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Karin Samms
Karin Samms, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 300
Experience:  with over 15 years experience offering support with relationship, mental health & addiction issues
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Why is it that when I am happy, my husband becomes critical

Customer Question

Why is it that when I am happy, my husband becomes critical of me, finds me wrong about almost everything I say and do until I am unhappy? Then when I am finally unhappy and sad; he says he wants me to be happy? It appears that my husband (who is very blessed with good health, good job, and a happy companion, loses sight of all that? What can I do about it? It's finally gotten me down to the point that I don't want to try any more.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Karin Samms replied 4 years ago.
Hi there, welcome to Just Answer. I will try and help you with your question.

I'm so sorry to hear that he doesn't seem to be happy that you're happy and is over critical of you. I wonder if there could be a certain way of talking to him about it. I hear that you've tried talking to him and I wonder what he has responded with. He may find it hard to see you happy? That you're able to do things for yourself and sometimes, such confidence can affect how men perceive women (as they may not like it/threatens their own position and role).

You could also try keeping a diary/log of every time he behaves in this way and present it to him when he is seeing things more rationally. This way, it is not something you've conjured up but more a case of evidence of his reactions to you. You might want to try and express to him how much you love the fact that he supports you in aiming for happiness and try and ask him what is HIS definition of you being "happy". It might help to understand what his perception of happy is. Is it someone that keeps him happy/smiling and is good companion or is he wanting something different. Try and gauge this and see where this level of conversation takes you. Seeing your partner 'happy' could mean very different things to different people, so it may well be worth having this level of conversation with him.

I really do hope this is helping, please do come back to me for further assistance and support if you need it, I'd rather support you as much as possible and receive a positive rating and I'd be more than happy to continue supporting you until you feel satisfied.
If I have answered your question, kindly rate my service positively so I may be credited for my time. If you choose to rate me anything less than positive, please do come back to me and I will clarify further or support your query further. Your question will not close and I will continue to support your question. Bonuses are always appreciated.

Kindest Regards, Karin
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

NO, this does NOT answer my questions at ALL. My husband, among many other things, has expressed that I should report to him concerning every penny I spend (and everything has a price tag to him, too). That makes me feel like a child and that he's my father. And, what ever subject is spoken about such as I would say it's a sunny day and he says not exactly I saw some clouds - just contradictory - to my every thought. But, then when he sees that I've had it with all of this defensiveness in his attitude, he says he'll change. But, he doesn't and an hour or a few hours later, he is sarcastic again. The reason this is so difficult too is that - then - he'll want to have sex, and I am sorry but I cannot respond to him lovingly when he has hurt me so deeply. My question for you is: If he wants a loving, trusting relationship, why does he sabotage it ('keep shooting himself in the foot') so often? If I show him a journal, he'll criticize that - and say that I'm just looking for an argument. When I want to discuss these things, he says he has to go to work (or someplace) and he'll come around when I'm happy.

Expert:  Karin Samms replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information, it has helped to try and understand his level of control. He truly is coming across as controlling and this level of abuse feels very much like emotional, financial and mental abuse. What he is doing is not acceptable and I'm sorry if you felt I hadn't answered your question fully, I am willing to help and assist as much as possible to answer your question, sometimes this requires additional and follow up questions/ replies as I cannot see you, your words are all I have to interpret, so please do let me know and ask further if you need to, I'm more than happy to help you until you are satisfied.

He may well have a mental health issue (some disorders could explain his behavior further and although I'm not a psychiatrist and hence cannot diagnose, it might be something to discuss with a mental health professional) and this could well be causing him to be so over critical of you. Of course, you're not likely to want to be intimate with him when he behaves in this manner with you. Your relationship very much feels one of critical 'parent' with a wounded child - as this is how he leaves you feeling. He is behaving in a way that leaves you feeling helpless and powerless. It would be great if I could analyze/explore this further with him but this is not possible and I guess, it's important that you feel you can find a way to communicate with him. My problem C, is that no matter what you might say to him, it will make little impact unless he feels he has something to lose and unless he feels you are very serious about what you have to say to him. If he feels you are calling his bluff, it won't work.

This is the problem with people who behave in this manner (controlling and over critical), unless something changes for them, they have no reason to change their behavior.

Please do come back to me if you need to. I hope this is highlighting for you what you may need to do next (you are going to need to find a way to discuss this with him or get some support for yourself to enable and empower you to be more happy and begin to trust in your own decisions and needs).

Your husband is unlikely to change, you've tried to communicate with him but with little success. His attitude is very belittling of you and you don't deserve this. It may not be what you want to hear but I can't flower it up, it's important that I am honest with you in terms of my observations. I have worked with domestic violence for many years, and unless he's willing to do something about this, your way of coping with this behavior and his constant criticism may need to adapt.

I truly do wish you nothing but the best. Let me know if I can be of further help.


Expert:  Karin Samms replied 4 years ago.
Hi C,

Please do let me know if there is additional information that I can help you with. Your happiness is my goal and if there is anything you need clarifying, please let me know, I'd be delighted to deal with your concerns.

With the additional information you have given, please find below some links for you to consider:

My best,