5 Ways To Respond When You Have A Critical Husband

Constant criticism from a husband or wife can tear down your marriage, and build walls around the heart of the victim. 

If your husband finds fault in everything that you do, you probably already know this. You might even have come to the point where you think it is normal and right.

Constant criticism and a lack of affection break and hardens hearts.

As a wife and mother, I need to realize the effects my actions have on not only my kids, but also my husband.

Humans were created by God with a need to be loved and encouraged.

That’s why a critical spouse can slowly, over time, destroy a marriage. Realizing what is happening is the first step to change.

The Gottman Institute wrote about the four horsemen that destroy a marriage. One of these is criticism.

Criticism is one of the most common human behaviors that tear down a marriage. It is easy to fall into a negative mindset, and this does not only affect your life, but also your family. 

A critical husband or wife has a negative mindset.

Their cup is always half empty. There is nothing good in their life. Everyone is always against them, and they have gotten the worst lot in life (in their mind).

Criticism is usually unkind.

It most often starts with ‘you always’ or ‘you never’.

Constructive criticism is helpful advice that is for your own good. A critical spouse might believe that he is teaching you for your own good, but does it in a way that only degrades you as a person. 

It is important to look at yourself first.

It is easy to fall into the negative mindset trap, where nothing seems good about your life. You see only evil and don’t see the many blessings God has placed into your life.  

Of course, there is the other side to that coin.

Being easily offended is not what we are talking about here.

Constant criticism from your husband means that he is not satisfied with you as a person, but also shows that he is only looking to your bad side.

Learning how to deal with this and how to react the right way can make a big difference in your marriage. 

What Does Constant Criticism Do To a Person?

Constant criticism kills self esteem

A child living under a critical parent will have little to no self-worth.

In the same way, constant criticism from a husband will lower a wife’s self-esteem. If she does not hold onto her worth in Christ, she will believe that she has no worth at all.

This is a terrible thing to happen to anyone, man or woman. It’s not just men that sometimes fall into critical habits.

In some marriages, it’s the wife that is critical and tears down her husband. The power of our words is something that every wife should remember.

Constant criticism makes you feel hurt, rejected and assaulted.  

We often don’t realize how much our words affect our spouse, but a critical spouse is an opposite of what we should be like.

Building up and encouraging our spouse does not always come easy, but it is important for a strong marriage.

What Does It Mean When Your Husband Constantly Criticizes You?

One thing to remember if your husband is constantly criticizing you that there is an underlying issue.

It is helpful to understand why he constantly criticizes. It actually has little to do about you but speaks more about the state of his heart.

A constantly critical husband might feel unheard. 

If he has tried to express his wishes and feels that you do not understand or care, he starts feeling rejected himself.

He might take this out on his wife, and start internally blaming you for how he is feeling.

A constantly critical husband often has self esteem issues himself. 

Maybe he grew up in a home where he was never encouraged but only criticized.

He literally does not know how to be an encouraging husband. Most likely, he doesn’t even realize what he is doing to you.

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What is the Best Way To Respond To Constant Criticism From Spouse?

1.Remain Calm

Don’t retaliate.

As hard as it might be, responding to criticism with contempt or by stonewalling will not help your relationship.

Respond calmly, and kindly. By doing this you will be heaping coals upon his head (Proverbs 25:21). Snapping back never helps. 


2.Start Encouraging Him

Especially if he has grown up in a critical household, he might not realize what he is doing.

He might not realize there are different ways to communicate, without being constantly critical. No one likes everything that the other does, and the ability to share differing opinions and thoughts actually shows maturity in a relationship.

An inability to tell each other your true thoughts shows a lack of trust in each other.

This will not be easy if your husband has been constantly criticizing you for many years.

You might find that you have fallen into the criticizing trap yourself. Find some good in your husband, and start sharing them with him.

Either through special notes or with words of affirmation. Build him up constantly

3.Find your Worth in Christ

Jesus loves you, and he made you exactly the way you are.

Satan tries to defeat you through lies that he puts in your mind. Women often believe lies about themselves that are not true.

Your worth in Christ is what truly matters.

If you can hold onto the truth of God’s word, the constant criticism from your husband will not affect you as much.

Make an Effort For More Open Communication

The inability to share your thoughts and opinions with your spouse means there is a lack of trust between the two of you.

Until you are able to be open and vulnerable, your marriage will not become better.

Open and honest communication, without hurting your spouse or being offended yourself, will help bring connection and closeness into your relationship.

Suppressing your feelings and thoughts can often lead to becoming a critical person.

Be Honest in a kind tone.

There is a chance that your husband does not realize what he is doing. Talk to him about it.

Choose a time where you are both in a great mood. Show him how his words tear you down. 

Then drop it. Continually nagging will only make things worse.

Take it to the Lord in Prayer

Have you seen God in action? It’s amazing when the Spirit of the Lord works in your spouse’s life, the ability for him to change is awesome!

God’s love, grace, and power always make me praise Him in awe.

Pray it through, and don’t give up.

Spend time fasting and praying. God can move those immovable mountains.

He looks at the heart of your husband and can transform his life as well.

Continue loving and respecting your husband. Your conduct can lead him to Christ (1 Peter 3:1).

The Power of the Praying Wife is a great resource for the wife that feels she is at the end of her rope.

I highly recommend it for every wife, regardless if you are dealing with criticism or not. You can find it here.

When married to a critical husband, it is important to seek to understand the heart issue.

Understanding does not make it right, but it does help you deal better with it.

Learning to be an encouraging wife regardless of the criticism and ultimately finding your worth in Christ will help you continue showing love and respect to your husband.

Constant criticism from your husband can be a huge stressor, but it does not mean that you just accept that and give up on your marriage.

Things might feel like they will never change, but God is the author of Peace, and where He moves, things transform. 

If you need more help, you can download your free Encouragement Planner here!

1 thought on “5 Ways To Respond When You Have A Critical Husband”

  1. There are so many things about this that I disagree with. My main problem with this is the ‘drop it’. If he takes on board what you have said, fine, but it still needs to be worked on. If he doesn’t listen and continues criticising, dropping it is not an option. Setting up some boundaries and not allowing the critical behaviour to continue is what needs to happen. If you don’t want to be constantly berated and you have examined your own behaviour, then you don’t have to allow it.

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