How to Deal With a Spouse Who Constantly Criticizes You

Updated on June 23, 2016
Do you have a critical spouse?
Do you have a critical spouse? | Source

Every marriage is challenging at times. And we all hear our mate's grumbling or complaining now and again. But what if the negative comments come all the time? And what if they're directed at you?

Living with a spouse who seems to always find fault can be a very difficult and painful. It's important for your emotional and mental health to find ways of handling the situation.

Why Is Your Spouse So Critical?

It can be helpful and hopeful to realize that most if not all of your spouse's criticizing has little to do with you. That may be hard to believe when the comments are usually aimed in your direction. But the truth is that anyone who finds fault with others is first unhappy with themselves and their lives.

Perhaps your mate grew up with a critical parent and learned to communicate that way. Or maybe he or she is 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. But 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.

How You Can Deal With the Criticism

Be Aware of Your Choices in How You React

Our most common responses include fight and flight. To fight is to literally provoke an argument by, say, hurling a barb back at your spouse. Flight is disengaging, whether by physically leaving the room, or pulling away emotionally. Both responses only serve to prolong the tension between you.

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 another person, while taking time to calm down before addressing the criticism.

Using the Pareve Response

Critical Comment
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."

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 probably only keep you both engaged in a painful moment instead of helping each other move on.

Think Objectively About Each Criticism Your Spouse Gives

Again, this is challenging to do just as the comment strikes. But at some point 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.

Quick Poll

How Do You Handle Criticism?

See results

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 with care. And 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.

How To Communicate Your Boundaries

Clearly setting boundaries can be hard. But with practice you can learn.

  • Use "I" statements. This keeps the focus on you, and will sound less like an accusation leveled at the other person.
  • 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.

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.

But even if your spouse won't attend, you can benefit greatly from talking things out with someone who understands the dynamics in marriage. You can learn more about your patterns and responses. And just knowing someone else knows and cares about your struggle can give you encouragement.


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      Raji 22 hours ago

      My husband always shout me, when I have met with an accident or wounds also he never took me to hospital rather he say u careless fellow always doing same, also insulting in front of others ,still living with him for my daughters good life, even I'm a PhD holder my husband calls me as a fool

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      eve 3 weeks 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 4 weeks 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.

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      April JAP 5 weeks 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.

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      fdafda 6 weeks 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 7 weeks 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

    • profile image

      MARIANNE 2 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

    • profile image

      Shalu 2 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 4 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 5 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 5 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

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      Tenn 6 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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      Jimbo1962 7 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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      Quasimodo 7 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 image

      Heather Adams 7 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!

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      BreakingFree2017 9 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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      Evoeh65 9 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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      Confy 10 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.

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      Beaten but still ticking 10 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

      Frank 11 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 image

      Heather Adams 13 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!

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      sticking this out 13 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 image

      Heather Adams 18 months 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 18 months 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

      Heather63 20 months ago

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

    • ValKaras profile image

      Vladimir Karas 20 months 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 image

      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

      sghost 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 image

      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!

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      PSW 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)

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      Heather63 3 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.

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      Sam 3 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.

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      Heather63 3 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!

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      veronica oconner 3 years ago

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

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      Heather63 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

      victor 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

      twig22bend 4 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 image

      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

      peachy 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

      peachy 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 image

      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.

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      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!