The ideal marriage contains healthy communication between two partners; however, the capacity for these channels isn't always clear and open. The reality is every marriage experiences its challenges at times, and many of us have had to endure our mate's sarcastic remarks and/or complaining at least now and again. Unfortunately, some people are in situations where negative comments are consistently directed at them all the time.Living with a spouse who seems to always find fault can be difficult and painful. It's important for your emotional and mental well-being to find ways of handling the situation. Regaining harmony is possible when both parties equip themselves with the tools to communicate clearly and respectfully.
The truth is that anyone who finds fault with others is usually unhappy with themselves and their own lives. They cope with these undesirable feelings by projecting them onto their partner. Perhaps your mate grew up with a critical parent and learned to communicate that way. Or maybe they are carrying unspoken resentments or regrets around from years ago.When all is said and done, there's no excuse for bad behavior. Your spouse has a responsibility to treat you be respectful of your feelings and to treat you with care. When that doesn't happen, it's time for you to take action on your own behalf.
* Take a Step Back From Your Immediate Feelings
It's hard to separate from strong emotions, especially negative ones, but speaking or acting out from a place of hurt will most likely only keep you and your partner engaged in a painful conflict instead of helping each other move on.Instead practice thinking objectively about each criticism your spouse gives. Determine if the critic is supposed to be constructive or destructive. Again, this is challenging to do just as the comment strikes, but at some point you must consider if the critique is justified at all. Honestly evaluate the situation and your part in it. Ask yourself whether you're doing anything, intentionally or not, that might irritate your mate or make him or her feel disrespected.
* Be Aware of How You React
One our most common reactions to attacks is the automatic fight or flight response. To fight is to literally provoke an argument by hurling a barb back at your spouse. Flight involves disengaging, whether by physically leaving the room, or pulling away emotionally. Both responses only serve to prolong the tension between you and your partner.A better choice to try is what author Yehudis Karbal calls the Pareve Response a method of acknowledging the comment your spouse makes while remaining neutral yourself. It shows you are listening to the other person while taking the time to calm down before addressing the criticism directly. These responses are kinder and more productive for both parties. They avoid engaging in power struggles and offer a refreshing approach to solutions instead. I have included example critical comments below as well as the appropriate Pareve Response.
* Arm Yourself With Knowledge
One of the best ways to take care of yourself in a difficult situation is to understand it better. There are lots of books available that can help you start to make sense of what is happening in your marriage and what you can do.
* Consider Getting Professional Help
Counseling can be a terrific source of support for anyone going through a hard time. Another set of eyes and ears could bring you and your mate new understanding about his or her critical nature.Even if your spouse won't attend, you can benefit greatly from talking things out with someone who understands the dynamics of a marriage. You can also learn more about your own patterns and responses. Just knowing someone else recognizes and empathizes with your struggle can give you encouragement.Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a model that is effective in reducing the disconnect and the amount of distance in relationships. The approach examines the root cause of the issue that needs to be addressed in order to defuse negative cycles of criticism. The goal is to bring vulnerable feelings to the forefront. This involves creating a safe space for exploration of those tender parts of the brain and its corresponding feelings.