How to respond to criticism and put downs for husband?
I have turned to this forum as I dont know where eles to turn, I dont want to tell family or friends all these details as I dotn want to feel judged by them, or judge my husband. I have dont therapy a few times in the last 8 years, I just stopped going a few weeks back due to money and I was kind of feeling ready to stop, however the same problems keep popping up.
I grew up in a very critical family, lots of put downs, I never felt good enough, always felt compared to my older sister ,I didnt feel like they loved me or even liked me that much, ( Im sure thats not true ) but thats how I felt when I was a kid.I was a senitive kid and an still a sentitve adult but I am working on it. by the time I got to age 16 I just totally rebelled, got in with the wrong crowd etc.... just trying to fit in and be accepted feel part of something. I spend many years abusing drugs and drinking. Then 10 years ago I stopped drugs, I met my husband we have been together 8 years now, since then I have been in and out of therapy trying to deal with my passed, my couple and trying to accept myself and love myself (which I find very hard ) I can be very hard on myself.
Anyway thats just my background, my problem here is my husband is the kind of man who thinks that no one can do something as good as him, thinks he is always right in a fight, hardly every says sorry;
The thing Im finding really hard is, he will be on my back alot, saying why did you do something that way, why this way? an example is I will load the dishwasher, he normally comes up right after to see if its done right and most of the time with re oragnise it, and when I get angry says, well if you just did it right in the first place he wouldnt have anything to say, I do a lot of the house work, I stay at home and take care of our 3 year old, and it drives me crazy when sometimes hes just there to make all the corrections at the end.... we have had so many fights over this, hes point is I just dont do it right, Im messy, Im clumsily, it makes me so mad when I do most of the work.
Then whe we start to fight about all this it gets really out of control, horrible things gets said, but he still fights the same fight, if I just did it right in the first place he wouldnt have anything to say. BUT HE ALWAYS HAS SOMETHING TO SAY; i cant stand being in the kicthen cleaning or cooking when he comes in I tense up right always as I know he will have something to say, wanting things done hes way, as my way is not good enough.
Im sick of it. I spent my childhood like this, what now ? the same for the rest of my life ? ! dont get me wrong there are good things about him, but coz of his own past, something its like he cant help himself. and coz OF my past I cant help but defend myself, and get really angry, then after I hate myself.
my question is , how can I respond to this ? as I see getting angry is not work ?
I just wish he would stop ! he knew it ws hard for me growing up, but he still dose ot. I dont think hes going to change.
what can I do ?
Im trying to accept myself, but its hard when someones has told you growing up, you not good enough, and now him saying I dont do things right !
when I do so much for my son, my husband and he has 2 kids from his first marrage.
feeling a bit heart broken today.
sorry this mail was long.
If you have read this far, Thank you so much.
Oh my God! You just described my parents when you were talking about your husband and yourself. This is a very difficult situation. I am still trying to solve this dilemma, "can't be together, can't be apart", situation...
Mom is the same: "I just dont do it right, Im messy, Im clumsily". Well, first of all, this is your weakness, you are holding on to it. Because you don't want to face the truth. You have to let these labels go. You are not clumsy, you are not messy, and yes, you can do everything right! But to find your strength, you have to let go of your weakness. Just don't worry, it will not be the end of the world. You will feel lighter, and better.
He won't tell he is sorry. Don't expect him to! Don't try to make him sorry, don't try to show him he should be sorry. Because as you said, he will not give this to you. Show him what he is missing if he doesn't let you be as strong as him or if he won't stop acting as your superior. Don't do your chores because he wants you to, do them according to your liking. Do everything your way, and enjoy it. Stop worrying you will mess it up, just enjoy everything.
By the way, he is not angry because you are doing something wrong. He is angry because this is a type of person who is not at peace with himself. He is always looking for perfection, because he can't handle the fact that he is wrong inside, and he doesn't want to see something, anything no matter how small it can be, in a messy or wrong way, he wants to see everything his way. But this is the situation I am talking about. He can't have it! It is impossible! Because life is messy. Life is hard. And you can't learn without making mistakes. But he can't handle this fact. So he is making your life a misery. And he can't help himself.
Don't force it. Understand him. He can't help himself! Do this for a change! Tell him you understand that he wants done things perfectly. But show him how life is more beautiful in its messy and natural way. Because it will be this way no matter what. I am sorry. You have to be the one who has steel nerves. You can't lose it every time he says you are not perfect. No one is perfect! And trust me, he is not either! That's what life is. If we were meant to be perfect, we wouldn't have souls. Or we wouldn't be flesh and blood.
I know the feeling, being not good enough. But he is not the only one who makes you feel this way, am I right? First it was your parents, and now your husband. It is a repressed childhood pain, and you don't know how to deal with it. You have to face this. All this time, you stuffed it inside yourself, and never let it out. But you have to. Because if you won't do this for yourself, no one will. People don't understand why they are behaving the way they do. They just do it instinctively. It feels right to them somehow. And they continue to hurt you. Because they don't know they are hurting you. Even if they are aware at some degree, they don't care. They never faced such a thing, such humiliation. If they did, they would never behave this way.
Be good enough for yourself and for your child. It is all in your mind, it is just a pain. You have to face it. You have to make it okay in your mind. You are not a horrible person, and you are not doing anything wrong. Your husband's perfection standards are merely dreams. And dreaming is a horrible thing when it stops you facing the truth. Don't believe this perfection nonsense. It is just a dream, a dream he will never have in real life. That's why he is always hungry for more.
Don't hate yourself because you are angry, because you are defensive. It is normal. Don't be afraid to feel. But try to understand the patterns you can't break. People tell you you are not good enough, and you believe them, that's why you feel defensive. Why believe them??? Can't they be wrong?? Can't they be hating themselves too? Aren't they human too?? Don't believe everything you hear. They are looking at the world through their dirty windows, and they are not seeing you as you are, they are seeing you through a part of their problems. How can you see the truth through a problem? You can't. You see everything distorted, everything filthy. So, they don't know they are wrong inside, they are calling you wrong. Because they don't know better, which is why you have to know better.
I missed something. "BUT HE ALWAYS HAS SOMETHING TO SAY" Let him speak, let him speak and speak. Doesn't matter. Just don't try to shut him out. It doesn't matter what he says. He is telling you how to be perfect. Right? In summary. Keep it in mind, it doesn't matter! But I hope you will not let this get bitter and do everything opposite to what your husband is saying. Listen if he is making sense. You can always learn from him if he is making sense. But if he is criticizing you, it is not to make you better, criticizing is always to show superiority which makes you inferior. I know they would argue this is not true. But it is.
Wow ! That was just an amazing answer, thank you so much ! Thank you so much for your honesty and insight. And I know your right, I just have such a hard time trying to change my reaction to it. Sometimes he just won't give up until he has finally pushed my buttons then turns around and tells me I'm crazy when I react in anger or makes me feel like something Is wrong with me.
Like you say I get so defensive coz it seems unfair plus the feeling of not being good enough is reinforced from the past. I'm an honest person, I'm a good mother just can't stand I when I do hours of work and he wil zone in on one small thing to pick fault with, not notice all the good I've done.
I know I'm reacting coz maybe I don't accept myself fully. Yes I'm very ashamed of my anger. I come from a very angry family and was mAde feel ashamed of myself if I expressed any feelings. I was told children should be seen and not heard.
So I know part of the problem is finding it hard to accept myself but sometimes I don't know how. I have googled It lots i Try to understand What It means but i dont fully.
So It hurts so bad when He tries to say im wrong and i break everything...
I keep saying to him treat me like your equal.
Your answer really means a lot too me ! I Will surly read this anytime im having a hard time.
Just take it easy, we feel like it is the worst thing in the world, but if you can get over your fears and your pain, you will see, life is so much more than feeling insecure and useless. Well, I just hope I will feel that way too, you know! Here's to hoping for the best!!!