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Do You Criticise Your Partner? Well, It May Have A Negative Impact On Your Relationship!

Judging a person or making remarks at them because you do not approve of their certain behaviour is not a good thing to do, especially if you are in a relationship. When we criticise a person it doesn't help them to become a better person, rather it hurts their self respect and they might end up discarding your advice forever. There is no harm in pointing out mistakes of your partner, but doing it too often may have an devastating impact on your relationship.

What is Habitual Criticism?

Habitual criticism is an act of criticising a person quite often. Criticising someone regularly can be because of their own repetitive mistakes. In a relationship, when habitual criticism creeps in , the couple is surely on their way to destroy their relationship. This is so because the criticism alone can corrode the base of a relationship.

According to a renowned relationship researcher and predictor of divorce in America, John Gottman "criticism is the greatest predictors of divorce and can also affect the unmarried couples." [1]

Sometimes, people think criticism is no different from complaints and therefore they find it absolutely fine. But the actual story is different. Criticism is about an individual and not the behaviour. Kurth Smith, a therapist and counsellor for men in Roseville, California says, "We can tell our partner what we think or how we feel without criticizing them as an individual.... When our comments include cursing or demeaning labels, it kills any value our message has and makes the feedback pointless," [2]

So now let's see how criticising your partner can ruin the relationship:

1. It Can Dilute Trust Between The Couple

Trust integrates couples. But repetitive and habitual criticism can make your partner feel that you don't trust them. According to Steven Stosny, a psychologist in Washington D.C, "Frequent criticism feels like betrayal."

He further added, "It violates the implicit promise made in the formation of attachment bonds, that the person you love will care about how you feel and never intentionally hurt you."[3]

Even if you are in deep love with your partner, words like, 'you always do this...', 'you never do this...', 'why can't you..' will make them feel that you do not trust them enough or find them worthless.

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2. It Can Ruin Your Partner's Self-Esteem

When you criticise or judge someone, you attack their self-esteem as well. This can have an adverse effect on them and they might end up being stubborn or ignoring your advice.

"It can make us question our value and worth, especially when it's coming from someone who's supposed to love us," Smith said. "We can begin to believe that since they care about us, then what they're saying about us must be true."

A person who receives habitual criticism for a certain period of time might feel under confident or develop a low self-esteem. The person will gradually lose self-confidence and doubt his/her partner's perspectives and ability to do things in a right manner.

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3. It Can Even Destroy Intimacy

The moment you start criticising your partner, emotional distance steps in automatically between you and your partner. Even if you share warm and passionate love, criticism has the power to diminish and replace the love by hostility and discontentment. Your partner will no longer feel physically attracted to you because of emotional disturbance.

4. It Belittles Your Partner

Criticism can disclose your ugly side to your partner. Your words can give birth to heated arguments. Lack of respect for your partner can lead to stress and frustration, and can also cause disappointment in them. Your partner will think himself/herself as worthless.

Your partner might feel he/she is the root cause of all the problems and that they are no more important. Even if you love your partner deeply, criticism will overshadow your love for your partner and he/she will no more feel loved by you.

However, it is not necessary for couples to accept all the flaws and behaviour of their partner. All those qualities of your partner might annoy you and make you emotionally unstable , but choosing a proper way of talking about these flaws can help you to save your relationship and give your partner a chance to become a better person.

View Article References
  1. [1] Wong B. (2016 October 18). This Common Behavior Could Easily End Your Marriage. HuffPost US. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/behavior-could-end-marriage-criticism_n_58013752e4b0162c043c001d on 17 August 2019
  2. [2] Borresen K. (2019, August 8). Criticism Is The Toxic Habit That Can Slowly Ruin Your Relationship. HuffPost. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/criticism-toxic-habit-ruin-relationship_l_5d41e484e4b0d24cde0a05f2 on 17 August 2019
  3. [3] Stosny S. Anger In The Age Of Entitlement https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/anger-in-the-age-entitlement

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