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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5762
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I try to express to my partner that I do not like being criticized

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I try to express to my partner that I do not like being criticized, judged or told I'm overreacting when sharing my feelings. He has continued so, now I withdraw and rarely express my feelings he then asks why I don't tell him what's wrong. I tell him because he just demeans or minimizes my feelings so it's useless. He responds the same way thus in just goes in circles. How can I communicate to him that I hurt and the anger and resentment from not being responded to in a respectful manner is diminishing how I feel for him. I am tired of repeating myself and communicating on my end in the "proper" manner by starting " I feel, I need". Don't know what to do. We;ve been together for 7 years and he has not always been like this.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.


It is difficult when communication becomes an issue in a relationship. I can understand your frustration with this problem.


I assume you both have discussed why he is responding to your feelings this way? Whatever has caused him to criticize you in this manner needs to be discussed. Is he unhappy with the relationship? Is he under stress of some sort? Basically, what has changed either with him or the relationship to bring him to this point.


Also, you can try to have a time where you are allowed to express yourself and he is not allowed to comment. Make it a brief period, say two minutes. Then allow him the same amount of time. But in either case, no one is allowed to say negative comments, only positive. Reflective comments such as "That sounds like it was tough to deal with" or "I'm sorry that happened to you" are examples of how to respond in a positive way.


You can also try counseling. Even brief, short term counseling can help you both with communication. The therapist can hear how you communicate and offer suggestions and ways you can improve how you speak to each other, or how he speaks with you. You can also explore the lack of respect and other possible causes of the communication break down.


There is also a website that may help. It is called It is based on marriage, but it would work for any couple. It's all about how to communicate to each other and what each person needs to feel loved and affirmed in a relationship.


I hope this has helped you,


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you this is helpful. I have attempted to discuss or ask why he is feeling or acting this way and he gets annoyed and tell me I'm overreacting that I make a big deal out of everthing. My sense is mainly to avoid talking or conflict he avoids confrontation at all costs but will make remarks to provoke me. We did make two visits to a counselor but did not get very far since they were generally assessment visits and could not afford the out- of pocket expense. I actually have this recommended book at home which actually assisted me in becoming more aware of how to communicate with him but I got discouraged when it felt so one-sided.

It sounds like you have worked on this issue a lot. From what you told me, may be that he has some unresolved issues with anger. Usually not confronting a situation then making a comment off hand speaks to issues with anger that he does not want to confront or deal with in the relationship. It would help a lot if he was willing to talk about it. It could be that he is not as aware of it, but I doubt that since he is putting back on to you by saying you are overreacting.


I would try some of the other options for counseling. They can be low cost or even no cost depending on your income. The local community mental health center may be your best bet. Maybe with a therapist, he would be more willing to discuss this. Plus they will have the ability to see the issue and bring it out into the open.


Please let me know if you have any further questions,


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