WSP Ep 12: His Criticism Hurts: What To Do When Your Husband is Unkind or Unfair

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Ever feel that your husband is too quick to express his disapproval, to point out your “mistakes”? Is his occasional or even chronic negativity towards you hurting the relationship?

Ramona and Dale answer a wife who suffers from a sense of bewilderment and betrayal every time her husband focuses on (what he perceives to be) her shortcomings. Listen and learn how a woman can negate or arrest his negativity by effectively discerning between—and optimally responding to—different types of criticism.

Throw Me a WifeSaver: “I often feel I am unappreciated and unfairly criticized by my spouse. When I have tried my best, and things are running smoothly in the household, I am still not measuring up in my husband’s eyes. I know this because of what he says. Help.”

Key Topics:

  • The three fears his criticism excites in her
  • How his criticism violates three of her most essential needs or desires
  • How to discern between the three types of criticism
  • Ways she can respond effectively to each type of criticism, including exact phrases
  • Understanding and managing toxic or chronic criticism
  • The six behaviors to avoid when addressing or responding to his criticism
  • Defining different forms of abuse
  • Ten WifeSavers principles to keep in mind as she speaks her mind

7 thoughts on “WSP Ep 12: His Criticism Hurts: What To Do When Your Husband is Unkind or Unfair”

  1. Constructive criticism…

    At work we might call that feedback. And even then, it is something we seek out.

    Great point.

    Love this podcast and hearing your familiar voices.

    This podcast is a great one, and you nailed it.

  2. Wow – this one hit home for me. The tactics you mention might have been able to save my first marriage. Managing criticism continues to be a challenge for me and you provide excellent tools for understanding and responding effectively to it. Thanks!

  3. This one hit the nail on the head. My husband criticizes and interrupts all the time. I’ve told him how disrespectful it is, but he always tries to turn it around on me and call me disrespectful. I recently read a book titled “Disarming the Narcissist Surviving & Thriving With the Self-absorbed.” The word “narcissist” can be very scary, but I really liked this book. One of the main things they suggest is also something I’ve read to use on our children but in a different way since you are dealing with an adult. It is as simple as acknowledging how he might be feeling. For instance, “Honey, I know you are tired from work and it bums you out when you come home and the house isn’t clean. I just have a hard time sympathizing when … I’ve had a bad headache all day or I’ve been dealing with the kids’ bad day, etc.” You don’t want to do a laundry list though because then he might see that as a challenge as to who did more that day. It really helps! It is like he sees you better when you tell him how you see his side. I’ve diffuse several situations recently just doing that. I appreciate a lot of the websites about teaching children emotional intelligence because I think my husband and I came from a generation where that wasn’t a thing. I feel like I kind of have to teach myself and my husband this all the while teaching our children because they model what we do. The word “narcissist” still makes me cringe, but I think it helps me understand my husband a bit better. This helps me do something you say which is to turn toward him and not away from him.

      1. Thank you, Ramona. I loved the article. I’m trying really hard. Some days are harder than others. I think it feels like running a marathon (which I’ve done). Sometimes you feel strong and good, sometimes you hit a wall, and other times you find a second wind.

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