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How do you handle criticism?

7 replies

arabella2 · 08/06/2003 13:04

Hello, it's me again posting about another aspect of my dreadful relationship with dh.
I'm sick of rationalising all his behaviour in my head with "oh but I do this to him"... Maybe I do but that still doesn't change the fact that he is a very critical person. If he criticises and I respond then it becomes an argument, if I don't respond then I fume about it internally...
What do you do if you are unlucky enough to live with a difficult person (sometimes come up with an unkinder set of adjective and noun!) like I do???
It's getting to the point where we are getting at each other so much that if it weren't for ds I would definitely no longer be here. I get no sustenance from this relationship and neither does he I think... Then again we would probably be getting at each other less if we didn't have ds - I would be working and feeling more independent and we wouldn't be having the power struggle we sometimes do about him.
I feel that I work really hard with ds but that none of it gets noticed... I'm sick of being Mrs Invisible... I feel tired and powerless.
I so desperately would like our relationship to be different but then he'll say something that really annoys me and I go back to sulking... I feel unattractive and undesired and I'm fed up. There, sorry for unloading in this manner but I guess that's what this site is for.

OP posts:

whymummy · 08/06/2003 13:21

what you need is a double dose of confidence,how about you get some time to yourself go to the hairdressers,buy a new outfit and have a girls night out or even a weekend away from him


aloha · 08/06/2003 15:04

Would he go to counselling if you booked an appointment. Some people really find it helpful when they are 'stuck' like you sound you are. It would be an awful shame to let things go on like this - a waste of your life - but also a shame to split up with a young child. In the meantime, how about saying something like, "Is there anything wrong? I feel as if you are unhappy with a lot of things I do and feel the need to criticise, while I feel that I work hard with ds and don't get any feedback..." and see where it takes you.


emwi · 08/06/2003 16:09

Even if he won't go to counselling you might find a counsellor could help you work out ways to deal with this - e.g how to discuss it without it turning into a row. Sounds miserable at the moment. Has he always been like this?


robinw · 08/06/2003 16:53

message withdrawn


mmm · 09/06/2003 08:54

Poor arabella2. You sound so fedup. My partner sometimes says horrid things to me too but I realise that it's when he's fedup too. I say 'It's really not on to say things like that to me. Please stop it now.' and he apologises. It sounds as if you've got a bit further down the path though. Children do put a strain on relationships. You're so busy giving out to ds that you need some in put into you too and dh isn't giving it. Could you show him what you've written here and that might get the wheels rolling for some more understanding between you? It's awful feeling tired and powerless. xxx


arabella2 · 09/06/2003 11:26

Thank you everyone. It's difficult to organise time away because of ds - I could take ds with me I suppose... It's true that we are stuck in a rut - often we get out of these ruts when people stay with us as that seems to change our moods. Dh would never go to counselling (even though he suggests it for other people to which I always say that HE wouldn't go)... Yes he has always been critical but somehow it's easier to handle when you're not so dependent and anyway before ds we had more ups as well as the downs. Yes it would be awful for ds if we were to split up - also I think the whole process would be dreadful and it's not what I want to do really anyway, I just don't know how to alter my thinking with regards to dh. If I could maybe think of him (for the moment) as someone more distant to whom I am polite and from whom I don't expect anything (MIL?, SIL?) then maybe that would defuse the situation. Yesterday after posting this we had quite a good afternoon but last night and this morning we are back to the sniping. If he knows that something he does winds me up he will carry on doing it. Eg. I hate the fact that when ds and I wave goodbye to him in the morning (for ds's benefit) he completely ignores me, he also knows how to say all the things that push my buttons. I often ask myself if this is really how two people who are supposed to be in a loving relationship behave towards each other. He is aggrieved about things too - he feels that everything that I do is for ds (which it kind of is). Also ds and I are co-sleeping because he is still drinking milk at night (! have to get out of this one somehow) and I think he resents all this time I have with ds (even though we are sleeping) that he doesn't. He snores at night so there is no way that we can all sleep together. We have tried it before and it's awful. Plus he doesn't want me to nudge him to stop so what am I supposed to do??? I suppose we have lost a lot of intimacy. All day long he continually tells ds or me how wonderful ds is. I think so too and I am very glad that ds is hearing all these positive things about himself, but after a while I start to get a bit tired of it - basically I feel like the forgotten heap of scrap metal by the dustbin...
I think what I am going to do is work on the distancing myself mentally from dh thing for a while in conjunction with the trying to be a bit kinder to him (getting him teas etc...) as well as biting my tongue if he says anything which winds me up and we will see where we go from there.
I know I can be quite selfish in some ways but I feel that if I were to look after dh in the same way I look after ds then there would be absolutely NO time left for me and I would be dead. I feel as if I only have a certain amount to give...
I don't know, in lots of ways we are different from each other in what we like and how we want to live but it's a bit late to be thinking about that isn't it???

OP posts:

mmm · 10/06/2003 07:54

Arabella2, it sounds as though you've been doing a lot of positive thinking - good for you! It's hard not to get sucked into someone's button pushing, and you're right you are the grown ups in this scenario! I slept with my dd for years and couldn't stand the snoring of partner either and was told off if I thumped him on the back or held his nose . You're probably exhausted too from all the night time feeds. I got so tired I just couldn't get dd out of my bed because at least I got some sleep when she was in it and thought I'd go mad with lack of sleep if I had any less. Your dh is adjusting to the cahnge in his life and I think he sounds as if he's feeling pushed out . It sounds so similar to my story. You'll come through but it'll be hard and the dynamics have changed now you've got a ds.( nobody tells you that, do they?) Once more, good luck, sweetheart.

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