My Husband Is Always Against Me: How To Stay Committed Even When The Going Gets Rough In Your Marriage

"My husband is critical of me and it's so hard to take." So many women have uttered these very same words at some point during their marriage. It's disheartening to live with a man who only seems to focus on what he thinks you do wrong, instead of everything you do right. It pulls at your self esteem, strains your connection with him and often makes a woman retreat into herself. No one should have to be subjected to constant demeaning comments. If you feel you are drowning in the negative emotions that come with living with a critical partner, there are ways to change this so your marriage can once again thrive and you can take comfort in the acceptance and love your husband has to offer.

You've likely heard in the past that people who are overly critical are really just looking to bolster their own self worth. This is true and could very well be at the heart of what is happening within your own marriage. Take a look at your husband's happiness level. Is he someone who is content with himself? Does he seem more focused on the negative in life than the positive? If you feel that he's always looking at life with a glass half-full attitude, this could be the main reason why he feels compelled to always be criticizing you. It may help him to feel more fulfilled as a person because he's finding faults in you which bolster his own self esteem. In other words, if you're not perfect, he'll feel less impacted by his own shortcomings. It's a horrible dynamic to have in your marriage but it's not something that has to continue.

Chances are very good that you've spoken to your husband about what you feel in relation to his demeaning comments. If they're still continuing, he's obviously not understood the effect that they are having on you. If you constantly complain about his mistreatment, he'll finally reach a point where he just tunes you out. Once this happens it becomes even more challenging to get him to change his ways.

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Talking with him should certainly be your first course of action. It's essential that you speak to him in a clear and direct tone when you feel that he's stepped over the boundary. If he says something hurtful, address it in that instant. Stay in control and simply state to him that you feel that his comment was unwarranted and that it was hurtful. By not becoming overly emotional, you are showing him that you take this matter very seriously and want it resolved without all the emotional entanglements that typically invade conflict in a marriage. If you repeatedly state your disapproval of his critical comments, and he still continues to throw them in your direction, it's time to try something different.

Often in life we have to take a radical approach to deal with difficult situations. Such is the case when your husband seems to be stuck on a track of negativity. You've heard the old saying about killing a person with kindness? You're going to implement that idea into your marriage.

Beginning today you need to make your new focus helping your husband feel better about himself. This is going to be incredibly challenging in light of the fact that he isn't being very kind to you. You must view it as an act of emotional sacrifice and as a method of breaking down the negativity barrier that he's built around him. If you can take the necessary steps to help your husband feel better about who he is, as a spouse, it can change the entire dynamic between the two of you.

Marriage is a partnership and sometimes that requires much more give than take. Now is the time for you to show, through your own behavior, how a spouse should treat their partner. Do unto your husband as you want him to do unto you and you will begin to notice a chance in the way he interacts with you. By being compassionate, patient and persistent, you can help your husband transform the man he is into the man you want him to be. Your marriage can be more balanced, more loving and more enriching if you help your husband see how acceptance can elevate your connection to another level.

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In the beginning of a relationship, love seems to have a life of its own. Without much effort, you feel like you are on top of the world. You catch yourself smiling and laughing often, and feeling warm inside whenever you are with your loved one. Everything and everyone suddenly appears better through the rose-colored glasses of love. This euphoric feeling does not last forever, however. After the first year of marriage, the day to day activities of being married, working in a job, raising a family, buying and maintaining a home, etc., all take their toll, and romance takes a back seat.

Love has to be worked on, just like a gardener with his garden. Although he has planted the seeds, and expects the sun and rain to do most of the work, he still has to pull the weeds out of the garden, to fertilize it, and water it if there isn't enough rain. That is the same with a healthy, loving relationship. When love becomes a high priority in a marriage, it is taken care of and nurtured daily. The resulting love rewards you by growing into a more mature, mellow, committed feeling, and when tested, rises up to meet the challenge. How does one keep love alive in a marriage?

Make Time

You need to designate quality time with your loved one. Don't take it for granted that he/she will always be there when you want them. Remember all those dates you took when you were courting? Now, it's not so easy. There's usually someone else making demands on him/her - whether it's the children with their homework, or the boss expecting you to work late hours, or even an elderly parent that requires assistance. Also, it now might require finding a baby-sitter, or juggling the time with another activity that might take precedence. Whatever happens, make time for each other. Also, make time to hug and/or kiss each other often. You'll be glad you did. The time you spend together will re-energize you and make you feel good for the rest of the day.

If you can't get away, you can still set a date at home, after the children are asleep. The important thing is to have fun together. Here are a few things you can plan to do at home together:

1. Physical intimacy - might put some soft music in the background, maybe even dance together.

2. Pour a favorite drink, make an ice cream sundae, or grab some munchies, and have fun talking with your loved one.

3. Play a favorite board game or card game, anything that makes you enjoy yourselves.

4. Make popcorn and watch a favorite video.

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This is not the time to solve life's problems or issues. If there are any lurking issues in the background (and these may be keeping you from enjoying yourself), then sometimes you just might have to talk about it first, get it out in the open in a loving environment, then continue with your plans. Often, positive energy is tied up within us when a problem or issue has not been resolved.

Use these times to tell him/her how special they are to you (how intelligent, how thoughtful, how loving, how caring, etc.).

What is Romance?

Romance is the opportunity to show your loved one how special he/she is to you. It means taking the time for them, and making time, even if you don't have it. It doesn't mean thinking only about yourself, or having only your needs met. It means putting the other person first. Here are some ideas to spice up your romance:

1. Do small acts of kindness - give him/her flowers, or a little gift, or write a poem, etc.

2. Say "Thank you" and "I Love You" often.

3. Be considerate of his/her feelings, etc.

4. Take long walks together - anywhere.

5. Share jokes at mealtime. Laughter is a great way to share one's love.

6. Visit a museum, visit community festivals, tour a new site, or attend a lecture together.

7. Hug and kiss often.

If your spouse doesn't do things for you, then show him/her by gently pointing out what you like. If you like flowers for your birthday, and you haven't gotten flowers, then let them know, particularly when he/she asks you what you would like. Don't think they can read your mind, let them know.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Over time, we learn how to read our spouse. Their behavior, their actions, are important clues that alert us to how they are feeling. Often, we think we know what they are thinking, and we become sloppy, and don't talk about it, or they don't bring it up.

For example, if he had a bad day at the office, and comes home snapping at the children and being tense, the last thing to do is to take it personally. Invite him to relax, as dinner is prepared, then after he's eaten, ask him how his day was. Sooner or later, the truth will come out, and you will learn what happened. You need to be a responsive listener, and not criticize your spouse, for he will surely clam up. The last thing he wants to hear is criticism.

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Other signs that can bring on a spouse's anger/tenseness:

Hunger: If your spouse hasn't eaten for awhile, not only their stomach growls, but they growl also. Keep your husband well fed (but not overfed)

Criticism: Try and avoid criticizing your partner. If there is something bothering you, then voice it in a way that you don't point fingers or blame him/her. Try not to keep distance between you. Communicate your feelings, how his/her action affected you, and how you were hurt by that action. Never, ever criticize your spouse in public. An apology is forthcoming, no matter how right you thought you were.

Tiredness: If your husband has been working all day, and you ask him to do a bunch of chores when he gets home, don't expect him to thank you. See if you can spread the chores out, so they include the weekend. Planning ahead helps here.

Take Care of Your Body

Although you may not look like you did when you were dating years ago, you can take measures to look just as good if not better.

1. Physical wellbeing - make sure you stay in shape, eat the right foods, and dress nicely. All these actions not only get more compliments your way, they make you feel good about yourself, so that you can be more confident in yourself.

2. Spiritual wellbeing - don't neglect this powerful aspect of life. Pray, go to church, believe. Studies have shown that families that pray together, stay together.

3. Mental wellbeing - if you are a stay-at-home mother, find some good books to read, or read the newspaper or magazines. This will allow you to keep abreast with interesting topics, and will provide your spouse an interesting partner to discuss life issues with.

Don't Substitute

Don't substitute anyone or anything else for your loved one. Don't go to a coworker or a friend, and share intimate secrets, because you may be betraying your loved one's trust. Don't watch television or be on the computer all the time, when you could be spending quality time with your loved one. Don't spend all your time with the children, ignoring your spouse, because your husband or wife should be number one on the list.

If people, organizations, or children clamor for your attention, put your spouse first, and then them. When you put your spouse first, you'll notice you won't need to be going to all these other people for emotional support. You'll also notice you'll be having more fun with the person you'll spend the rest of your life with. Don't underestimate the importance of love in a marriage. Cherish and nurture it, and you will have made the best investment in your life.

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