What’s Really Happening When Your Partner Criticizes You?

Marriage Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

It’s the rare relationship in which neither partner ever criticizes the other. It can be something trivial and maybe even endearing — ugh, you’re so grumpy before you have your coffee — but it can also be significant. “You’re always late and it drives me crazy” may point to a deeper underlying problem in a relationship.

What’s really going on when someone criticizes their partner? Esther Perel analyzes the issue in this concise video. The reality about criticism, she contends, is that behind every criticism is a wish. In an insecure relationship, admitting a wish or a desire risks rejection. So the alternative is to accuse their partner of not taking the action they want — you never/always do such and such — which is classic criticism.

But might that insecurity be a sign of an even deeper issue? A fear, perhaps even an unconscious fear, that you’re not loved? Watch Esther Perel explore the subject with her usual and extraordinary insight.