Criticism in Marriage and Relationships

When you were a kid, did you ever have someone try to bully you, or talk about how you looked, or what clothes you wore, or just put you down every opportunity they could, or who just didn’t like you and told others not to like you either? Do you remember how you felt? It was not a pleasant feeling.

Recent news stories tell of kids who have been so humiliated and tortured by their peers that they respond by either taking their own lives or going to school and shooting people. It is illogical and it demonstrates the kind of emotional torment that some people feel because of thoughtless criticism.

Criticism is a powerful and dangerous destroyer of relationships—not just for kids with their peers but also in marriage and committed relationships. Most often, people feel inferior, hurt, unworthy, shameful, and guilty.

When a person is criticized repeatedly, their self esteem is diminished and they may fail to live up to their full potential. If you want the best from your mate, our suggestion is to turn down the criticism and turn up the complements. It’s really important that couples create an environment where both partners are better at meeting each other’s needs for a more loving connection.

We love this quotation from William Arthur Ward who said:

“Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. Love me and I may be forced to love you.”

 
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