Allen Berger, Ph.D
Criticism from my partner
Set an Example: How to Address Issues without Seeming Critical. This raises the question: How can I learn to better handle criticism from my partner?
Criticism has found to be one of the four deadly horsemen of the Apocalypse in terms of relationships. There is no question about it. It can be very, very destructive to a relationship. And, if you’re feeling criticized all the time your partner, that’s really demoralizing you, it’s starting to affect the love that you feel for that person, then you need to talk to them about it.
Now, what I would suggest is that you try to talk to them about it in this way: Say that you wish that they would express what’s wrong, what they’re having trouble with, and if it’s with you in the relationship.
How you might do that might be something like this: “You know, hon, I’m really struggling with something lately, and I don’t want to criticize you in this. It’s not my intention. What I want to do is really stay connected to you as we talk about this. I’m having a hard time with the way that you’re talking to me, and I’d like to talk that over with you to see if there’s something that you’re willing to do to change it. And, if not, then I’ve got to look at what I need to do in order to deal with that in a better way. But I would really like to open that up between us. Are you willing to do that?”
I’m always for asking for permission. That’s respecting our boundaries. So, if you start out that way, there’s a good chance that you might be able to talk about that in a good way for you and your partner.
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