4 Methods for Dealing with Criticism and Nagging from Your Spouse

By

4 Methods for Dealing with Criticism and Nagging from Your Spouse
Stop your partner's put-downs and gripes!

Do you love your mate but really hate the complaints and nagging you get from him or her?

Your partner might be a flat-out bully who says and does things that make you feel bad, wrong or inept. Or, your spouse might more subtly pick at you. The criticism may be said in a “sweet” or soft voice, but the sting still hurts.

 

When living with a critical or nagging partner, you might frequently feel defensive and like lashing back. Instead, your reaction when you feel attacked could be to withdraw into yourself.

There are many things you can do in response to your partner's criticisms. Some of these reactions will strain your relationship even more.

For example, you might meet your spouse's complaints about how you manage money with passive aggressive behaviors like hiding your spending or purposely overspending. This could be an unconscious or unintended reaction, by the way.

You might criticize and push back. If, for instance, your mate puts down the way you parent your kids, your reaction may be to look for weaknesses in your spouse's parenting and point that out.

In the short term, some of these reactions feel rewarding and comfortable. However, the lasting effects on your marriage are never positive.

Want to know some effective and positive ways to deal with your partner's nagging and complaints?

Here are 4 responses to try...

#1: Put it in perspective.

Sometimes, an off-handed comment feels like a nag or a criticism when it's actually not. If your spouse has a history of putting your down, you might be reading more into a particular comment than is really there.

This can be tricky to figure out.

Remember to pause and get curious when you feel triggered. Instead of having your usual reaction to what your partner has said or done, back it up. Ask yourself if you absolutely know it's true that your partner meant that you are somehow doing it wrong, are bad, incapable or whatever it is you think he or she was saying.

Ask yourself if it's possible that your partner did not mean anything negative or critical by the comment.

If you are confused about what your partner meant, ask the question, “Would you please help me understand why you said _____.” Asking for more information from your partner needs to be done with a true sense of wanting to understand and without an accusatory tone to the voice.

#2: Don't take it personally.

There are all kinds of reasons why a person might be prickly and critical. In the vast majority of cases, the criticism has more to do with the one saying it and less to do with the one the criticism seems directed toward.

If at all possible, don't take it personally.

We're not suggesting that you allow yourself to be bullied. At the same time, if you can find a way to see the complaint or nagging for what it is, this can free you up to connect and have the relationship you want.

Keep reading...

More Juicy Content From YourTango:

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Susie & Otto Collins

Author

Susie and Otto Collins are relationship coaches and authors who help couples communicate, connect and create the passionate relationships they desire.



 

Location: Columbus, OH
Credentials: BS, CCC
Specialties: Communication Problems, Couples/Marital Issues
Other Articles/News by Susie & Otto Collins:

5 Things You MUST Do To Facebook-Proof Your Marriage

By

Beware what you say and do online, because it will come back to haunt you later! Did you know that entire websites are devoted to helping people avoid getting caught flirting and cheating on social media sites like Facebook? This is partly in response to a new trend in divorce proceedings. A recent report says that Facebook is cited as proof of infidelity ... Read more

Two Words That Will Rock Your Relationship

By

Two words that your mom may have chided you to say when you were a kid could be the key to the level of passion you've been yearning for with your partner. Remember when you were reminded (and reminded) to say “Thank you?” Remember when you dutifully muttered, “Thanks” for the hideous sweater your aunt gave you? It turns out that ... Read more

Fifty Shades Of WRONG: 6 Secrets To Healthy Passion

By

This is not a movie review. If you've seen the Fifty Shades of Grey movie or read the novels, you undoubtedly have your own opinion of them. Maybe they've awakened in you a new yearning for more hot sex or maybe they’re not to your liking. Even if you've chosen not to partake of the tale of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, ... Read more

See More

 
Latest Expert Videos
ASK YOURTANGO MORE QUESTIONS
Most Popular