Learning how to deal with a negative critical husband revolves around a deeper understanding of why he is like that and how to remove yourself from any and all harm that his attitude may cause you.
Negative people have the ability to drag you down with them.
If you are someone who wants to live a more prosperous, abundant and joyful life then you are probably becoming more sensitive to negativity and the impact of negative energy in your life.
When you have a negative critical husband things can get very tricky.
Unlike many other negative people you can’t just cut them out of your life.
When you learn how to deal with a negative critical husband you can become immune to any and all criticism and in the process teach them through your own behaviour to change themselves.
Why Is Your Husband Negative and/or Critical?
The first and most obvious reaction to a negative and critical husband is to take their negativity and criticism personally.
You may think that it’s all aimed at you, what you do and even what you are.
On the surface level it definitely is that, but understanding it at a deeper level is the key to freeing yourself.
When your husband criticizes you and when he is negative and judgemental towards you it is nothing more than him trying to validate his own insecurities and reaffirm his own negative perceptions of himself and his world.
What you see in others is a reflection of yourself. A person of goodness sees goodness in others and a person of evil sees evil in others.– Omar Suleiman
Suppose your husband is always criticizing your appearance – how you look and how you dress.
Is he really concerned about how you look or is his real concern about how HE looks?
If your husband is always criticizing your parenting, is he concerned about how you raise your kids and the consequences or is he really insecure about his own parenting?
This often takes some deep reflection to really understand these facts but when you really examine it you will soon start to understand that it is NEVER about you. Its always about them.
Being critical and negative is a way of perceiving life and the world around you.
There certainly is a time and a place for criticism and its true purpose is to provide positive and encouraging feedback.
The problem is when criticism becomes a ‘weapon’ and a way to offload your own fears, frustrations and insecurities.
Our faults irritate us most when we see them in others.– Unknown
Dealing With a Negative And Critical Husband
We are all negative and critical at times. When you start indulging in it you will soon develop the habit and eventually develop a personality that is negative and critical of everything and everyone.
Over time, this becomes ‘who you are’ but it is important to realize that no person on this planet is born that way.
It is a learned behaviour that you either adopt consciously or subconsciously.
You are never responsible for anyone else’s behaviour. If your husband chooses to be negative and critical then you are NEVER at fault- even though he may blame you or direct his negativity towards you.
Here are 7 powerful strategies to help you deal with a husband or spouse that is always critical and negative.
1. Its Not Really About You
Don’t ever take it personally. Your husband’s criticism and negativity is not really towards you. At the highest level, his negativity and criticism is really towards himself.
You happen to be the closest thing there is and he will offload on to you.
It’s like lightning. It will hit whatever is closest to it.
It’s not ‘fair’ but it is unfortunately the way it is.
Understanding that it is NOt about you and that the negativity and criticism is not really aimed at you personally you can really start to deal with a negative critical husband in a much more profound way that is based in love and understanding.
2. Learn To Recognize Your Own Reactions
Knowing and understanding that your husband’s negativity and criticism is not really about you is one thing.
Practising it in heated moments is quite something else.
It is really important that you remove yourself from your conditioned reactions to criticism and negativity.
In relationships we tend to get stuck in patterns of behaviour. One person says one thing and the other reacts.
Reactions are conditioned responses. We often don’t even think about it.
A negative husband often wants that response from you. It helps to feed his own need to voice his frustrations with himself.
Start by being really conscious and aware when these situations come up. Make a real conscious effort to not react but to respond.
When you respond instead of react you actually have a presence of mind and you are able to really see the situation for what it is.
One simple technique is to always count to 5 (in your head) before responding to any criticism or negative comments that would previously have offended or angered you.
The simple act of counting shifts y9our attention sufficiently and helps to stop the pattern of conditioned responses.
3. Stop Feeding The Monster
Never fight fire with fire when dealing with a negative or critical person. It is like feeding the monster and giving them exactly what they are really looking for.
Learning to deal with a negative critical husband is also about knowing what pushes their buttons. If you start noticing patterns that certain things lead to them going on a rant then try and avoid it.
Try and avoid the triggers as much as you can.
This is not about avoiding important discussions. It’s about avoiding little things that can feed the monster and that allows it to grow and become stronger.
Negativity breeds more negativity.
The more someone has to criticize the more they will find to criticize.
4. Be Loving
Love is the most powerful energy that human beings are capable of. It’s much more than just an emotion.
Love has the power to diffuse the most heated arguments. Love can dissipate anger and frustration and is the most powerful way to deal with a negative critical husband.
It’s not always easy though.
Meeting negativity, criticism and ‘ugliness’ with love requires a certain level of emotional and spiritual maturity.
One of the great lessons from the Christian tradition is when Jesus had only love and forgiveness in his heart when he was being crucified.
His attention was not on himself and his own suffering but rather on the suffering of those who were crucifying him. He knew their souls were in pain and that it was a pain that is much more painful than the fleeting pain of the body.
One of the most powerful ways to deal with a negative critical husband is with love.
When you can ‘see’ that his criticism and negativity is really a reflection of his own inner fears and frustrations you really can have a vastly different approach and attitude towards these situations.
5. Be Strong
Leading with love and being loving does not mean you allow yourself to be abused. Verbal abuse can be as bad as physical abuse and many people simply do not have the emotional skill to fend off verbal abuse.
You need to set boundaries.
You need to be firm.
Never try to do this during heated moments though. Pick your moment and when both of you are relaxed and in a good place you need to talk about it face to face.
Make it very clear to your husband what you will no longer accept.
Express what you find abusive and what hurts you about his criticism.
When you have this conversation from a place of love, kindness and compassion and you look him in the eye it will have an impact on him – even if he does not flinch.
You just need to do this once.
Now that he knows the boundaries he will know when he crosses them.
You don’t even have to remind him.
6. Decide Who YOU Want To Be – And BE That
The people we surround ourselves with most of the time can have a huge impact on our own mental and emotional state.
Their energy affects us whether we want it to or not.
When you live with someone who is negative then it is important that you decide who YOU want to be and to commit to that.
If you decide that you ARE love, kindness and joy and commit to live from THAT place then the environment will have much less of an impact on you.
Mother Theresa’s ‘Do It Anyway Prayer’ is a powerful testament to this idea. You can read it in full here, but one of my favorite lines from that prayer is this one:
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.
This idea was also powerfully written about by Victor Frankl – a holocaust survivor. The premise of his book is that none can cause you to feel anything or to think anything.
You are ultimately the master of your own mind and emotions.
When you allow other people’s negativity and criticism to push your buttons then you simply have not mastered yourself yet.
7. Be The Light
When someone is all angry and negative they are really consumed by the illusion that they are not enough.
Their minds have tricked them into believing that they are something other than the living, loving image of perfection into which we are all born.
If you understand this truth and they don;t then it is your duty to be the light.
If you can see how their negativity and criticism is ill-directed then it is your duty to be the light.
If their perception of themselves and their world is trapped in the illusion of everything that is wrong then it is your duty to be the light.
Being the light does not mean you correct them all the time.
It simply means that you keep your energy and your attention on what is good, what is right and you overwhelm every situation with love, peace and joy.
As you ‘lead by example’ and you meet negativity and criticism with love and compassion they will soon come around.
You can guide them to a new insight without saying a word about it. Your actions, your attitude and your reactions will speak louder than words.