Question: “I have this feeling in my marriage that I’m never good enough. My husband often compares to his mother who was perfect, or his sister who does no wrong, and I am really resentful. How can I show him what this is doing to our marriage?”
Answer: “Great Question! You are not alone with overly critical husband. Sometime critique can aim to correct some important issue, but most of the time habitually critical people might raise their own weak self esteem by look down on their environment, families and friends.
What does it mean?
One: you take his critiques seriously and personally.
Second: he can control your behavior with this critique.
How can you handle this situation? I can summarize you in four points:
First of all you have to see that the critiques has a goal. The goal is to control your behavior for some way. You need to figure out what is this way. What he wants to get out from you. Is it more housework? Is it more money? Is it more dealing with his needs without return? You have to figure this out!
The second point: Dismiss this feeling! Now you see that this is not about you! This is just a tool of the manipulation. It has nothing to with your real qualities. So don’t care about it!
(Third point.)What I would suggest is: Don’t jump into the defensive. – Don’t take me wrong! It is instinctive! Every one of us jumps into defensive mode when we feel critique, but most of the time this is just oil to the fire. – Don’t engage to the argument and don’t try to convince him that he’s not right. Just dismiss the feeling in this way.
(Four.) And the main point is that no matter… eh find out what he wants you to do and resist to this point. Not because I think that rebellion is so good in a relationship, but this is only for manipulation. Because when you comply, it reinforces the process. He sees that he pressurizes you, criticizes you, and this critique will result to the behavior what he wants you to do.
Your change of behavior will change the whole relationship.