My Husband Says I’m Too Sensitive. How Do I Change It?

My Husband Says I'm Too Sensitive.

“You’re just being sensitive.” Does that phrase ring a bell?

Many women, whether married or not, have been told they’re too sensitive at some time or other. The reasons and scenarios vary. Maybe you’re feeling upset about a disagreement or an unmet expectation. Your spouse might have criticized you. Or, you might feel that your efforts for them have fallen short. Can you relate?

Regardless of the reason, hearing someone say that you’re too sensitive hurts. After all, your feelings are very real. You deserve to be heard, right?

Whatever the situation, it hurts when someone doesn’t relate to what you’re feeling at the moment. If your husband says you’re too sensitive (or wife, if you’re a man!), here are a few things to consider.

Remember that you can’t always please everyone.

Many people, both men and women, have the “disease to please.” We act in good faith to be there for each other, showing love and support from day to day. When we’re getting validation that our efforts are appreciated, that makes us feel happy and fulfilled. But when we receive criticism or sense that someone we love is disappointed, it can be heartbreaking.

It feels good to make others happy, but it’s impossible to make anyone happy all the time. We can’t always do and say everything perfectly. In marriage, it’s unrealistic to expect that your spouse will always be happy with everything you do. And when they’re unhappy with us, it can feel crushing.

You might have prepared a meal that was no good or planned an outing that flopped. Maybe you made an honest mistake that disappointed your spouse, and you’re feeling rejected as a result. Rather than getting defensive, take a step back and remember that this, too, will pass.

Everyone makes mistakes and missteps–and better luck next time! You and your spouse still love one another, despite imperfections or bumps in the road.

Consider whether your spouse is being overly critical.

Sometimes, we might react to loving criticism defensively, and that scenario requires us to step back and reframe the situation. But in some cases, we’re actually being subjected to unfair or overly harsh criticism. If that’s the case, your response may not be “too sensitive” at all; it might be perfectly appropriate.

If you’re wondering whether your spouse is being too critical, you can assess the situation by asking:

  • Is my spouse’s reaction disproportionate to the situation?
  • Is this issue easily fixable?
  • What consequences might arise as a result of this situation? Are they serious enough for harsh criticism?
  • Does my spouse have a history of critical or disparaging behavior?

If you determine that your spouse is, in fact, being too harsh, you’ll need to address how their reactions make you feel. Try saying something like, “When you said I was being too sensitive, it made me feel hurt and unheard. It also prevented me from expressing myself fully. Can we revisit that conversation, please?”

Go easy on yourself.

If your feelings have been hurt, it’s a good idea to address that with your spouse without being reactive or lashing out. But remember, you might not always get the response you’re looking for. Either way, we could all benefit from being kinder to ourselves.

Remember that no one is perfect, so perfection shouldn’t be your goal. Work on cultivating your own sense of self-worth and validation so that even if your spouse doesn’t understand where you’re coming from, you feel more secure within yourself. We all have our strong and weak moments, and that’s just life–”too sensitive” or not. Focus on the love you have for each other and put your best foot forward every day.

Focus on creating more happiness.

All of us could use a little extra happiness–don’t you agree? Our book Making Happy is a guide to helping you and your spouse create more happiness together. If that sounds good to you, you can grab a copy here.

Has your spouse ever said you’re too sensitive? How did you respond? Leave us a comment and let us know.


  • I am a licensed marriage and family therapist. My first Psychiatrist supervisor told me “no one can be too sensitive”. This is one of the main reasons I primarily use Emotional Focused Therapy. Vulnerable feelings are so important, especially in conflict. If it is not safe to use vulnerable or negative feeling words couples will not thrive because they will not resolve conflict. Vulnerable feelings words are NOT communication bullets such as blaming or name calling. Vulnerable feeling words are just the feelings the other spouse has in relationship to the other’s behavior or speech.

  • AJ says:

    I do a lot of “walking away” to criticism, critiquing, correction, demands of perfection (often due to differing priorities or opinions as to what’s “really” important). Often, it’s instant defensiveness, even gaslighting where my feelings/opinions get squashed or it’s insinuated that I’m crazy, unrealistic, creating scenarios. It gets old at times. The husband who used to say it would break his heart to see my cry, is still always sensitive to and concerned with what others think/feel, but is now very very dismissive, impatient, ignorant or indifferent to my hurts. He is no longer intuitive, “sensitive”, quick to reassure, comfort me, nor quell my insecurities. Even if he does not totally understand nor agree w/my position, in my opinion, if he is the biblical head of our household and rock he says he strives to be, in those moments he should lead and love by example. For me, just a hug or being held, allowed to cry, vent for a moment–again, while holding me or lovingly reassuring w/words and affection–brings calm, a release of tension/frustration when I am being “sensitive” or have been hurt by his words, actions or inactions. Once he’s brought strength, reassurance, empathy and restored calm–then it makes sense to communicate (kindly), whether it be to explain himself, disagree or debate the situation. I’m tired of conflict, confusion and uncertainty. There is a lot of resentment and fatigue due to over 18 months of tremendous stress and conflict brought into our marriage by toxic family members. It’s taken our pastors to step in to finally remove his blinders so we are finally turning a corner. But I am still extremely sensitive as trust & confidence (for both of us) has diminished due to the effects of his family’s enmeshment, manipulation and abuse. It’s been a painful chapter, one I don’t ever want to revisit so I pray hard for renewal and restoration of confidence and trust.

  • Debbie Lennox says:

    I did a lot of “walking away” in my so called marriage. Each time I returned hoping things would be better I came to realize that it would not. My feelings had never been acknowledged and as time went on I realized I was in an abusive relationship. After leaving with my children for the 4th time and with the help of my womens support group I slowly came to realize that I was a good person and did not deserve the deck I had been dealt. My ex came from a very bad family life and I have learned that if a child never learns about love or shown love then they can never come to know their own self worth and therefore can probably never show that love and respect to others in adult life and the cycle continues. I had to do what was best for me and stay gone but I still deal daily with how staying for as long as we did has affected my now adult children. Life is a journey and sometimes the best and only thing we can do for ourselves is to make hard decisions because divorce is hard as well when one enters marriage with the best of intentions and then to learn it all started with the wrong person try as you might to make it work.

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