Dating a critic is probably one of the hardest things to do. I can imagine that most people with critical partners always ask, “what to do when your partner is too critical?”
I know it seems hopeless because of how difficult it is, but it is not hopeless; you can find common ground.
This is especially if your partner is – otherwise loving – and recognises their fault. However, while they work on it, you still need tips to cope in the meantime.
So, this article will show you how to cope with a critical partner while they work on themselves to be less critical because no matter how you look at it, nobody wants to deal with a fault-finder forever.
Having said that, let’s get to it.
1. Assess Their Motive
Hearing criticisms from your partner is not the easiest thing.
But you need to assess their motive. Their motive can make you better accept their criticisms and cope with them.
Are the criticisms constructive or destructive? Are they addressing a valid issue or just criticising everything? Do they sound genuinely concerned or controlling?
You need to objectively answer these questions, so you can know what needs to be done.
If they are genuinely trying to make you better – while they could have chosen a better method – try meeting them halfway.
And if they are not, then you can employ the other tips on dealing with a critical partner.
2. Communicate Your Expectations
Sometimes, we might assume that people recognise what it is they are doing wrong when they don’t.
So one of the ways to cope with a critical partner is to let them know they are being critical.
Now, this is not an excuse for not being self-aware; everybody should be.
However, sometimes, you need to call the attention of others to their fault.
Remember, though, not to do it critically, as that’s what you are trying to avoid.
Instead, honestly, respectfully and clearly communicate how you feel and how you’d appreciate that they do something about it.
But don’t forget to be firm. You need to let them know your expectations in the relationship and how it is not a critical partner.
3. Reassess Your Source of Happiness
One thing everybody must settle, whether they are with a critical partner or not, is that their partner is not wholly responsible for their happiness.
You need to find happiness from within – I’d recommend God – because your partner cannot fulfil the need in your soul.
Now, let me be clear. I’m not saying you should be with someone who doesn’t care about you at all and is the source of your unhappiness.
Couples should always seek to make each other happy and not intentionally cause pain to the other.
But since you are both flawed humans, you cannot always make each other happy.
Plus, the human soul is too large for any human to satisfy; only God can occupy that position.
That’s why you must find your happiness outside your partner.
Therefore, when you are with a critical partner, it becomes easy not to see their constant put-down as a reflection of who you are.
Also Read: The Righteousness of Christ
4. Work on Your Self-Esteem
Being with a critical partner is a lot of work, and if care is not taken, you can begin to internalise what they say and damage your self-worth.
So, you must grow your self-esteem to come out unharmed when dealing with a critical partner.
Make sure to love yourself and have a good perception of who you are. This way, you can stand strong when faced with words that do not represent who you are.
5. Don’t Join the Blame Game
There is an ineffective way to deal with a critical partner – doing the same thing.
It may make you feel good, but it is counterproductive; it achieves nothing but a cycle of criticism.
Instead of joining them, employ one of the healthier ways to cope with a critical partner in this post.
6. Take Responsibility
This may be hard to hear, but you also need to ask yourself if you are honestly without fault.
Like I said earlier, sometimes, their heart is in the right place, and the criticism may be valid.
Sure, they could express their displeasure better, but is there something you are doing wrong that they are hammering on?
Consider addressing that issue.
7. Ask Them What They Would Do Differently
Ask them to tell or show you how they would do whatever they are criticising differently.
Good critiques don’t just point out problems; they offer solutions as well.
So, instead of hammering on your fault, ask for some tips on how to do better.
Of course, this may not work if they are not only critical but abusive as well. In that case, I wouldn’t be asking you to cope, I’d be asking you to leave.
8. Consider Therapy
You may need to try therapy to determine why your partner needs to be critical.
And sometimes, a person removed from the situation might be what they need to hear what you are saying.
It could be – because you are in the situation and not a professional – you are not addressing the issue effectively.
9. Leave the Relationship
If, after everything, there is no improvement, consider leaving.
It’s better to break a relationship than to break a marriage.
So, you are better off leaving the relationship if there is no improvement after trying everything.
Like I inferred above, coping with a critical partner is case by case. You cannot paint every case with the same brush.
If your partner is not controlling or abusive and if they genuinely want you to be better, there is hope.
But if comes with narcissism and there is no sign of improvement, leaving might be the best option.