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How to Cope With a Critical Spouse

Do you feel like your spouse is constantly criticizing you, nitpicking every single little thing? Do you feel like your spouse takes things completely out of your control and blames you for them?

If you answer yes to either of those you may be living with a spouse who would rather find your faults than your strengths, and that can be very frustrating.

If staying in that relationship is your goal then below are a few strategies to try that may help you cope with your critical spouse.

Try to listen it all the way through – When your spouse begins his or her critique, let them get it all out. Do not interrupt, and do not argue. Let them finish, so they feel like you have heard them and what they have to say.

Understand the difference in perspective – How your spouse sees things can and will be different from how you see things. It does not mean your spouse’s is more correct, just means different. And like most of us your spouse is going to thing his or her view is the most correct, so arguing probably won’t do you much good. If anything it will only push things into a fight.

Resist the urge – It is our naturally tendency to retaliate when someone is critical of us. You will want to fight back or argue your side, but resist that urge. All it will do is add fuel to the fire and the two of you will end up going round and round, getting nowhere.

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Is it possible – Is it at all possible that what your spouse is saying has any validity to it? Take a step back and examine what he or she is saying. Is any of it correct? Is there something that maybe you do need to address?

Don’t take it personally – If your spouse just seems to spout off, especially if it comes during a stressful time, try not to take it personally. This is very difficult to do since it is coming from a loved one, but try to remember it could be coming from your spouse having a stressful day, having nothing to do with you.

Have a talk with your spouse – It is possible that your spouse does not realize he or she is being so critical of you or having a bad attitude towards you. Sit your spuse down and tell explain to him or her that you feel like they are very critical of you and it is hurting your feelings. Your spouse may not only say they didn’t realize they were doing that, but they may apologize and that could end the criticism.

Write a letter – This falls along the same lines as talking to your spouse, but if you are uncomfortable with the idea of talking, you could try writing a letter. Begin the letter with what you love about them and then state your concerns, closing the letter with more reasons why you appreciate your spouse.

Coping with a critical spouse is not easy, but implement a few of the strategies from above and it should make things easier.

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