard place. Thanks for listening ...we are not alone. That means so much to me.

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        8 months ago

        My husband criticizes me constantly. Nothing I do pleases him. Everything is wrong - the way I cook, clean, care for the children, etc. It’s like living in a war zone. After so many years, I’m a nervous wreck. I’ve lost myself. I’m anxiety ridden and depressed, full of shame and sorrow. I used to have such a zest for life, but now I just pray for death - either him or me. It’s a living death anyway. I’m always walking on eggshells, terrified of his angry outbursts: `How come that game is on the floor? Why is the milk is out? Why isn’t dinner ready? It’s your fault that the kid is sick.’ The few times I begged him to stop, he threw anything he could get his hands on at me. What hurts me the most is the way he treats the children, especially the name calling - stupid, crazy, lazy, selfish.... It’s impossible to have a normal conversation. Everything is a fight. I have to beg for every penny. Then he wonders why I’m not more affectionate! He’s a Jekyll-Hyde character - Mr. Charming around outsiders. People always tell me how lucky I am to be married to such a wonderful man. After they leave, the monster returns.

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        10 months ago

        my husband always talks or laugh about me with his friends when we have a family get together to make other people laugh. For example I look like an elephant and come from a elephants family, if i dont wear a bra my boobs are hanging, i always take photographs for no reason etc etc so it's really hurts me. Also he always talks to his female friends online or over the phone and if i text him he gets really annoye with me.

      • profile image

        Frances Joan Blanch 

        10 months ago

        Can't even go to the Doctor's by myself so I don't get any help with my problems, my husband also tells the Doctor what is wrong with me, I don't have a say in my own life. Can't go for a drive in the car together he is always pointing out faults in a lawn, garden, fence, house, whatever, as we drive along, no rest from criticism.

      • profile image

        April JAP 

        10 months ago


        That isn't good to think and feel that way. First of all, try to look past her unsupportive and critical actions regarding everything you do. And start looking at you. Be grateful for you and all you've accomplished. After all, you really need no one else to let you know that you did good, and how hard you worked to get this far! You already know this because you were there. So the first stamp of approval should always come from you. And being this way does not make you conceited where moderation comes in.

        You're looking for approval and support from the one person who should already be giving it to you from the start. You won an award which displays appreciation for years of hard work and achievement with honor. I understand you'd want to hear some reassuring, compassionate, loving words, and feel supported by your wife. For her to show that about this award you were honored with would mean the world to you. But she doesn't see you. Has anyone else showed you the same in front of her regarding this (and maybe other things)? If so, how did you respond to the other person? Maybe she's jealous for some reason. Maybe no one has given her the same appreciation in her life. Maybe she feels bad for not achieving things she's done or wanted to do in her life. And maybe she feels she's living vicariously through you because of it. So out of her hurt, maybe that's a defense mechanism to hide that particular hurt and pain, albeit not in a constructive way (which still does not justify how she makes you feel). Then again, maybe she knows nothing more than to down another for their many achievements. Perhaps she's been taught to be the way she is by someone who also was raised in the same deconstructive manner. And what I mean by TAUGHT is, maybe she too was made to feel the way she's making you feel. And in that way, that's all she knows. If she does, than the aforementioned could be the case.

        However, I am only here, as you are. And I cannot say for certain why she is doing all she is toward you. I can only speculate based on what you've provided. How you included that she's this way with everything else you do. I'm just pointing out some things that could be an underlying condition as to why your wife feels the need to behave in such a destructive manner.

        You shouldn't feel like literally dying. You will be surprised how many people would miss you. I've heard this so many times from people I care about. And wouldn't you know, their funeral outcome was beyond what they would have imagined. And we don't know where they came from. But was good these people actually showed they cared enough to be there.

        I know it hurts. But like I said, feel proud of your accomplishments. Look at you. Don't give up. And just to test out one of the "maybes" I had mentioned, compliment her for any achievements she accomplishes. See her response. If she reacts in a negative way, let it be. Based on her reaction will tell you whether or not she really has been conditioned to be that way. And if you find she has, maybe find a way you two can work together and find a way to reverse that cycle. If it's learned, it can be unlearned. She just has to be made aware of how she's making you feel, and with a calm and constructive approach. Good luck.

      • profile image


        10 months ago

        I just won a major international award after a long, hard career. People from all over the world congratulated me... all except for my wife, who found something wrong with it, like everything else I do.

        I'm ready to die. It's a good time. Nobody will miss me.

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        Mary chiappella 

        10 months ago

        Been married for 39 yrs. My husband ALWAYS critizes my daughter and sometime me too. He thinks he's perfect . Puts my daughter down makes me very upset. She won't talk to him

        I go down her apartment take care of her cats do stuff there keeps me away from him. Don't know what else to do anymore

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        11 months ago

        I have been married almost 8 years we have never been a team. He controls all the money and pays bills online i have no passwords to anything. He has a credit card in his name only. He knows every dime i spend but i dont on him. I walk on eggshells he is on me constantly and barks at me like a dog. Few years ago he took a vacation for about 3 days told me at the last minute because he didnt want me going. Very verbally and mentally abusive

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        11 months ago

        I don't know who is wrong or right... But I know I can't b wrong all the time.. My husband just find faults in me n insults me.... Whatever I do he just have to criticize me.. I feel alone.. I was a love marriage but it's worst today

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        Karen McCabe 

        14 months ago

        So, I have to say, my husband criticizes me all the time. I feel really insulted when he does this. I do not criticize him as I feel it should be live and let live. I obviously don't live up to his standards, but when I say so, he tells me I am an embarrassment to him. I think to myself, why is it that when he's being different than what I want him to be, I just don't say any thing because I feel that each person on earth must be who they are. Why am I criticized then? This is bullshit.

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        James O 

        14 months ago

        I am a Pastor,

        my wife complain about my sentences any time I preach. She will not even allow me return home before she will send a text on all my sentences error. This make me unhappy, as she will not listen to my message but busy looking for error. Sometimes she send this to me right at the service. She is the only one complaining on this. Am not perfect in speaking good English but am above average.

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        Vintage Tinkerbell 

        15 months ago


        as you can gues by my name I am no spring chicken. What I will say to each and everyone of you is what a good friend said to me 10 years ago. You can only be someone`s doormat if you allow it. Take pride in yourself and others will follow, act as if and you will become". How right she was. I divorced 10 years ago. I had no option. Constantant criticism, no life what-so-ever and lack of confidence as he had removed all of that. I could not speak without stuttering, always walking on eggshells. We finally got divorced after being together for 29 years. My children have a closer relationship with me now they are not teenagers. They value my opinion. My health problems were not perceived but genuine. It took me time to rebuild my life even though I am now disabled due to a faulty immune system. I now have a life. I can make a decission, give an opinion. I have a part time job and I have met someone who listens and values me and helps me if and when I need it. I am not a bad wife, mother or person. I have an identity and I now realise I was not the problem. He was, it is only when you realise you are not the real reason why you are criticised it is about control. Men who feel inadequeate for whatever reason, putting someone down and getting attention from others through laughter or agreement is very difficult when you are the one at the brunt of their jokes or criticism. Remember one thing. You cannot change their mindset, accept what you cannot change and make the best of the here and now. People will only put you down if you let them. Eventually when you are ready and strong enough you will say enough. Things had to get very bad before I decided to walk away. For me it was the best thing I ever did. I moved away to a different part of the Country and started again. I knew I would be in a box if I didn`t. I now have a life and respect from people who know me and from family. I always made excusses for him but one day you run out of excuses. As my son put it "you would do anything Dad asked to keep him happy. If he asked you to paint your face bright green you would do it, but even then it would be the wrong shade". When your 13 year old son can see this, it makes you see things differently.

        It broke my heart at the time but I had no future and knew I could not change him I could only change myself and my situation. Now for the first time in my entire life I actually do not need to seek approval or justify myself. I wish I had had the inner strength and courage to make the break earlier. I had to feel I had explored all avenues before I closed the door on this relationship. I have grown enormously since that time. All I can say is nothing ever stays the same and when you feel it is time you will put yourself first. Only you can do this, It took me a long time and I am now a much stronger person because of it. Believe in yourself and your closest friends who will be there to help you. The friends you keep after a break up my not be the ones you expected but you will learn to trust your gut instincts who is genuine or not. You don`t need fair weather friends just genuine people who will encourage and support you. Most of all you will learn to survive and develope the courage to try new things without fear of failure. I am no longer the shadow of a person I was but a successful and respected person in a job I never thought I had the ability or capacity to do. It took me a lot of heartache and little steps to become the person I am now today. x

      • profile image


        15 months ago

        My husband is beyond normal. He has a bad temper and is controlling. Several weeks back I asked him to leave after he arrived home angry and smashed my computer and cell phone. He was sorry after minutes of terrorizing my things and me. He asked I forgive him, which I told him I would, but that we would not be together. He pleaded and I remained firm. Not happy with the outcome he stayed angry and an object at me on his way out. Several days after leaving he bombarded me with all kinds of insulting emails and threatened to divorce. I don't think he is really going through the divorce but.... we remain without communication and I remain very firm on leaving him. As I will not tolerate this crazy behavior on the insults and verbal abuse that follows. Please understand that I treat him with respect, love and kindness each and everyday. He drinks to much and I am fed with that too! He comes to bed on the weekends drunk, after sitting on our coach for hours parked in front of the TV for hours on end. There is lots wrong I feel. He had a bad childhood, and destructive life as a young adult. Fraught with drugs, women and complete chaos. This his first marriage at 49, I realize he is trying to be a good husband, but, there is a lot of eruptions going on inside him. His mother doesn't help. She gets involved in our life and is very opinionated as to what he needs to do, and needs to do in the marriage, and with me.

        I am not sure what is going to happen, but abuse and his mother can not be a part of my life with him. He is difficult to start with, let alone add her into the mix.

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        16 months ago

        I want to talk, but I have been cut down so many times, Im afraid too. Its not weakness that disables me, its fear. Yes fear.

        Am I a coward?

        Yes probably.

        But Im still here. That aint easy!

        So why am I still trying. Because I think its worth it.

        Yet deep down inside, I know in my heart, that its pointless. It takes two to make a marriage work, and in my pathetic fashion, I bow down to your expertise.

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        16 months ago

        We arrived @ our holiday destination yesterday. things have been bad for quite some time now. My wife has no interest in me what so ever. No love, no words of affection, no praise for anything and I mean anything and no sex for over 3 years.

        We have young children and live a hectic life style.

        My wife chooses to make things more complicated in our lives and non existent relationship, by adding to our already over prescribed life style, and taking on challenges that puts even more pressure on our children and I. It could be that she needs to prove to herself that she can still do the things that she does or it could be that she wants to prove it to others. Either way! She has my support and understanding, and on no occasion have I ever challenged or denied her anything. Mistake! Why? Because all I get it criticism and spoken to as if I were a child and not a man!

        I only have to give an opinion or light suggestion and its as if Im inviting her to pick fault or calling her out to combat. What ever the reason or topick, regardless of experience , knowledge or just about anything, IM ALWAYS WRONG :(

        If only she realised what she was doing to me. Correction , done to me.

        There isn't a day when I don't think of ending it all, especially when driving down country lanes. It would look like an accident :)

        My wife and family would get the insurance, the mortgage would be paid off and hopefully the children wouldn't grow up thinking I resenting me for leaving them.

        If only it was so simple, what a get out of jail free card that would be.

        Oh yes of course, how about the wife? I honestly don't think she would give a s--t. If she had any compassion or feelings towards me, she wouldn't be so critical or resentful of me. YES, Resentful!

        Why don't I. Because I don't won't to leave my children with her, thats why!!! I love them to much, and I look at my suffering as a penance for what ever I may have done in a past or present life.

        Do I love my wife........... YES

        Do I want it to work........YES

        Do I make an effort.........YES

        Does she love me............She can't , you don't treat the people you love with contempt.

        Is she damaged...............YES she has to be, because if she wasn't that would make her a bully and not a very nice person.

        Does she give or show any

        signs of feelings towards me..... YES contempt

        Remarks about my weight caused me to practically starve myself and as a result I have gone from a 44 waist to a 35. Rather than praise me and give me some of my self esteem back, she said

        " See aren't your happy now that I went on at you, don't you feel better".

        No well done or motivation speeches, or Im so proud of you or lets have sex. Nothing! She took all the credit. Well you know what, I still want to kill myself. Why? because theres only so much a man can take.

        I thought coming away might help, but she's relentless.

        Read so many articles on this matter to help me better understand whats going on with her or me or the kids or, just about everything. Nothing seems to work, which can only mean she doesn't want it to. Some people just like to have someone they can off load on. I just happen to be that person along with so many other people, men and woman alike.

        Who is it that said you hurt those closest to you? Idiot! Now look what you've done. Put more ideas into her head, given her an excuse.

        Wish I had one of those, but Im not sure what i have done to need one. Maybe I should ask the wife, she seems to know everything.

        Not afraid of going to Hell anymore, that would be a walk in the park compared to whatever this is. Its only a matter of time now before she decides Im totally useless to her and tells me its over.

        I could write and keep on writing but I won't do that to you. Instead i will leave you with this thought.

        You are not alone, this is happening to people all over the world , regardless of culture or belief. We are many, yet we stand alone.

      • Heather63 profile imageAUTHOR

        Heather Adams 

        17 months ago from Connecticut, USA

        Breaking Free2017 - thanks so much for your comments here and your note. I've found an article that you might find interesting and helpful:

        I hope it brings you some comfort and insight!

      • profile image


        18 months ago

        Hi Heather! My fiancé keeps criticizing me about my weight, my choices and the way I do things.

        He constantly reminds me that I am gaining weight and that I have to exercise. He bugs me and makes derogatory comments when I don’t exercise. I am extremely busy being a working mom working 7 days a week that’s why the only time left for me is for chores and to take care of the family.

        Whenever I do something my way and not his way, he will criticize me for it and make me feel that I am wrong. Same thing goes when I choose or like something that he does not like.

        He complains that we argue a lot, that is because I don’t let him treat me that way and I always tell him to back off when he is treating me like that. Then he will say I am just making excuses and he is just helping me. I told him that I am a grown woman and that there is nothing wrong with who I am, what I like and how I do things. Then he gets irritated saying that I am always blaming him and making him look like he’s always wrong. I explained to him several times that it’s not my intention, I just need to let him know how I feel with the way he treats me and as a couple, we have to be open and honest about that. But he never understood it. He still gets mad whenever I stand up for myself and I told him that ain’t gonna stop me because being criticized all the time is already degrading as it is and I am not letting myself drown in insecurity just to save a relationship. I am a mother and I need to keep my strength and confidence because my daughter needs me and she depends on me physically and emotionally.

        I do my responsibilities, I take care of him and my daughter, always making sure that they eat right and got everything they need. I work 7 days a week to make sure all bills are taken care of (he pays the rent and I pay all the bills). So I don’t see any reason why he should treat me that way. I don’t want to be the one wearing the pants in the relationship, I prefer treating and seeing each other as equal and with respect for each other’s individuality.

        I would greatly appreciate your advice. Thank you.

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        19 months ago

        Serenity. Courage and Wisdom are what I practice every day. I am criticized daily by my wife.

        I am an ex felon and recovering addict (18 yrs). My wife was in a terrible relationship before I met her. Verbal and emotional abuse were things that she experienced on a daily basis.

        I do my best not to personalize her remarks towards me. She is 12 years younger than me and we grew up in different times.

        My parents were loving but strict. Hers were argumentative and alcoholic. We have a beautiful daughter together as well as a 17 yr old son and my 28 yr old son I found out about 6 years ago.

        Marriage is difficult but doable if both parties are giving 100 percent. It will not work if it is only 50/50.

        Thank you for sharing your experience with me. It helps

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        19 months ago

        I never had imagined that one day i would go through this situation na dwould like to express my emotions here.

        I am a very simple girl who rarely critisises anybody. Even the worst act by anybody , i just do one thing, encourage and tell the true in very soft manner.

        But I got a husband who is just opposite , he knows only to ccritise me all the times. I have and am still trying to make my life stble. But the most important person in my life is only creating the stress in my life. He does not look into what he does day and night. But has a deep eye on what i do. Just does not leave any occasion to comment on my work, my ideas, my thoughts, my daily activity.

        It all starts and ends in the tpoic "Why my wife wkes up late" .

        Actually i get up 7 to 7:30. and keep working until night 12 or 12 :30 .

        But once i get up i am on my way doing all my duties. What my husband does is "Just commenting things like ....oh you are so slow , thing are not getting done on time.. You are this You are that" .

        This is something I lsiten everyday from him.

        I know this is a challenge for me , but I am taking this positively. I would make my life stable and peaceful.

      • profile image

        Beaten but still ticking 

        19 months ago

        I was brought up in a household with an emotionally abusive mother and then married another emotionally abusive person. They passed away and now I'm remarried to an overly critical individual. When we argue, it's like arguing with a 2 year old and it's like a vicious circle. They become hyper critical, sarcastic, and condescending. They were't like this for the first 3 years of the relationship but over the last 2 years, they've started becoming more critical. Especially, after my 2 children have become highly successful and worthy of brag rights. The other two, not so much. One of them is doing well for themselves but not on the same level as my two. I never compare any of the kids, but I'm not allowed to comment on the two step children but my spouse is hyper critical of my kids. Again, I'm not allowed to have a comment about the other two.

        As far as the part of our lives without children, it seems I'm under a microscope much of the time and even if I accidentally hit a curb with the car, there's a negative comment. Whereas before, they were loving, attentive, and supportive. They are still supportive in most ways, but overly critical in others. It's become so pervasive, I've started seeking therapy.

        I was seeing a psychiatrist for ADD and she met with both of us. She commented several times about her jealousy of me and my successful children. Any advice?

      • profile image


        20 months ago

        So basically, if you're getting nagged, suck it up, you really are to blame. And don't try to fix the criticizer or make them take responsibility.

      • Heather63 profile imageAUTHOR

        Heather Adams 

        23 months ago from Connecticut, USA

        Sticking this out,

        I'm so glad to hear you say you have the self-esteem to set healthy boundaries. And it sounds like you are trying to be clear and firm in the way you communicate them. Now, make sure to build a good support system for yourself to get the encouragement you need as you go forward. I wish you all the best!

      • profile image

        sticking this out 

        23 months ago

        I have been married for 30 years and finally have the self-esteem and where-with-all to not be passive any more. Yesterday I had 3 put-downs in an hour and called him on each one. He really does it so much he has no idea he's doing it. I realized after reading numerous journal entries that my anger and resentment was palpable and I needed to be healthy for me! Therefore, no more pass card. I am sick and tired of being criticized about anything and everything he happens to feel like criticizing. Amen!

      • Heather63 profile imageAUTHOR

        Heather Adams 

        2 years ago from Connecticut, USA

        Hello, Ace Tracker, thanks for sharing what I'm sure is a difficult situation.

        The good news is that you are aware that this is a habit of hers, maybe even as you say "handed down" from her own family. It's good in the sense that you don't feel responsible for her words or observations - she is choosing to have this kind of attitude.

        I think one of the most important things for you is not to join in with her, even just to keep the peace. And that can be hard to resist, I'm sure.

        I've heard of people in your place making the decision to respond to negative comments with a positive ones. It can be hard at times, especially if the other person doesn't seem to notice. But if you can stay positive, you'll give your kids a great example of love in action. And who knows - your wife may start to wonder what you're up to. That might lead to a conversation between you where you can honestly share your concerns.

        Take care of yourself and stay focused on the good things as much as possible. I wish you all the best!

      • profile image

        Ace Tracker 

        2 years ago

        I have lived with a major criticizer for 22 years! (Help)

        I'm sure I'm not the only one that lives with a criticizer that can't control herself.

        I love my wife and I've overlooked it far to long, now I really need help in dealing with this issue.

        From TV shows, movies, the news, people at the park, at the ball field etc etc, I'm sure you get my point.

        Theirs not a day or pretty much a hour that passes that my wife doesn't have some criticizing remark about something. I can't watch the news with her because the way the reporters are reporting causes a drama from hell.

        Today we were watching a kids show on Netflix, The Good Dinosaurs and the dinosaurs had built a silo out of rock to put the corn in, then they go to pick the corn and here it comes, I don't understand why they can build all these things but they can't build something to haul the corn in.

        Wait a minute, this is a kid show and you have to criticize that. I didn't say a word???

        Listen, she has a criticizing comment with most everything that is said, show, written, sung, typed, drawn, produced etc. This women is perfect in her own mine and truly believes that 99% of the time she is totally correct.

        She did grow up in a rather pronounced critical family, her grandfather was always right, her mom would criticize most everything, however she held her tongue around me after a year or 2. Here sister running on the same track so it runs in the family.

        She will dog me out to our children just to make herself look better or feel better or something. However she is in total denial of such a thing and would never do that. My older children can clearly see this issue and we have discussed, but its very uncomfortable for them and myself. Help!

      • profile image


        2 years ago

        Hello, ValKaras. I appreciate you sharing your viewpoint on this issue.

      • ValKaras profile image

        Vladimir Karas 

        2 years ago from Canada

        I don't have a personal experience with being criticized by my wife (in 51 years of marriage), but if I had, I am always for a VERY direct approach, no beating around the bush. I would make it VERY clear that I am no one's pushover, and I won't tolerate that kind of treatment. If she ever blackmailed me with a divorce, I would pack up right on the spot and disappear. To me marriage is not a place for disrespect. If I am not respected by the person that is sharing my life, I am not interested in her or him. LOVE IS A TWO-WAY STREET - period.

        By my book, there is absolutely nothing to "discuss", because love is not open for discussion - it either exists or it doesn't. To me it would be a pleasure to teach such a spouse a lesson. No arguments, no begging, no tears, no tactics - just a simple cold announcement that I won't tolerate such treatment. It's a simple matter of self-respect, and I don't owe anybody an explanation "why I prefer to be respected by others as well".

        If they don't get it - tough luck. I simply couldn't keep loving a person who keeps lowering me down all the time, while he/she is supposed to love me. I never heard of this version of "love".

        Well, that's me. I don't play games with people, I like them to know where I stand. And I mean "stand" on my both feet and look them in the eye.

      • Heather63 profile imageAUTHOR

        Heather Adams 

        2 years ago from Connecticut, USA

        Hi sghost - thanks for writing. Do you have anyone you can confide in? It sounds like you're really needing support at this point, and it's totally understandable. As I wrote, getting counseling, ideally for both of you together, is a great step toward healing and change for the bettr. Would you be willing to give that a try? Would your wife?

      • profile image


        2 years ago

        My wife (she is 9 years older to me) sees nothing good in me. She is like always finding fault, never giving me the space i need to breath easy. i dont know what to do...i never seem to make her happy at all. When we do have sex its good and she says that she has enjoyed it but its so complex that she never makes the first move. She is also paranoid, always feeling insecure. I feel like hanging myself. Any help please?

      • Heather63 profile imageAUTHOR

        Heather Adams 

        3 years ago from Connecticut, USA

        Hi, PSW - thanks so much for sharing. My first response to you is yes, your wife is being critical. It would be easier in some ways if you could just ignore her. But that won't help either of you or your marriage in the long run.

        I guess the question I would ask is "why is she like that?". She may mistakenly think she's helping you by giving you pointers. If you haven't yet, you could certainly tell her that isn't helpful at all and why. That might open up a helpful conversation about how you both could communicate in a healthier way. If she can't or won't have that talk, at least you've tried.

        From what you've said, it also sounds like she's a little on the negative side in regular conversation - do you think that's just part of her personality? Or could there be something going on (not about you, at least directly) that's keeping her frustrated?

        I used to be quite negative myself, and wrongly aimed it at my husband. It took some honest self-reflection on my part to realize why I was like that. And I had to admit that I was responsible for the thoughts and beliefs that were upsetting me so much. That was the start of better things.

        I understand your frustration with the way things are. It's tiring and discouraging to live that way. But it's possible that with some gentle prodding and good listening on your part, the care you show will invite her to let down and open up to you. And that can lead to a deeper, stronger bond. I encourage you not to give up yet!

      • profile image


        3 years ago

        This is what I hear from my wife. A LOT. Sometimes every day!

        "You're a good provider....but"

        "You don't know how to paint cut lines"

        "You don't know how to mud(spackle)"

        "Your driving skills......"

        "You take too long"

        "Your cooking....."

        "The way you clean....."

        Those are things off the top I can quickly think of.

        My question is, is this criticism, nagging or do I just need to block it all out? Because this is all the time! And it's a lot of "no" and "ehhh" with shoulder shrugs. I also cannot think of a conversation that I have with my wife where I DON'T hear "yea, but" or "well"

        I cannot even explain my job in plain simple logic that she can understand and she STILL talks like she has all the answers! I just want to blow my brains out! Seriously. Because I used to be a real laid back guy.

        Anyone here have any advice, comments, criticisms?(I hear enough of those)

      • profile image


        4 years ago

        Hi Sam. It sounds like you are facing a big challenge - how to live with someone you've vowed to love who doesn't show that to you or, it sounds like, to anyone. I'm really sorry to hear about your struggle. Remember how important it is to take care of yourself - especially having family and friends around you who can offer support and encouragement. And know that you, as well as your opinions and views, are worthy of respect. I am wishing all the best for you.

      • profile image


        4 years ago

        My wife is born to find fault in others, especially in me, bring back old events which she has consented to do, like loaning money to our friend.

        When the friend can't pay back as promised, she will torment me every day 'why did you give him the loan"? She will never say sorry in life, but torment others. I taught her to drive and whenever she is driving, I never tell her, how to drive. But, whenever I am driving with her, she will question me constantly 'why you follow that car, why you are slow, did you check the side etc etc. It is nothing but hell to travel or stay with anybody who is finding nothing good, but only fault.

      • profile image


        4 years ago

        Hi Veronica - Criticizing wears us down and eats away at our self-esteem if we're not careful. Unfortunately, I think some people who do that have been victims of criticism themselves, maybe even growing up in a household where that is a form of communication. And unless the cycle is broken, they pass it on. I hope if you're dealing with this that you're getting good support, both with the way you think about and treat yourself, and with the help of friends and family!

      • profile image

        veronica oconner 

        4 years ago

        It Is So Hard To Deal With Everyday Criticism From Your husband. Can't understand how someone could deliberately hurt another person.

      • profile image


        4 years ago

        Hi newjerusalem! Thanks for your comments. You're right about criticisms - they hurt, no matter how well we want to handle them.

      • newjerusalem profile image


        4 years ago from India

        Reacting well to the hurting criticisms is one of the most toughest tasks. Perhaps, you have done excellently well in dealing with this serious issue. Keep writing. God bless you.

      • twig22bend profile image


        5 years ago

        Some people play on your weaknesses ,and kind of bully you because they know what your response will be, if any. There is a fear of their reactions if we are honest in our reply.

        Baby steps are needed in this case. Be honest with yourself and think of what you are frightened of when you respond honestly to your spouse.

        Everyone is looking for some backbone in a person.. This is not recommended for an abusive situation. Tiny steps are needed at this point to gain the respect that you deserve.

        The outlandish questions, such as" do you want a divorce is, no. " I am just trying to tell you how I feel about your remarks.

        If we can learn to deal and conquer our own fears, others will not be able to play on them.

      • Heather63 profile imageAUTHOR

        Heather Adams 

        5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

        Hi peachpurple - my heart goes out to you in your situation. I hope you have a good friend or confidante to share your feelings with, so you don't feel isolated. And be sure to take care of yourself each day - you're worth it!!

      • peachpurple profile image


        5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

        i hate my spouse critizes and the worst part is I CANNOT make any response at all. If i response to his critizes, he will say"Do you want a divorce ? Do you want to get chase out of this house????" So, every time, I have to keep mum and swear at him in my heart. Bad case, isn't it?

      • peachpurple profile image


        5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

        i hate my spouse critizes and the worst part is I CANNOT make any response at all. If i response to his critizes, he will say"Do you want a divorce ? Do you want to get chase out of this house????" So, every time, I have to keep mum and swear at him in my heart. Bad case, isn't it?

      • Heather63 profile imageAUTHOR

        Heather Adams 

        5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

        Hi Helen! I have to admit that I don't always react well to criticism, so I want to start using neutral responses when it happens. And I too sympathize with anyone who has to handle continuous negativity, whether from a spouse or other family member.

      • Seeker7 profile image

        Helen Murphy Howell 

        5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

        This is a very interesting hub indeed! I think we can all identify with reactions that this hub highlights as all relationships go through sticky patches. Having said that it must be awful to have to put up with being critisised constantly and must wear people out who are experiencing this.

        I love the idea of the Pareve Responses and keeping everything neutral. I'm sure this would help to diffuse a lot of negative emotions. I also loved the 'fence' idea. It's an interesting way to protect yourself but also, as you say, without shutting people out.

        Great hub + voted up + shared!


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