How to get along with critical spouse
I am married to a very critical and intolerant wife. She often berates me and yells at me over what I think are non-issues. I feel like I’m constantly being scolded and treated like I’m one of the kids. I walk on eggshells to avoid causing my wife to fly into a rage. I am starting to feel like my flaws are all that my wife sees. I love her, but 12 years of this has really got my self-confidence shot. Is there anything I can do?
One definition of emotional abuse is “any act including confinement, isolation, verbal assault, humiliation, intimidation or any other treatment which may diminish the sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth.” It would appear that your wife is an emotional bully and this has impacted your thoughts about your own capabilities.
I read an article written by a wife who realized that she has been accidentally abusing her husband their entire marriage. She relayed stories of how insanely angry she got at him for bringing home the wrong groceries, or breaking a glass or doing the dishes “wrong” (and) her belief that her husband’s inabilities to do things the ways she wanted proved that he must be completely inconsiderate and uncaring. It turns out, that her husband just didn’t place the same kind of importance and priority on many of the details as his wife did. Having differing views of what may be considered important doesn’t mean that one is right and therefore the other is wrong or inconsiderate.
(Nikki Delaney is a licensed counselor and owner of A New You Counseling in Rio Rancho, which received the Marriage Counselor, Best of Rio Rancho Award in 2015. She is the creator of the “Roommates to Romance” program, which transforms relationships by tailoring counseling to specific needs. Submit “Love Letter” questions to firstname.lastname@example.org)