Four Reasons I Stopped Criticizing My Husband:
- It was not loving. Love believes the best in people. When I began to understand this, I realized that it was my duty to believe he was doing his best. Criticizing and nagging was the opposite of believing the best in him. Criticizing undermined his self-confidence and had the opposite effect than what I wanted. It did not cause him to try harder. It was a wedge between us that I had the power to remove. I could remove it with unconditional love. Do unto others as you want them to do to you means that if I want him to believe that I’m doing my best I had better believe that he’s doing his best.
- It was disrespectful and not the way God intended us to interact. We are commanded to act respectfully toward our husbands. The more disrespectful I was, the less he wanted to be around me or do anything I was doing or wanted his help with. The old saying goes you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. That was certainly true for me.
- It didn’t work. About 10 years of nagging, complaining, whining, and sighing produced very little results for my effort. For the last 5ish years I’ve prayed instead of nagging or criticizing. I’ve seen more change in a few years of praying for him than I ever did in the years I was criticizing or complaining.
- There’s a better way. Now, when I have a request, I petition him. A petition needs to be done in the right way. It shouldn’t be done when either of us are upset. It needs to have clear and concise expectations (not just I’m angry about something). I write out my concerns ahead of time so that in clear-headed. I’ll even write out all the stuff that makes me angry, but I don’t tell him this part. I take that part to God (refer to #3). I then talk to him when we’re both in a place that we’re ready to have a conversation; I learned that right when he walked in the door from a hard day at work is a bad time. I don’t make a demand. I ask for his support on whatever I need. Sometimes support just means hiring someone to fix something. Sometimes it means the two of us addressing something together. Sometimes I take care of the problem myself. If I address it myself, I work really hard to not become frustrated or bitter (refer to #1).
“No man has risen from under his wife’s criticism to become a better man.”