Constant dissatisfaction of one of the spouses: what are the reasons?
Every family goes through crises. The only question is how to get out of them: to work on the relationship and improve them, or break up. One of the factors that speaks to the already long-standing family crisis is the constant dissatisfaction, discouragement, and aggression of one spouse toward the other. In fact, a fairly large number of clients who seek consultation with a family psychologist are those whose problem sounds exactly like this: “my husband/wife is constantly dissatisfied with me. Or: “whatever I did / did not do, all wrong”, “from husband / wife hear a lot of criticism, nagging and never – words of support.
I don’t know what is going on. Lately I never see Marina (that’s his wife’s name) as happy, smiling as she used to be. Her constant reproaches make me not want to go home. And when I am late, even more resentment and suspicion. I feel guilty all the time, but I cannot understand what exactly my fault is. I earn good money, but no matter how much money I bring, I never hear gratitude.
Women, in turn, have other claims.
My husband just stopped paying attention to me. Constantly criticizing me: cook wrong, wrong words, bad clothes. I have run out of patience, and I just asked: “why are you living with me if I’m so bad?” He didn’t say anything. Then he said he just got used to it. And I do not know how I feel about him. A lot of resentment because of the constant recriminations. He’s always complaining about everything. When he is not picking on me, he mutters something to himself about politics, the weather, wages. And everything – all one continuous negativity.
Each family has its own nuances, but it is important to understand that this behavior – is the consequence. The cause is usually deeper. Let’s look at what it could be.
A buildup of resentment and dissatisfaction, unrealized hopes related to the spouse.
Often a husband or wife’s grievances, criticism, and dissatisfaction are the result of an unspoken, unprocessed grievance about something. Or a whole series of such grievances. The reason may be the garbage not taken out on time, and the forgotten purchase of something, and a word thrown in passing, or even just the lack of basic words of gratitude.
When spouses do not speak about the problem, do not clarify everything to the end and do not agree on how they will act in such situations in the future, deep in the soul there is resentment, frustration and a sense of misunderstanding. If the situation repeats, these emotions accumulate and “come out” in the form of claims and criticism. The situation is aggravated by the fact that almost always partners do not know how to get out of a conflict situation ecologically, that is, without quarrels, aggression, resentment, with a sense of ease and completeness. In the vast majority of cases, after conflicts, a residue remains, which provokes further deterioration of relations.
The important point is that each of us acts on our own understanding of what we need to do in the family to be a good husband or wife. Except that the marriage partner may have a different vision, and that is often not taken into account. So Oleg in our example sincerely believed that providing for the family was his only task and that his wife should be satisfied with everything. Only for his better half it was much more valuable for her husband to participate in the upbringing of children and solve everyday household issues. When they came to the reception together her answer was something like this: “I appreciate everything that Oleg does, except that I have a feeling that I am always alone, all the issues that relate to the children, joint vacation, repairs, shopping I take myself. My attempts to involve him end in nothing, he cites fatigue and jokes that I am the general in our family.
● Action of parental scripts.
Another cause of discontent can be parental scripted behavior. Here it is important to understand that all examples of behavior in life, we initially take from the family. Then our own experience and knowledge are superimposed on this experience. But initially, everything is “recorded” from parents. And this factor should not be underestimated, such copying may not even be realized. This point is very well illustrated by the words of one of the Center’s female clients: “In the middle of a quarrel I stopped yelling at her husband when I realized that I was reproaching him with exactly the same words that my mother had used to reproach my father. Then I realized that I was behaving in my family the same way she did. I did not know how and did not know otherwise.
The good news is that we can change our ways of behaving in the family when we recognize them and see how they affect the partner. And after that, we can look for other ways out of conflict than yelling and recriminations. Being inside a situation, it is very difficult to look at it from the outside, so in this case, the help of a psychologist can be very valuable.
Problems at work/business, which are reflected in relationships in the family.
This situation, unfortunately, is also quite common – when mishaps at work provoke stress, bad moods, which spouses carry home and pour out on their partner. The problem in most cases lies in the inability to monitor their own conditions and work with them. Here it is important to understand: it is not about controlling emotions, which involves suppressing them. Repressed feelings will come out sooner or later anyway. It is about being able to recognize emotions at a given moment – anger, aggression, resentment – to understand their cause and be able to live with them and let them go without harm to oneself or others. But in this case, we are already talking about certain practices, which can be done at the reception of a specialist.
Why doesn’t anyone say, “Stop!”
Of course, this is far from a complete list of possible reasons for discontent of someone of the spouses in the family. But it is important to understand that there is another side of the coin – patience, agreement of the other half with the constant dissatisfaction of the husband/wife. And in this case there can also be many reasons.
- A variety of fears: to remain without financial support, to lose the respect of relatives and friends, to live alone / alone. And often fears can be “masked”: the reluctance to clarify the situation can be explained by the husband or wife that “it is useless to talk to him/her”.
- Insecurity, low self-esteem contribute to the fact that a person is quick to agree with the words of a dissatisfied spouse and easily fall into guilt. Such people strive to be all the better for their partner, but do not notice that they gradually lose their individuality, and with it their value to the other half.
- Inability to assert their boundaries . This condition can be derived from insecurity, fear of hurting the other person. The husband or wife cannot or do not know how to say that they do not like this behavior and ask not to treat them this way anymore.
- Attitudes and internal scripts . As mentioned earlier, a variety of life scenarios can affect relationships in the family. But they may also manifest in another way, in the form of attitudes that make one tolerate negativity towards oneself (it is necessary to live for the sake of children, start a family, be patient, etc.).
Such behavior indicates that one of the spouses plays the role of the victim. The other, respectively, – the tyrant. But there is always a “savior” next to them, which may be the children, one of the parents, friends or relatives. It is important to note that these roles can change: the victim may turn into a tyrant (the offended wife at one point snaps and says everything to her husband. Now she is the aggressor. And the husband is the victim), and the rescuer may become a victim or a tyrant, and vice versa (the child who had previously defended his mother, after her breakdown takes his father’s side. Now he is the aggressor in relation to her, and the rescuer in relation to the father).
The combinations can be different. But it is important to understand that everyone in this triangle benefits from the situation. The victim, having been offended, can then receive attention, care, and apologies from the repentant tyrant. The aggressor, pouring out his anger and dissatisfaction, calms down for a time. The “rescuer” gets a sense of his own superiority from the fact that he has reconciled again, “saved” the family, done his duty.
Such a cycle of roles can change infinitely, until someone decides to leave the triangle.
The role of a psychologist in resolving the situation
If the conflict went too far, get out of the crisis on their own is quite difficult. The burden of mutual resentment and claims to each other do not allow you to accept calmly the explanations of the partner, in them the husband or wife will again hear criticism. However, if both have a desire to mend their relationship, it is worth consulting a psychologist. Acting as a “mediator”, he will help the spouses to understand each other.
Only a specialist can see parenting scenarios, fears, trace their effect in the family of clients, and, accordingly, help eliminate their negative effect.
In addition, with the help of a specialist you can learn a new model of communication – without claims and resentment, but a position of respect and love.
It is important to note that the result will come sooner if you work with both partners. But even if your soulmate does not want to go to a psychologist at the moment, there is no need to force them. You can work alone, the main thing is to start.
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What if my husband falls down and yells during every quarrel?
What to do if my husband gets into a quarrel, yells, throws things, the children are frightened. He provokes this quarrel himself, makes me blame him, I should not ask him about something at home, for example, I should not interrupt his work, call him when he is going out, because he does not pick up.
I should always smile and not say anything unnecessary, or God forbid I provoke him into psychosis again. I am tired, I work, I have special children, I love my job. Sometimes he begs forgiveness, sometimes he just yells and breaks everything around.
Received six tips from psychologists
Hello Elia, stop putting up with his antics and give him an ultimatum, if you do not stop doing that, he will lose you. He’s a grown man. He needs to learn how to self-regulate. Sometimes people allow others to do things like that. You don’t have to be afraid of him, he is not your father. He is your husband, your partner in life, and partners are supposed to help each other, support each other, not ruin each other’s lives. If the partners do not suit each other, you should think whether you need him at all?
Nadezhda Chernysh, gestalt therapist, perinatal psychologist
Elia, your husband’s behavior is his responsibility!
Your responsibility – to tolerate or not to tolerate!
If you have put up with it for 10 years, it means there is a secondary benefit for you that you are not aware of. And even though specialists all over the world will tell you to leave – you won’t leave until you face your own truth, until you realize why you are really living with him. These realizations, are easier to acquire in therapeutic work.
Good luck, take care of yourself.
Sincerely, Matashkova Oksana Valerievna – psychologist of Almaty.
Elia, good day.
If I understood you, you have been living with your husband for over 10 years. And most likely he has been behaving this way for several years.
If this is true, then he has already very tightly entered the role of the game he himself started. What you are describing can be called a “scripted game. Your husband has taken a role in this game, which he for various reasons, and at the same time imposed you the role of the victim and the “lightning rod”.
You need to try as if to break this game, at least – to stop playing the role he imposes on you. His determination and anger as if fed by your fear of his “psychosis”, so you should first learn not to be afraid of his righteous anger.
In general, you need to change the logic of your reactions to his actions and deeds. Now it seems to you that you can react only in the way you are able to. But it only seems like that, you have a lot more possibilities.
When you start making attempts to get out of the game imposed on you, you will encounter more “psychosis” and tantrums. But if you hold on to your unwillingness to play by his rules, you will have a chance to change the logic of your relationship.
Your husband portrays himself as a tyrant, but in fact, he is a very insecure man. And he is very afraid of his weakness. He is most likely very dependent on you, but he can turn the situation around so that he kind of has a hard time tolerating you. Your fear and your submissiveness make him feel like he is “master of life,” at least within your family.
In some cases, it is worth defending his interests in stages. First “winning” in something, gradually transferring the experience of this victory in other aspects of life.
Don’t delay any longer in deciding to change something. If you have a desire, feel free to contact me. I’ll try to help you.
Gorev Andrew. Psychologist, coaching specialist (full-time and Skype)
Romanova Irina Alexeevna
Romanova Irina Alexeevna
One thing that is clear from the letter is that her husband is unhappy about everything. This means that there is some difficulty, some unsolvable task for him. He is burdened by it, he is constantly thinking about it, he gets tired of these thoughts and gets irritated. You can understand the situation in detail only at a general meeting with a psychologist. Everything else is speculation! You do not know how to approach the solution, apply.
Irina psychoanalyst, consultations in Moscow and remotely (Vyber, Vatsap)
You are dealing with a tyrant husband (moral, emotional). Rather, he was like that before your marriage, but certain motives and “rose-colored glasses”, did not allow you to see it, or saw, but thought that over time, behavior will change, if you will be “malleable”.
You can try to start getting out of the game you are playing. He is the tyrant, you are the victim. But I want to warn you in advance that his onslaught of your disobedience will increase. Because you’ll be breaking a comfortable and familiar to him way of life.
The other option is to indulge him in everything – but even in this case he will find more and more ways to “get at you and devalue” you.
Unfortunately, you cannot change such people, these personality traits were formed long ago in childhood, and they are firmly rooted in your mind.
And the third option is to get out of the dependent traumatic attitude for you and the children (if you think about it or you are ready).
Read Bancroft’s book “Tyrant Husbands. You will be able to find your spouse from the images, and look at it from a true perspective.
Elia, in spite of the “hope” that your colleagues’ “advice” is full of, I see the situation quite skeptically. The saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is very appropriate to this situation.
If you have all your life relationships are built in such a completely pathological way chance that you get something to change is very small.
That is to say, you can either endure it or you can put a serious question: “Either we fundamentally change our relationship, or it will naturally end.
Such relationships are destructive first of all for the children, who see all this and who will have a problem in building their own relationships in the future – because they have such a negative matrix.
Demand from your husband that he and you go to family/spousal counseling. This is probably the only thing that can save your family. Luckily you posted your question in the section of questions from Moscow – and as a resident of the city you can get free help from the city psychological service. Or you can turn to a private practitioner.
If you want, you can contact me, and I can help you to understand everything better. When you’re ready – call, write, SMS – we’ll arrange a consultation with you and we’ll talk about everything in more detail.
Take care of yourself and your nerves!
Peter Yurievich Lizyaev, psychologist and psychotherapist Face-to-face consultations/psychotherapy in Moscow – individually and in a group, as well as via Skype.