Why He Hears Criticism When You Don’t Mean It
Does your husband complain you’re overly critical while you don’t feel you are being critical? Or maybe he says you nag too much (or uses a less polite word) and you honestly don’t see it.
I think part of this is a gender difference. She wants to discuss what she sees as a couple’s issue, but he hears it as her saying he has a problem or he needs to change. She doesn’t communicate to him in a way he understands that she is part of his team. She wants to have a discussion and he gets defensive. She needs to talk about something, but he hears criticism.
If he’s putting criticism on you, then that’s what he’s hearing even if it’s not what you’re serving him. Telling him you’re not being critical when he hears critical won’t help. Instead, try different ways of approaching things to find a way that he does not find critical.
BTW, like many things, this may be about his past and have little or nothing to do with you. If his mother was critical (a common problem between mothers and sons) he may be primed to hear criticism. One good way to help him with this is to be on his side when he does take criticism – especially from his mother. Going after mom may be a bad plan, but afterwards, you could tell your husband you wish his mother was not so unfairly critical of him.
Related: Recently my very non-critical wife posted Cut the Criticism | The Generous Wife
~ Paul – I’m XY, and my mom thought I needed to be criticised to keep me from getting a big head.
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