Question: Help! I’m married to an overly critical husband! My husband is a great husband and father but he doesn’t seem to be able to tell me compliments about how I look, etc… It really bothers me. I also don’t like how he puts others down. He is always worried about what others think and perhaps he wants to make himself feel better by putting others down. I should have realized this ten years ago and I would never break up the family over this but what can I do as I’m really tired of all these things.

More inspiration about understanding your overly critical spouse:

It’s hard for anyone, especially a woman not to receive compliments from her husband. While the low self-esteem may make it hard for him to compliment anyone else, men generally have a harder time expressing feelings in words. Furthermore, while you may need verbal expressions of his love for you, he may have others way that he shows you.

How to tolerate and understand your overly critical husband

You may find this article on the five love languages helpful in understanding how he may be showing you love in other ways and how you can work together to show each other love in the ways that you both need.

Be sure to nurture yourself in your marriage, making self-care time a non-negotiable priority so your needs don’t get bulldozed despite your husband’s critical nature. Perhaps when he sees you making yourself a priority, your husband will value his relationship with you more and express himself differently.

Our free marriage help guide will also help you learn more about how to create a relationship that is safe for the both of you to be able to get your needs met. Read it here.

If you’re past the point of reading and you just need to work with someone to save your marriage, contact us about our 2 Day Marriage Restoration Retreat. It’s the quickest way to save your marriage without waiting to have to go through months of therapy that may or may not work to begin with!

Shlomo & Rivka Slatkin

Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin is an Imago relationship therapist and certified (master level) Imago workshop presenter with over 20 years of experience hosting couples therapy retreats in-person and online. Contact or