You may think that, for the most part, your spouse is cranky,
defective, and irrational. Your spouse does not see or understand what is important in life. Your spouse has no clue as to how their selfish ways affect you on a daily basis. At times, you may not really feel like going home because you know that you will be met by the defective spouse of yours.
Could it possibly be that you have created this defective spouse in your mind by the use of a constant, negative light that has contributed to viewing your spouse in a negative way? I am not referring to spouses who are emotionally, physically or sexually abusive. I am referring to the spouses who may have things to work on, yet, you constantly view her or him through a critical, negative lens.
It could be that there are areas of past conflict that is still
shining its negative light on current issues, or it could be that you are stuck with old unresolved issues that you are currently unable to discuss with your spouse. The unresolved issue becomes a constant irritant that leads to an increase in negative attitudes about the spouse. In these situations, it may be that you automatically view your spouse through a critical and negative lens. Your spouse can never be “okay”; they will always fall short and appear “less than” to you.
When you get stuck in this negative viewing of your spouse, you fail to recognize your partner’s positive gestures. If they offer to cook dinner, you are not willing to accept it as kindness; instead you assume there is an ulterior motive. If it is ongoing criticism, sarcasm or shutdowns that is fueling this negative viewing, find a way to talk about what is currently not being addressed. Are there lingering effects of addictions that are not being addressed, are you feeling ignored, unimportant or disrespected in the
relationship? Are there past breeches of trust that have not been addressed?
There are many areas of a relationship that can contribute to the negative, critical viewing of one’s spouse. However, if it is left unresolved, it will continue to create pain, anger and distance. If there is willingness to work through what has created the ongoing negative, critical viewing, there is an opportunity to rebuild, heal and increase intimacy in the relationship.
Ingela Edwards, MS, LPC-Intern, NCC, SRT, therapist at McKinney Counseling and Recovery, specializes in helping individuals and couples heal from sex addiction, infidelity, intimacy anorexia, and intimacy deprivation. McKinney Counseling & Recovery serves the McKinney, Plano,
Allen, Frisco, Carrollton, Lewisville, Dallas and Sherman area.
Ingela Edwards, LPC, NCC, SRT, CCPS is an individual and marriage therapist