Deflecting Wife's Criticism

Deflecting Wife's Criticism

Postby ThunderHorse » Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:33 am

There are times that I allow my wife's criticism to affect me. Sometimes, I try to work around her concepts of criticism, and change my actions, to match her criticism.

Doing easy things that my wife asks for is a good idea, and questioning or challenging the easy stuff is probably stupid.

But sometimes my wife comes up with a criticism, that blocks me, big time.

I have had the downstairs computers not working for months, since she bought a closing type computer cabinet. I like stuff out in the open, and I am allowing myself to be blocked by the enclosed computer cabinet.

My wife has agreed to let me use a particular room in our house, as my den. She has no reason to go in the room, or to show it to visitors. The door is locked, and she has a key. She has complained that my room I use as a den is sometimes messy, or has unsedemly boxes for sorting old papers, and I have felt blocked, and really have not been using my agreed-upon den.

I have failed to deflect my wife's criticism, but rather I am holding onto the painful remarks that my wife may have made in a casual manner, and allowing myself to be blocked by her communication.

Last edited by ThunderHorse on Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby elizacol » Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:05 am


Do you think Love and Respect will help your wife 'see' that her criticisms only hurt your marriage (because they hurt you)? Do you think it will help your wife get to the root of *why* she criticizes? I hope so!

I admire your trying to deal with it, as I know it can't be easy. I fear I was once that wife!! Perhaps not to the extent of your wife, but perhaps so....

One of the hardest things we humans have to do is the 'inner' work, within ourselves. Looking within, seeing our faults, figuring out how to fix those faults, how to make amends, etc. Sometimes, we don't realize we have inner 'work' to do, until faced with a situation in which we have no choice. My H did me a favor when he gave me an ultimatum. As hard as it was, the growth I have made was worth the pain. The growth in our marriage, despite a down period here and there, has been worth it.

I do think we need to stand up for ourselves when wrongly (or overly) criticized. So, don't think yourself stupid for doing so. Short-term, it likely seems that it makes things worse. But, long-term, I think it is important.

I wish for you and your wife, continual growth. Both within yourselves, and as a couple.

If I don't get back to you regarding Love and Respect, please remind me!
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Postby ThunderHorse » Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:34 pm

Dear ElizaCol,

I may have taken too long, and lost my relpy, but here is a summary.

Criticism discusses a failure to meet goals. By first discussing the goals which are implicit in the criticism. an acknowledgement can be made. By discussing larger and opposing or conflicting goals, objectives and ideals, the criticsm can be placed into better perspective. Maybe we can call this the goal discussion form of crticism defelction.

I gave some incorrect driving directions, for us to meet the other day. My wife called me "Stupid" We both had cell phones, and were familiar with the area, which was relatively low crime, so my mistake was not a big deal. I made alternative suggestion, but she rejected my secondary ideas, and made her suggestions.

So I then allowed her to chose the directions and we got what was needed, but her directions also were less than perfect. I did not point out her mistakes, but just did the best I could. Then the conversation became more pleasant.

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Postby ThunderHorse » Fri May 02, 2008 11:04 pm

It is important for me to continue my work on developing my skills of defelcting my wife's criticism. Too often, I do not handle the criticism, and allow my feeling of resentment to linger, that creates the temptation to succumb rto diversions of attention, that detract from tasks that wil actually empower my positon in hte mairrrage and in the family.

Many times my wife is not rally criticizing me, but expressing frustration with the world. Mhy male persepctive takes the comments sertiously, and puts the concepts in the category of problems to be solved. When actually, my wife's comments should many times simply be place in the EXPRESSIONS OF FRUSTrATIONS WITH REALITY category of memory and mind.

I am currently practicing an ENCHANTED MODE apprach to communication with my wife. The means adoring, being enraputured, listemning attentively with interest, but NOT with a problem solving approach.

The first step in deflecting my wife's crticism is to determine what is ACTUALLY criticism. My wife's Carping is not necessarily, always criticsm.

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Right direction

Postby Scott Haltzman » Sat May 03, 2008 1:29 pm

Hi Thunderhorse,

Sounds like you're heading in the right direction. I agree that sometimes complaints aren't necessarily criticisms. I was just looking at some New Yorker cartoons today and there was a waiter standing by a seated customer expectantly. The customer says, "No, there's nothing wrong with the food, I just needed a little attention!"

Sometimes she just wants a little attention!

Scott Haltzman
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Location: Barrington, RI

Wife criticism, root

Postby kwikwa » Sat May 24, 2008 1:56 am

I've come to understand that my wife is often very critical because her mother and grandmother raised her to be that way. Her mother was hyper-critical of the father and my wife grew up with this example. It's been difficult to convince her that repeating this pattern is bad for our marriage but she now she is trying to change that behavior.

I was also being very sensitive to her criticism because I have trouble telling when she is being sarcastic and when the criticism is meant for me to actually change my behavior.
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