It’s Not Me, It’s You: Why Criticism Poisons Happy Marriages

By June 21, 2017 February 23rd, 2018 Communication, Conflict

“People tend to criticize their spouse most loudly in the area where they themselves have the deepest emotional need.” – Gary Chapman

Criticism is an insidious behavior that comes into our marriage and eats at the core of our identity. Few things will shut down intimacy quite like being criticized or controlled, and it is capable of immobilizing your emotional health and personal growth, especially within your relationship.

Nobody enjoys being criticized or picked apart, but it’s especially painful when your spouse–your soul mate–is the one being critical and hurtful to you. It’s demoralizing to be treated this way when you’re doing your best to make a contribution and add value to your relationship…but you get criticized instead of appreciated. Criticism can easily break a servant heart, and that’s a terrible place to be in your marriage.

What makes a person critical?

We like to refer to critical people as “control freaks” or “high-maintenance people.” Control freaks are compelled to critique every little thing you do; it seems like they believe their spiritual gift is to point out what’s wrong with you at every turn.

Control freaks care more about some things than anybody else does, and they won’t stop pushing and nagging until they get their way. They are convinced that things like routine tasks should be done a certain way, and that their way is the only right way to accomplish those things. They have more energy for these matters than most people, and they’re going to make sure you know it.

It’s irritating for your spouse to be controlling in one area or another–after all, every one of us has some quirky part of our life that we feel compelled to control. But when this becomes troublesome and destructive is when the need for control becomes global, and the high-maintenance person believes they have a right to critique and control multiple areas–or even every area–of your life.

Controlling people actually have a high level of unconscious anxiety that influences everything they do. Because they feel anxious, they’re highly motivated to get control of their world. And because they probably haven’t identified their anxiety as coming from within themselves, they’re assigning it to the little things you don’t do “the right way,” then pointing those things out in hopes that you will “fix” the problems, thus alleviating their anxiety for them.

While your spouse may be telling you, “It’s not me, it’s you,” it is most certainly about them.

What can you do about all this criticism?

In a high-maintenance relationship like this, it’s hard to cope with your spouse’s complaints and critiques without harboring resentment toward him or her. After all, the person who is supposed to love and nurture you first and foremost is picking you apart and trying to “improve” you on a daily basis!

Most critics frame their critiques like this: “I love you so much that I want you to be aware of these few things about you that aren’t perfect.” But being approached in this way doesn’t feel loving at all; it just piles on one thing after another that you can’t do right in your spouse’s eyes, and it’s crippling to feel like you can’t make him or her happy.

First of all, it’s important to focus on the fact that your spouse is actually anxious inside. This helps him or her to look a little more vulnerable to you, and it helps you to cultivate a little more grace and empathy for your spouse. It’s helpful to realize that, on some level, your critical spouse is actually feeling distressed. While this doesn’t let him or her off the hook, it gives you a more detailed perspective on where they’re coming from.

Realizing your spouse is anxious also means you can begin talking with him or her about the problem. A single conversation won’t fix the issue, but over the course of many conversations, you can begin uncovering what they’re feeling so anxious about, and perhaps discover why they have a need to control you. Over time, these talks may help ease the tension in your relationship, and you may find that his or her compulsive criticism will ease, too.

How can you cope with your spouse’s critical behavior?

While you’re working through these issues together, it’s also important for you to have ways to cope with your spouse’s critical spirit. Here are some things you can put into practice now:

  • Learn how to deflect your spouse’s criticism. Humor is a great way to diffuse critical statements, and it can serve as a shield to protect you from your spouse’s negativity.
  • Remind yourself that this is your spouse’s problem–not yours. This is not about you.
  • Communicate to your spouse what their constant criticism is doing to you. Let him or her know, “I can handle a little criticism here and here, but this is pulling my spirit down.”
  • Create a phrase like, “You’ve officially entered the negative zone,” to give your spouse a heads-up that their critiques are becoming excessive.

It’s important for your spouse to know that his or her criticism is harming your spirit. In fact, constant criticism from your spouse can fundamentally change who you are as a person if you don’t both take steps to get into a healthier dynamic. So speak up and stand up for yourself. Showing your spouse this vulnerable part of yourself can help them see what their behavior is doing to your spirit.

When you communicate to your spouse that their behavior is hurting you, and they take steps to try to ease the burden they’re putting on you, you’re less likely to carry a heavy, internal sense of resentment. And when your spouse begins to see and understand what they have been doing to you–that their urge to control isn’t about you, but them–that’s when you’ll begin to see positive behavioral changes in your relationship.

Is your spouse critical? Are you? Have you resolved the issue, or are you still battling that need for control? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section!

80 Comments

  • Sandra Chisholm says:

    Reading this really hit home. My husband and I are on the verge of separation because he thinks I’m too critical. I have always stood my ground because I believe that I have reasons for my actions. When I’m the only one cleaning all weekend or when I’m doing about 80% of the work around the house including taking care and doing things for my children I don’t think it’s right especially considering we both work full time and I usually get home later than him during the week. I have a very hard time to not get on his case .. I am also suffering from pain in my feet and knees. He suffers from back pain but I don’t feel the work is being distributed fairly and that is my main concern.
    Am I being controlling?

    • Sarah says:

      I’m so sorry that you are suffering from emotional pain AND physical pain. How taxing that must be…my husband and I have been changing our focus to one another and lifting each other up, no matter what physical pain is occuring. I am slowly doing the same through every day’s ups and downs of emotional turmoil too (although he has mastered that more tham I have.) God bless you and your marriage that can make it through anything with faith and hard work.

    • Becky Peed says:

      I have felt the same as well. Honest talks with my spouse has helped him understand that I feel overwhelmed and I desire teamwork to make our dream work. He’s a good man, most are! He wants to make me happy but is oblivious at times to the needs of our home and the anxiety it causes me when I feel solely responsible for all the work. I heard good advice and it’s worked. I’ll say to my hubby, (for example) ” you know what I love? When we keep the garage clean and you help with weekend chores”. His response isn’t defensive with that, because he wants me to be happy. Try approaching him that way.

      Personally, I’m very critical it something I need Jesus to transform in me. I was raised in a critical home and it’s a default in me. But, I want my husband to be happy in our marriage so I’m taking this article to heart.

    • Lori says:

      Have you ever considered hiring a cleaning service? It may not be in your budget right now but perhaps if you talked about it with your husband, he might agree that it would be worth it to alleviate some of the stress on your marriage and you would also be tackling the problem as a team rather than attacking each other about the problem. Perhaps this is an area that you both struggle with (we all have our weaknesses) and you just need a little help. Keep pressing on, sister!

    • Ellie says:

      Buy their book and 9 more self help books on marriage from different authors (its cheaper than marriage counseling) and trust them and just do what they say without paying much attention on what your husband should be doing. By changing your behaivior you will instantly see positive changes in your husband’s behaivior. If he is still around living with you, you can over turn it into the happiest marriage in the history of love. Good Luck!

    • Rick Prettyman says:

      What is more important your relationship or standing your ground because you are right?

      • Sandra says:

        Well both Rick! I feel that we are both adults and both in the same position so we should both be contributing the same. But there are so many other underlying issues as well that I won’t get into.

    • I can relate to you and this hits home immensely.. we can be controlling freaks and through this article I can say this has spoken to my heart deeply because I find my self being the one that also cleans most of the time and feels almost my anxiousness is may be do to OCD or something but I’ve done that nagging part and expecting him to help and get anywhere. My husband once called my supermom and said u can do anything and literally meant undo everything and I’ll just have the title of husband and not help😢😪.. that blow my mind.. I too have been on the verge of wanting a divorce or leaving with my kids and not having to nag at someone that’s not even gonna put 10% to help in anyway.. I feel my situation might be on another level and I am seeking new for help from a counselor because I do feel I’m turning into this negative, nagging, high maintaince, person that criticize’s her husband for every little thing and I fell my marriage has been fully damaged to where there’s so much resentment and although we love each other we sometimes can’t stand being around each other because there’s so much going to tell them and putting down of one another… I would like to learn how to get my positive i enlightenment back to be a loving and forgiving person and. It hold resentment over little things.. like not getting the help to clean or keep things clean 😁!!!!

      • Jane says:

        This article truly does! Hit home … My spouse is extra critical. I feel like he needs to insert his two cents into virtually everything I say or do and challenge everything. And Not just in a controversial manner but angrily. I have never felt this inadequate and small. And I’m not an unintelligent person. I hold a high position at work and I’m a good mom. I’m attractive and slim. But I feel so insignificant. We are on a verge of separation because I can’t take it anymore. I keep telling him to say something nice but I guess he can’t help it…. It’s a second marriage for both of us. What do I do?

        • Jen says:

          Jane, I am in a similar situation. My bf has to tell me what I am doing wrong, how I should be doing something, how I should have responded to him etc. Then he goes on and on about it. He never says it calmly either. He honestly has to tell me I am not eating a sandwich correctly! It is just wearing me down and I too feel so low. I don’t think I can take much more of it. Neither of us should. My only advantage is that I am not married to him and I can go live with family. I am just about there. I hope you get through this.

        • Anna says:

          Jane this is exactly me. My husband left me six months ago as he was constantly frustrated with all the things wrong with me, the criticism included such diverse subjects as how I get into a swimming pool and how I cross the road. I’m not kidding. His unending critical and judgemental attitude eroded the closeness in our marriage. For my part I did not speak up and have a voice and equality in our marriage. It’s been devastating but honestly a relief not to come home and face it on a daily basis.

        • Ema says:

          I cant believe I am not the only woman going through this! I feel for you Jane and the other women here because I’m going through the same situation. I had to tell my partner that hers literally breaking me, my self confidence has plummeted since we met And at times I’ve never felt so small and useless. I know I’m an intelligent women, and very strong but I’ve never been with anyone like this and it’s changing me to someone bitter deep down and resentful.

    • Iwasawebber says:

      Maybe. Maybe by the way you deliver it. I read an article about a couple married 30 years who went to a counselor to end their marriage amicably. One felt the way you did, the other felt overly criticized. She told them for 2 weeks, they weren’t allowed to complain but they had to just compliment. She found that he does do things that she doesn’t notice and he found that when she asked him politely and gave him more compliments for the things he did do, he wanted to make her happier. He’d put away the dishes bc that was his job.. but when she said 𝚃𝚑𝚊nk you as I do when my husband makes the bed daily, they feel appreciated. We are sometimes looking at the things that aren’t being done vs the things that are and it comes off overly critical.

      This doesn’t mean your feelings aren’t valid but it could be that he feels unappreciated for what he does give and can’t take negativity. My husband did this. He complained about me all the time. I’m a business owner, self made from a terrible family but I got out. He would put my family down and compare me to them during fights. He criticized how I spoke to people, what shows I watched, even how I spoke to my girlfriends over the phone. He thought I took up too much of the conversation (even if he came in the middle of it). Here I am, making him meals while going to work, cooking, cleaning, sex, keeping up with my body and he would find something wrong. See, that’s mental abuse. It wasn’t long before I became withdrawn, unable to put a dress on I once loved bc I didn’t love myself anymore.
      My husband and I are separated. I tried my own advice.. I tried to compliment him and ask him to not put me down.. he only told me that it wasn’t fair that I was asking him to not be honest bc to him, it’s just honesty.

      Try that first and u will have your answers

    • E says:

      Could it be that you criticise what he does at home so for him it’s better doing nothing than being criticised all the time?

    • My Vision is Clear says:

      I think that the notion that “we should both be equal” is nonsensical. What about you, other than general body structure and composition, is the same? Nothing. Men and women are very different creatures, and have very different roles to play in the relationship. It is only after a paradigm shift, or a change in perspective that we can truly start to find pride, happiness, and joy in the things that we do for our family. The greatest example of love is to toil for another while expecting nothing in return…

      • Raia Kousary says:

        Yes equality does mean being the same- he can do lift heavy furniture better, she can breast feed he can’t. But if she is working outside the home – the same or longer hours than her husband – and then having to do 80% of the work at home – can you please explain how that is remotely just? unity is founded on justice and its not just, its not loving, its not partnership – its servitude.

    • Lg says:

      Do you do the work because he won’t or because no one does it right so everyone gave up and let’s you do it

    • John Cooper says:

      No, I don’t think you are controlling. Looking over your comments, it appears to me that your husband was likely raised in a family where he didn’t have to contribute to the daily household routine. Hopefully he does take care of the so-called “male things” (yard work, autos, spending time with kids, etc.). We live in a flipped household, where I do most of the housework, including outdoors. I learned from a failed first marriage to not criticize when I don’t get help. I do what I can, and when I can’t go anymore, I stop. If it doesn’t get done, so be it. Seems to work for me. Take time to take a good look at your husband and see if what you see is good, down to the heart. If what you see is good, let it be and work with him kindly to help him see you need help. If he doesn’t have a good heart, then do what you have to. Keep the faith, pray a lot, and enjoy the time you have with the person you love…

    • Aaa600 says:

      Today I realize I’ve done everything I can to try to m achieve my husbands high standards, and he is still annoying as hell. Rather than hear another preaching moment regarding the seriousness of an open cupboard, I decided to go out to lunch by myself and sit in the gym jacuzzi. One can only tolerate so much nagging without going insane. No matter where you are in your journey (married, single, divorced) take the time to be nice to yourself.

  • H says:

    It’s definitely important to be very conscious and careful of our words and messages to our spouse.
    I appreciate that you said — “When you communicate to your spouse that their behavior is hurting you, and they take steps to try to ease the burden they’re putting on you,…”
    When I communicate to my husband that his behavior is hurting me, he says that I’m criticizing him, no matter how nicely I share it. And, he does not take steps to ease the burden that his behavior is putting on me, so his behavior and lack of change continues to hurt me. I try new, softer, more gentle ways to let him know that I’m hurt, but all he hears is criticism and nothing changes.
    I choose to continually remind myself of his insecurities, so that I can have more patience with him. And, I’ve learned to keep things to myself a lot so that I don’t trigger him, but this only creates more distance between us.
    So, by him continually ignoring my hurt, it looks like he’s being the controlling one.
    So, how does a spouse allow themselves to be vulnerable and share hurts with the partner, even when the partner caused the hurt, and not be labeled critical and controlling?
    In my situation, the “I feel….. when you….” doesn’t work. It’s called criticism.

    • El says:

      Your questions are 100% valid and for which I have yet to find a Christian counselor provide an answer. For some reason counselors aren’t aware that the “I feel .. when you … ” approach does NOT work in everyone’s ears and is considered criticism by those who grew up in a performance driven home. Such an upbringing breeds people who to look for EVERY.SINGLE.WAY that something is not his/her fault, and to suspect EVERY.SINGLE.COMMENT is laden with a dig at how he/she failed . Most certainly the word failure” in these homes also has a very broad scope where even small, insignificant things like leaving a door open could be considered a failure. For example, if the so-called “criticizer” says, “I feel like we have more flies in the house lately so how about we try to keep the door closed to see if this cuts back on the number of bugs inside?” A performance driven individual may likely respond with …. “I didn’t leave the door open and stop making a rule for everything”. Hence there is no way to communicate or deal with these people other than to tolerate the flies in the house:) and be patient about everything. Over time, this simply does not build intimacy and leads to a shallow relationship, which actually, is sadly all that a performance based person knows. I would like if the article addressed how a “critical” person should handle anxiety when the root cause of the anxiety (and subsequent perceived criticism) is the inability of his/her spouse to communicate on an emotionally mature level.

    • EK says:

      H, I couldn’t have said it better. My husband is the same way. I feel like we just live as roommates w/ benefits (all for him btw because I certainly don’t initiate). He gets defensive over everything I say if it sounds remotely like he is in the wrong. He is highly critical and does not have self-reflection. I wish I could know what I am doing wrong. Basically when he says anything I use the “as you wish” type of reply and stop trying to state my case.

  • Keri says:

    “In fact, constant criticism from your spouse can fundamentally change who you are as a person if you don’t both take steps to get into a healthier dynamic”
    Wow, just wow.
    This is so true. I believe that after 13 years of marriage I have become an anxious, unstable mess because of increasing negativity and criticism in my home.
    My husband married me because I was a happy, secure person. I am not like that now and I feel that he is losing respect for me, and frankly doesn’t seem to love me like he used to.
    I am a stay at home mom, but try as I might, I feel defeated because the things I do, are not appreciated, but the things I don’t get to, are nit picked. I am afraid to go outside of my home to get affirmation that I do have talent and can do things well. Or to get noticed for something positive. I want my husband to meet that need, I don’t won’t to set myself up for wanting someone else’s attention. I know this is making me vulnerable to this. I feel like a disappointment.
    My husband used to call my chattering about my day, cute, and he would look at me with love. Now he just seems annoyed, and cuts me off.
    My kids are quite young but are already showing signs of being too hard on themselves at school, because of criticism.
    Criticism is poison to a marriage.
    Ladies, if I feel disrespected because of negative comments, imagine how a man would feel.
    Love each other, be understanding, talk about things and recognize each other instead of criticizing.
    This is my prayer for our marriage.

    • Stephanie says:

      Wow. Just wow! I had to scroll up to make sure I didn’t post this! I’m so sorry, I know exactly how you feel!!!

  • Tim says:

    This is a great article for me, because at the moment my relationship is at break point due to the problem highlighted in this article. I pray this solution work for me.
    I would like to say a big thank you to the author of this article.

  • Leann says:

    Criticism is so difficult! I’m the type of person that can take and take and take but only to a certain point. My ex-husband was a very critical of everything I did and very controlling. He insisted that I stay at home , but would always criticize everything I did from taking care of the kids tonight preparing the meals the way he thought I should. I took it for many years. Until finally after his first affair 17 years into our marriage, I began to fight hard to try to save my marriage. But he almost became more of a critic at that point. I don’t feel he was ever fully committed to trying to make our marriage work after that – Whether that was because he couldn’t forgive himself or he blamed me for him seeking outside of our marriage. I think at some point I started to fall into the same criticism pattern – because it just got too hard to hear how I could never meet his needs. And after his second affair 22 years of marriage and five sons I knew I had to let him go. It broke my heart, because I knew it broke in God’s even more. The first time I felt God say stay and fight to help him to be who God wanted him to be – after the second God definitely said it was time to go. He had a position of power at work but he often tried to use that same position at home. As much as I wanted to respect him and as much as he brought me in a closer relationship with God, I could no longer allow him to walk outside our marriage as it was affecting our children. Now 3 1/2 years later, we are all better off, stronger people, and I continue to move forward often reminding myself how criticism can be so very unhealthy in any relationship. I wish I would’ve known more about how to deflect his criticism, how to communicate with him in a way that was effective it would help him to see what it was that we both needed. I do take blame for my part. Thanks always for sharing your knowledge and wisdom!! May God bless you all as you continue!

  • Sasha says:

    Wow
    This article really hit home for me.
    I left a second marriage due to constant criticism.
    I eventually realized that he was the one with the problem….. the anxiety…… but by then I was a shell of myself. His constant disapproval was debilitating.
    Nothing was ever right……
    Life is just too short to tolerate such behavior from the one person that is suppose to love and support you.

  • Marilyn says:

    After 40 years married to a criticizer/controller I have come to understand very forcefully what our relationship to Christ would be if it depended on our performance (law instead of grace). No matter how much you do, no matter how hard you try, there will always, always, ALWAYS be something more you could have done and didn’t. We could never live up to His standard of absolute perfection. But He never asks anything of us that He has not already given the supreme example, and anything He asks of us, He is there not just to help us, but to do it Himself in us.

    • Nicholas Martin says:

      Correct. You can never win. I now clean the house like a crazy person, am on a ridiculous diet, have given up all other interests and activities to spend more time at home… doesn’t matter. There is always something more to criticize or find fault with or improve. It never ends. Until the underlying anxiety is treated, you are just spinning your wheels in a hopeless attempt to please them.

  • Glenda says:

    Constantly correcting others is about our own insecurities.
    It is fear based.
    Not faith based.
    When we get the plank out of our own eye we can then look at the speck in another’s
    And yes constant criticism changes a person. You completely lose yourself.
    Thankfully I have two amazing boys and wonderful friends who remembered who I am when I had forgotten
    Thank you so much for this article it definitely helps me to have more mercy and grace…understanding…for my husband
    The Lord is so faithful. I know I was carried through the last 5 years. And in the last year bit by bit…piece by piece…I have come out of the darkest pit I have ever experienced…I know each day brings me closer to healing and reconciliation with my husband

    • My Vision is Clear says:

      Glenda, what if the plank is already gone from my eye? What if my critique of the speck in yours truly is based on a loving desire to help?

      • Claire says:

        I’ve heard it preached the only time It’s beneficial to correct your spouse is to stop them from sinning. Otherwise you are simply exercizing your wants or preference over theirs. Lead by example, but that doesn’t mean belittle, correct or criticize and inflict a wounded spirit. That attitude isn’t loving… and is likely control rooted in pride. Nobody knows everything but the world is full of people who just think they do. I like how this article identified how it’s projecting anxiety. The book of James has great recommendations about controlling the tongue.

      • L J Mac says:

        All controlling people feel like that

      • Karen says:

        My Vision is Clear. You sound like the total critiquer. You call it a loving desire but you are addicted to correction. If they are not asking for help, don’t offer your help. Let them do it their way and clearly you are blind because you have a plank in your eye.

        If the person is not asking for help, don’t offer another way of doing it.
        IF you have a genuine desire to help, say, may I offer some advice. If they say no your critique is unwanted.

        Sorry to be harsh but I think that if the person does not want help your comments are not valid.

  • Maria says:

    Having been in a relationship in the past where I was criticized, it can be hard to deflect the criticism as a reflection on your spouses anxiety or underlying issue. I wish I would have known this info back then. I internalized a lot of the controlling criticism I got. This is excellent info to know. Thank you!

  • Corina says:

    I wouldn’t say it’s an issue of an anxious heart, but a sinful heart. Transforming the words that come out of our mouth starts with a change in the heart. What comes out of the mouth comes from the heart and defiles a man according to Matthew 15:18. Words are incredibly powerful. Words can build up, encourage, and motivate or they can also tear down, hurt, and cause horrible scars. “Let no unwholesome word proceed out of your mouth, but only that which is good for building up, that it may give grace to the listeners.” Ephesians 4:29
    I have been doing Christian counseling for over 15 years and I have encountered this issue over and over again as I counseled couples. The only hope is a transformed heart through Jesus!

    • Alta says:

      It is true that we must ask the Lord to transform our hearts through His Spirit, but also that we must know it can only happen through His unmerited Grace, not by our own willpower. Otherwise we will always be anxious for every mistake. That’s how the vicious circle continues…

  • Eliza says:

    This article gives Mr great insight on my spouse and his extreme criticism of me. We married less than two years ago. He is critical of what i say, do and my actions. He is critical of my family, friends and even the churchs I have visited while trying to find a good wholesome church. He is critical toward his sons as well. He is a great man and will do anything for me and I know he loves me much but he doesnt realize what he is doing to me internally. If I mention counseling, he says we dont need it. I cried going to work the other day because I feel so internally battered. His mother is somewhat a critic herself and I see that is where he may get it from.
    He gets upset with me when I say I am on the defense all the time. I need some advice but dont want to go get counseling because I dont want him to know what is going on within me. He would look at it as our marriage is falling apart and i may flee like i believe has been done to him in the past relationships. I am a very patient person so I just take what he dishes out and keep it inside.
    Can someone please share some insight with me and maybe give me some positive criticism if I am wrong in any way with what I have shared?

    • Liberty76 says:

      All I can say is you are not alone. I want more than anything for him to be happy and to let all that anger and hate go. He DESERVES to be happy and to know peace. He is a good, good man. And I know he loves me very much. I cannot make him do this but I can be here for him if he wants to make a change for himself. If he continues on this path he is on …one way or another….he will lose me. Either silently as I become increasingly resentful, withdrawn, and completely lose myself or if I reach my breaking point and leave.

    • My Vision is Clear says:

      Pour yourself into him. Make him the shining star of your life. His criticism seems based on a very basic and deep-seated need for more attention. You already said it: He’s a great man and would do anything for you, and you know he loves you much. So, what are you doing to repay him for all of these things? Are you asking him what he needs with a loving heart? Are you fulfilling all of his needs? Are you going over and above to show him that you appreciate him, his taking care of you, and the security that he provides your family? Most men crave attention and recognition. They need reassurance that they’re doing a good job for their family, and the only way they can get that is through feedback from you. Make everything about showing him gratitude for the things you mentioned, and watch your relationship turn around!

      • Karen says:

        Repay him? Asking him what he needs? Are you fulfilling the needs?
        Sounds like your solution is the spouse would be less critical if the needs are met.
        It’s hard to make the criticizer the “shining” star of the life, when all they do is give you 5 negative or unwanted comments for every 1 positive.

        What you don’t see is the person who is being criticized does not have the energy to appreciate the person because we are too busy resenting them for always pointing out faults and flaws.

        In my opinion the problem lies with the critic. They are addicted to being a critic and need HELP, not just the knowledge that they are doing a good job at life!

        I can tell by your responses you definitely are the critic!

  • Michelle says:

    Great article ****delivered well to be received well ***

  • Tina Hunter says:

    Really??? Sorry, but saying to my critical spouse, “You’ve entered my negative zone” is just NOT going to cut it!! 🙁

    • Cindy says:

      I agree, nothing stops my boyfriend’s criticism especially when I’m driving & he gets in a critical, demanding & inpatient mood. It’s emotionally draining me. I even tell him to stop correcting me & that doesn’t help.

    • Nora Hoffert says:

      I have read through all these posts and I appreciated the support. However, I agree that the above phrase will not work. The response will be “I am not negative, you just won’t listen to me”. He thinks he is right. How can I remember all the thousands of “better” ways to do things, that he has tried to teach me. I have three degrees and a good full-time job and I still can’t get it right. I do try.

      • Ann says:

        My secret is this. You cannot and will not ever be able to change a critical person. Not with kindness, even at doing your best to be everything he or she wants you to be. You can cook what he or she wants to eat and he or she will still find a problem with how you cooked it. You can wait on them hand and foot and you still will not please them. You can. Notnheal them. Only God can. You must decide if you can live with the constant verbal abuse or not. This person will criticize everything and be happy for nothing. This person is not happy with themslef. He or she is miserable and seem to only take pleasure in making those around them equally miserable. Misery loves company and torture. The torturers life becomes yours. You will never be good enough or measure up to their standards. There is no way so you can stop trying. They aren’t happy with themselves. You must find something for yourself to keep you sane and happy. Something inside to get you to learn to love and be at peace inside yourself. You need to realize another human being will never make you happy. Only Christ and within yourself can create true happiness. You feel alone and at a loss but you are not. Do you know how many other people are in abusive relationships? The true numbers would astound you. Narcissist are in large numbers. There are as many of selfish, evil, angry, antoganostic people as there are selfless, kind, caring, emapathic people. Empathic people are too often attracted to selfish, evil hearted people. I am not sure why. I think we feel a need to help others, but in our quest to help selfish people we stop helping ourselves. We get tired sometimes of other people criticizing us until we sometimes act out. How much constant critical dripping could we take before we break. These people don’t care how many times we beg them to stop. They gain power and happiness from leaving us broken and in fear. Their criticism and gas lighting further cause more fear and depression. We can either keep putting up with it or get out. Out self esteem needs to stop being based upon how another person views us. Especially when by tainting the truth they feel better and feel power from it.

        • Ms. Tisha says:

          Surprise! Many of these spouses (mostly husbands?) mentioned on this forum are people with NARCISSISTIC TRAITS and it sounds like some of them would be diagnosed with NPD (NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY DISORDER) were they to be tested by a therapist.
          Ann hit the nail right on the head! She said, “You cannot and will not ever be able to change a critical person.” They will tear you down and ruin your life. They destroy your happiness, ego, sense of well being, etc. This is one of the most common traits used by narcissists! Ann is right – they do not change! They are a therapist’s NIGHTMARE! Soaking up attention, lacking in emotion, refusing to commit/agree to help and not fulfill the promise, extramarital affairs, etc. are all HALLMARKS of a narcissist. It is a useless battle! Get out as soon as you can! Google or read up on NPD on the INTERNET. Look at QUORA FORUMS.
          Ms. Tisha

      • Karen says:

        Nora! I know exactly what you mean. I’m facing the same thing!!

        I’m just telling the truth.
        I’m not being negative.
        I’m just being honest.
        I’m just sharing my preferences.

  • Lovely one says:

    I have checked out mentally im feed up with the constant criticism from my husband, i would rather let another woman deal it and live my life single happy n free with our 2 kiddos…im dissappointed…. 8 years of marriage n idk if i can stay til death because of it

  • Lisa Sutherland says:

    So if my fiance puts the diaper on our child so loose that it’s falling off and I say ‘the diaper needs to be tighter I am being a control freak? So I should just continue to scrape poop off outfits that are usually stained afterwords. So according to this article constructive criticism doesn’t exist. Interesting🤔

    • Robin says:

      I think you’re missing that this is about constant unnecessary criticism. There are also ways of wording criticism that can both make it more effective and less hurtful. Compare how you feel if someone says “you have done that diaper up wrong” to the effect of hearing “oh these diapers are annoying, I find I have to be really careful to get the tabs in the right position, why can’t they make them so they won’t leak?”. Even if someone is being careless about how they do the diapers up the latter not only is less directly critical so doesn’t hurt their feelings and make them feel negative about doing what you’d like it also makes the task a problem to be solved that they will work on. Timing is also important. If you’ve not seen each other for a few hours and the first thing your partner hears is usually criticism then they will simply be angry that you can’t be bothered to ask how they are etc. If you wait until you are doing the diaper and then discuss their bad design then the worse that happens is you’ve had to bite your tongue for a couple of hours. Before using a phrase that criticises your partner you at least owe it to your relationship to count to ten and think if there’s a better way to deal with it.

    • Anna says:

      ‘The diaper needs to be tighter’ is not criticism. It’s feedback or critique.

      Criticism is a global attack on a person taking one behaviour and applying it to their whole personality. Eg you’re so careless you never put the diaper on right. Criticisms start with YOU and have the words never, always, only or just.

  • DJR says:

    My husband can barely go an hour without criticizing me or telling me what I’m doing wrong. I do believe he desires to help but I’m depleted, hopeless and feel worthless.

    I “ran away” to get away from him and he has left me alone now for a few hours but I don’t know how I can go back. I just want to go home to the Lord and end this suffering.

    Please pray for my hope to be renewed and to get over these selfish feelings.

    • FALCON88 says:

      DJR, this feeling will likely pass. PLEASE HANG IN THERE. I felt this way coming to work today, like… why bother? BUT We can only find our true worth in the Father’s eyes and heart, and He unlike any husband or earthly Father is abundantly accepting and forgiving, and judges us on only our love to Him. I know this is hard, I am SO with you. Very tired of the constant painful criticism I face. The “I can take a little here and there” is so true, but it seems that there is something always, almost daily but certainly weekly. Don’t lose hope though, b/c there is one True God whose promises are 100% reliable and we have to keep that in perspective. Don’t give up, you are too important to Him. Hope your day is better. 🙂

    • Debbie says:

      I did exactly the same thing today. Stayed away about 2 hours and went back. He was all sorry and asking forgiveness. It’s always how he does.
      Everything will be ok until Ive had all i can take and have too walk away. But I have so much resentment and all the criticism is eating me alive. We are senior citizens and I feel like there is no way he’s going to do better at this point. We’ve been married 10 yrs.

    • Alta says:

      I don’t know who said it first: “A woman who expects her husband to fulfil the needs only God can, is setting herself up for heartbreak” I did that. Don’t. He’ll come tumbling off that pedestal sooner rather than later. I had to admit: after all, if he was so perfect, he wouldn’t have married me (45 years ago)! So, accept his faults and flaws just like you want him to accept yours. Then I had to start working on myself, to become the woman God intended me to be. Any critisism is only valid if it is God sensitising me to something He’s busy changing in my character. Nobody but He knows what’s really going on inside me. So now I feel free to be as forgiving to my husband as my Father is to me.

  • KMW says:

    I feel i am at a loss. It is constant with the constant criticism. We had a new bathroom installed few months back. The sink is a stone bowl and the bench real hard oiled wood so, just now, i was brushing my teeth and i got water on the sink bench.. i was grabbing a small hand towel to clean it up but he just entered the bathroom and saw it. He made a comment “what why did you get water all over the bench? I just cleaned it) oh we clean it every time.. we use it ) I told him ” look i am about to clean it up.” He was annoyed and made a comment he, wanted to get rid of the new bathroom sink bench. It is every day.. constant with these things. Even If i paint a wall ( I did it wrong, I was supposed to do the borders first), or get a new job (maybe it’s not close enough), park the car (not close enough to the curb), I don’t dust enough (i dust about once a week.) We been married now about 4 1/2 years and i am losing my confidence. Anything i do i feel he will have a negative comment so I don’t want him around when I do things. Other than that, he is amazing!

    What can i do???

    • Jen says:

      Holy cow! I know exactly what you mean when you said you don’t want him around when you do things! That is me too, because then I won’t be automatically corrected on something. It is exhausting!

  • Wendy says:

    A great tool to learn how to have an adult conversation about a sensitive subject. As a meticulous perfectionist, I find fault with myself and those in my sphere. It is my “living hell” that without a loving or supporting partner is not going to be a lasting relationship.

  • KN says:

    Thank you so much for this article. It helped me know that I need to approach my husband differently and that I need to tell him that he is hurting me.

  • Critical Strike says:

    Lol…Kari just criticized Shawn and now I’m criticizing her.

  • Sonya says:

    No matter what I do my husband has something negative to say to me. He doesn’t like my cooking- even saying he wouldn’t eat it if I cooked. If I clean it’s not good enough so he says he has to go over it. So, I just quit cleaning so now he says I’m lazy and don’t do anything. If we’re doing a DIY project he always says what I’ve done isn’t good enough- even if it looks just like what he has done. If he does something he always praises himself and says what how amazing what he did turned out. I refinished a high chair for my granddaughter and I was so proud of it and I asked him what he thought and he told me everything I should have done and could still do to fix it. I was telling him a story and he had to interrupt me to tell me how that reminded him of something bad that I had done- he can never just let me tell a story. I feel like the one person who should be my biggest supporter is my biggest critic. We’ve been married for 33 years and it has always been like this but for some reason it is finally starting to really get to me. I’ve tried talking to him but he just gets mad and says I’m being ridiculous and will not talk about it.

    • Bonnie says:

      Sonya, why even ask him what he thought of the high chair? Why not look at it and congratulate yourself on the wonderful job you did (as he does when he does something)?
      Please be kind to yourself and try to avoid giving him opportunities to undermine you. 33 years is a long time to be chipped away at. ❤️

    • Nicol Rasor says:

      He sounds like a classic narcissist.

  • Thobeka says:

    This is hard I must say, this is our second marriage but it like am being punished for the sins of the past spouse. We have one child and there is nothing I do for my child that doesn’t get compared to his other child from his previous marriage. Its like he has a red pen to mark off all my wrongs. Am really am tired and have spoken to him about this a million times but a week later its back to square one. Am ready to walk out and leave him child behind for him to do a perfect job because clearly I am failing dismally. I feel so small as a result I feel so much resentment towards him because I feel am not heard. I have tried to speak to someone out of the marriage that somehow made things worse for me. Now am really confused and want what is best for my child but I feel right now the best for me is to walk away and be a weekend parent. This is killing me inside big time that I feel so broken and so out of this marriage. Am tired to saying the same things over and over again. He is a manager at his work and I feel like a disobedient employee who keeps getting warnings.

  • Kraig says:

    I’m an alleged critical husband. From my memory and all I can recall I’m not. I’ve always treasured her and supported her through uncountable canon changes, family ups and downs, and everything life has thrown at us. But as she attacks me saying I always do this or that or put her down. I’m teality I’m brining up things that she did just the same as she is bringing up thigns I did. I take full responsibility for my mistakes and have paid for them and strived to make up for them over and over again for years. But nothing is ever good enough or just plain enough for her. She would make smoke and mirrors stories up as to why she didn’t want to be around me or have anything to do with me for years and I have her the space and left her be and tried to appease to the best of my ability. Recently she admitted that over the last year while we were supposedly trying to make things better between us she just couldn’t even bring herself to try. So when I bring up something she did actually do that upset me just as she does to me it’s a put down to her. But her doing the same to me is not a put down? Seriously. She is also a gaslighter. She can tell you a whal of a tale about something that happened. But if you were there you would know it’s quite twisted come what actually occurred. What makes it worse is when the same incident comes up anothe time she has an even more twisted story to tell than the first time. And she does admit her memory is very poor whole claiming to remember everything. I feel her childhood trauma has never truly been dealt with and this she feels the necessity to always be in the right. Because having her faults brought to light is perceived as a threat. So she will say anything to make you feel that you are indeed crazy and your recollection of events you experienced are not anything close to how you do remember them. I’m so lost and alone in my own house now. I pray to god to help us find each other again. But she just keeps saying she is done and hates me all the time. She has projected all her disappointment into me as the villain of her life. In my mind and what I’ve always tried to be was her hero and protector. And I swear to you I’ve always tried to take ownership of my own mistakes of which ther have been many. But she will look you in the eye and tell you how she is always right about everything and because I wouldn’t do things her way sometimes it ruined our life together. The hated and resentment is something that I just have a really hard time feeling from someone I actually still love. It breaks my heart every single day over and over again. There are more than one side to things. And while I’ve owned my mistakes she takes no ownership of anything she has done to hurt me and apologizes for nothing and she is beyond reproach.

  • Kat says:

    Wow Kraig! That’s all I could say after reading your story/life. I’m so sorry you have been going through so much, as so many others are too, including myself. She doesn’t even realize how lucky she is to have a man that can say “I’ve always TREASURED her, SUPPORTED her, tried to be her HERO and PROTECTOR and that you take OWNERSHIP for your mistakes! That kind of man is every womans dream! Yet, we all know no one is perfect and at least you are humble enough to admit that!
    I would ask her to give you examples of “how you always put her down” if you can’t find any truth to that. A Christian therapist once told me to say back to my husband (at the very time he’s saying something negative about me), “Is that a put-down?” I’ve done that with other people too and it makes them aware and accountable right in the moment…hopefully!! I once had a roommate that was so opposite of me and annoying and one day I said to my pastors wife that I felt I hated her. The pastors wife said, you just don’t wake up one day hating someone!” She said that I obviously was letting things continually build up without communication and now I hated her. That was something I never forgot. Communication! But, your wife is not even open to that. I’ve found that instead of standing up & yelling at each other, sitting down on the couch to try to resolve something as adults works better! Or even saying, lets pray now about all this. (Sounds easy, but not always & its the enemy who tries to divide). I think the saddest thing you said was that you feel lost and alone in your own home. It seems like she really is the perpetrator and so accusatory. Gaslighting is really bad too. “Trust your gut. This person has been trying to erode your self-trust, but you need to follow your instincts here”. Excerpted from Gaslighting: Recognize Manipulative and Emotionally Abusive People–and Break Free by Stephanie Moulton. Looking at her issues, “she attacks you verbally, nothing is ever good enough, says she’s done trying, blaming you and won’t take responsibility. She sounds very immature and angry. So much is her stuff really. She should find a good counselor and a good church that does inner healing. My life changed from giving myself 100% to God! Putting him first. Your situation sounds miserable and I sure understand because my husband is CONSTANTLY (which seems like a theme with everyone on here) verbally criticizing me. We have been separated for years now and we are both better off because we both have peace living alone. I am not saying that is the answer but with verbal or physical abuse it really is.
    I can’t take being around him for very long because he is ALWAYS right and I am not!
    He tries to control EVERYTHING I do. It’s been constant bickering since we were married and I can’t take it. I’ve tried everything. I tell him…”STOP!”, I’ve recently said calmly that he needs to google why he wants to control all the time. He is very negative and its toxic. We’re actually flying to his family in Denver for Christmas and not sitting together on the plane! We trigger each other but I just keep saying “STOP!” I call him Simon Cowell! He’s a professor and he’s sick of the kids too!
    I value my peace so much now!

  • Bettie says:

    An insightful article, and I appreciate hearing all the other women chime in. I also believe there are two people always with seemingly different perceptions. Each person will speak or hear with different lenses.

    As the accused critic, it seems my comments, e.g., that cardboard is recycleable; or I put a cloth under the sink so we can wipe the (his) hair up; or a true gripe (occasionally voiced) that I feel like I’m the only one cleaning (because I am-yes we both work full time etc etc. I feel like I’m the one “adulting.”), are perceived as a criticism. In my eyes, I care about the environment and want to ensure all recyclables make it in the bin, the sink is filthy with water drops and beard hair so hey, why not clean up after yourself? And finally, help a girl out and adult too.

    My biggest, can’t get over criticism is tobacco use. I hate it. I’ve always hated it. I feel if someone can’t be patient and kind or last through the day without a stimulant that is deadly (and disgusting), then you have an addiction no different from alcohol. And because that’s a historical problem for this person (now in recovery) I just think that addiction should be tackled. It is my deal-breaker. I know and have said I cannot let go of that. I’ve been up front and honest. I want to be patient and kind and gentle about it but it doesn’t get better and he doesn’t want to discuss it. If we just let it go, the problems go away on heir own, right?

    I read somewhere else about an addiction to criticizing. As an experiment, try to offer only compliments. For a week. If you can stop being “helpful” for a week you are more constructive. But if you cannot, you might be addicted to criticizing.

    I’m going to try. I know (believ) I can let all the other “helpful” suggestions go. But a dependence on a substance (and all the other negatives that go with it) is what will end it for me.

    It’s a bummer.

    We aren’t married. So there’s that.

  • Melissa says:

    Bettie. It is an addiction but if you care for this person, you should help him through recovery rather then just ending things. After your support could make his recovery where abandonment could break it.
    These articles really piss me off. Obviously I know that being tactful and trying to let my husband know respectfully that his verbal lashings are killing my soul. But no matter how many conversations we have – nothing changes. Why? Because the fact is, you can’t change people. Each of us is a certain way at our core. NO amount of talking will make any person change their behavior if they truly believe at thier core that they are right. They view your pain as your fault. My advice is, if you are in a situation that hurts enough for you to research…GET OUT.
    Get out before they kill you and you end up numb and miserable like me.

  • David MARTINS says:

    Isn’t this criticizing on its own?

    “When you communicate to your spouse that their behavior is hurting you, and they take steps to try to ease the burden they’re putting on you…. ..you’ll begin to see positive behavioral changes in your relationship.”

    I’m communicating things that I’m not OK with, and I am being accused of criticism. Where do you draw the line?
    Should you just accept things that you’re not OK with and pretend everything’s fine for not being the “critical one”?
    Doesn’t sound that good.

  • Esther Henderson says:

    I didn’t think it was written incorrectly. I read it as if it was listing things like, “here and here and here”. It’s all about perception! Great article; thank you!

    • garl fountain says:

      i love the honesty of expression
      all have given.
      this is not me speaking but
      how people percive to analyze
      the great word for the positive
      or negative.
      i read this phrase:
      you can be 100% right in what
      you say.
      but you can be 100% wrong
      in how you say it.

  • Dana says:

    Ok so I get that criticism is devasting to a relationship but tell me then what do you do when your spouse does not follow thru with stuff they are supposed to do? Their hygiene is horrible because they don’t bathe every day? I mean come on there comes a point that you are at the end of your rope!!!

  • Jimmy dean says:

    Since me and my wife weren’t able to have kids and have 3 failed IVF treatments (going on 4)because I’m not healthy Enough to reproduce. I get a lot of resentment. She will say things like without children she doesn’t have anything have anything” And “life isn’t fair,” And keeps repeating how she should of “been married sooner. ” I tell her it makes our marriage seem unimportant and that’s kind of Hurtful. Then denies saying anything that was hurtful. I feel in this case because she’s hurt she wants to effect me too. Which there is no point in asking her to stop again. What should I do?

  • You made some decent points there. I looked on the internet for the issue and found most individuals will go along with with your website.

  • Nicholas Martin says:

    This hit home for me. As my wife’s anxiety has gotten worse, her attempts to control our environment, my time, my appearance and even my diet have ramped up considerably. There is simply no pleasing her and every tiny error results in anger and criticism. I love my daughter but I’ve begun to dread going home.

  • Marco Royall says:

    I NEED HELP. I have been with my wife for over 4 years and I’ve done my share of mistakes. Even though I can say all day that I’ve never hit or mistreated my wife. I understand that is not the only way someone could hurt someone else, & that some times the little things are the ones that can hurt the most since those are the ones spoken the least until it’s too late and ALL come out at once!
    Over time there has been quite a lot of criticism or “corrections” from my part… mostly in the beginning of our relationship because I didn’t know any better… I thought I was doing something good by helping her improve on specific areas, & I promise that my intentions has never been to be a “control freak”, “high maintenance”, feeling superior, or even try to gain the control of the relationship and overpower my wife in any way! I would do it simply because that is how I’ve always learned, with friends, family, teachers, bosses at work, etc. Pointing out my flaws and teaching me NOT their way of doing things but the right way to take care of things. That’s how I’ve always known love or a sign of caring from others, that has been what’s helped me improve and grow!
    So when I would see something done in a wrong way I would make it know right away. Sadly my wife would never take any advice easy and I never understood why!!!
    until one day I realized that what I knew as “help” was hurting the love of my life….
    So I decided to back up a lot and not do it…
    Things started getting better right away! However there was times where I would find her doing something wrong. But not in a way of criticism, but in a way that if she kept doing that thing wrong, she would end up breaking whatever she was using, or even worse like hurting herself. So I would then Make it known. That was the time we’re i bumped in to this dilemma I NEED HELP WITH because i realized that she can’t take any advice of any kind and at that point I didn’t know what to do because I try keeping quiet, telling her, and even try not saying anything and just doing it myself! And she would still get mad or end up upset!
    If I would keep quiet and something would’ve gone wrong she would say “I can’t do anything! I’m never good enough”, if I would say something she would blow saying “you don’t have to tell me how to do anything I can do it myself!! Im not a fucking idiot! (In Spanish)”, & if I would decide to just do it myself she would also go at it getting furious and saying “you don’t have to do it! Don’t mess with my area! This is what i do and you are taking it away from me! Why!?!? Is it because I’m not good enough!? Am I that stupid!? What are we even doing together!?”.
    Then every time I would get so frustrated and would just explode in prices now making some serious damage and taking a simple argument in to a fight!
    So that leads to today. I go home during lunch to have some time with her. When we finish she goes to clean the dishes, then I noticed she would put dish soap on a knife 🔪 and then quickly run it through running water without completely washing off the soap! My concern was that some times when I’m eating or drinking water I can still taste the dish soap on the dishes I’m eating from. So I didn’t want to come as condescending by making again the mistake to bring up my concern… so dumb of me said “Are you going to leave it like that?” Then she went off telling me “not to tell her what or how to do things that she is not a fucking idiot” and then she asked me “that if she was so stupid, she should call her mom and tell her that everything she was thought by her was wrong because her mom was so stupid to teach her right”.
    At that point I had NO IDEA what to do!!!!
    I didn’t want to argue with her, not make the mistake of exploding my frustrations that I can’t say ANYTHING or do ANYTHING about because nothing seems to work and she takes mostly everything the wrong way. So I just explained that the knife might still have soap in it and told her that it’s been a lot of times when I’m eating and I can even taste the dish soap on the dishes. Instead of helping letting her know where I was coming from, it made it even worse! so then she kept going off then Raising my voice I told her “STOP! you are making this much bigger then what it needs to be! You don’t have to mention you mom she has nothing to do with this, nor call her stupid or call you a fucking idiot! Come on! Just stop”. By my surprise that just made it even worse! And I just decided to stay quiet at that point feeling my chest filled up with frustration 10 minutes went by so slow and she was still going off!
    Then, feeling hopeless because nothing seems to work I just decided to go back to work and let things cool off.
    Moments later she sends me this link trying to make me understand what I’m doing wrong and how much she is hurting by my actions. I actually appreciate the fact that she did that, because that way I can have a deeper understanding on what I’m doing so wrong that nothing and I mean NOTHING seems to work!!!! But after finish reading I learned nothing! Not because this is badly written or anything. I’m fact I can say that this is right on the dot with EVERYTHING! But the reason I didn’t learn anything is because I already knew that. I learned it a while back when I finally understood the effect of my actions! And I would see the aftermath of my mistakes…. my so called “help”, which I would do it a lot. So now I hope some one can help me improve on a new way to deal with this in a way that help us grow together because I don’t want to keep hurting her or making her feel the wrong way!

  • Slaf says:

    There’s an old saying: if you are the only one that does anything right, pretty quick
    You will be the only one doing anything.

  • Kevin says:

    Reading this article came at a good time, as I have been feeling hopeless. My wife and I have been married for 20 years. With her there is huge anxiety, a critical spirit and a need to control me to make her feel better. The problem lies in the fact that her attacks and criticisms are so underlying and passive aggressive that it takes me time to both recognize and process through them. When her anxiety is highest the barbs are at their worst. When I try to talk with her about them she becomes the instant victim and I walk away thinking ‘why did I even bother’. She will throw me under the bus for any relationship she deems unstable – or a perceived person that does not like her.

    Sadly because she continually natters at me, my strategy has been to do whatever I can to just shut her up – very often caving on my principles or ideas.

    She has these verbal anxiety attacks where she gets overly dramatic and indirectly expects me to both ease her anxiety and also do something about the situation. Whenever I do, she often sabotages my actions – so I am never sure how to respond. Often I just listen silently and try to share a few choice words – but not too many because if she perceives that I am being critical will lash out.

    After 20 years I have grown bitter. I have tried many of the strategies in the article plus done scores of counselling. However, little has changed. I have contemplated suicide as a means to have peace in my life and I am saddened to share that. I live in fear and don’t know what to do. I still care about her and for the sake of our children don’t want to leave the marriage.

    Thank-you for this article and venue to write feedback.

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