Living alongside an individual who continually criticizes you


My partner only sees my flaws

We are not perfect and we make mistakes, so it is normal that our partner can sometimes criticize us. The fact that you receive some criticism from your partner does not have to be negative as long as it is communicated to you in an assertive way and are specific situations. However, if the criticism is constant they can be very damaging to the relationship.

The criticism of someone you love and who is supposed to love you, can generate enormous insecurity. Also, it is difficult to be affectionate to someone who is constantly telling you what you are doing wrong so the situation becomes tense and unpleasant.

When this situation extends over time and does not disappear despite having tried to solve it through dialogue, the criticized person can respond in 3 ways:

  • Avoidance: The most common response when we don't like something is to avoid it. The problem with this behavior is that avoidance prevents us from solving problems so they remain and generally get worse.
  • Confrontation: The frustration that comes with being criticized constantly makes anger appear. Either showing anger or returning criticism.
  • Helplessness learned: the victim of criticism "learns" that whatever the result does is the same. Therefore, stop trying to fix the problem and allow it to continue. Learned helplessness is tremendously damaging.

Why my partner constantly criticizes me

A criticism at a specific moment, especially if it is said with respect and with the intention of helping, can be beneficial. It can make us feel bad because nobody likes to be told what he does wrong, but it can help us to improve.

But constant criticism is not good and does not make us feel good no matter how good the intention is. People who constantly criticize can do so for one of the following reasons:

  • Insecurity: they feel insecure and project it on others.
  • Egocentrism: they believe that it is good to tell others what they are doing wrong in their judgment so that they can change.
  • Lack of tolerance: they are little or not at all tolerant.
  • Superiority: they feel superior, they believe that their way of acting and thinking is correct and they get frustrated when someone goes outside their norms.
  • Aggressive communication style: they do not know how to communicate correctly.
  • Fear: they are afraid, either because of previous experiences or because of the possibility of abandonment.
You may also be interested in reading as a related article:

The reasons the person has to criticize do not justify doing so. Constant criticism is toxic to a relationship and is often considered psychological abuse. Here you will find 9 signs to detect psychological abuse in the couple.

What to do if my partner makes me feel bad

In a healthy relationship the couple adds and does not subtract. It makes you feel better and safer and leaves you feeling like you are doing it all wrong.

1. Attention

First, you need to know what a healthy relationship is and make sure you are not in a toxic relationship.

Healthy relationships are characterized by love and admiration rather than criticism. The members of the couple respect each other and do not constantly reproach themselves:

  • When problems arise, they dialogue and both give in to find a solution and do not accuse each other.
  • Each has its way of thinking and being and the other respects it and does not judge it.
  • When one of the members of the couple has problems, they receive the support of the other member and not negative evaluations.

2. Communication

If your partner makes you feel bad with his reproachful attitude, if he speaks badly to you, if he only sees your defects and judges you, it is important that you explain to him how you feel in this situation.

3. Valuation of change

If you see an intention to change for the better, couples therapy can help you improve your communication style, accept each other's mistakes and reach agreements that are beneficial for both of you. If you continue with the relationship, constant criticism is not an option, it is one of the insurmountable limits because it does not benefit either / or the relationship.

4. End of relationship

If there is no intention of change and your partner believes that he has the right to constantly reproach or criticize you, the best thing for your mental health is to stay away from that person.

He may tell you that he does it because he loves you or because he wants the best for you. But the reality is that it does not accept you as you are and that this way of loving is not healthy for anyone.

We must be aware that there are things that we cannot change and we must accept them as they are. So if, despite letting someone know that their attitude and criticism make you feel bad, their behavior does not change, you need to accept that this relationship hurts you and you distance yourself from that person.

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