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hypercriticism
October 25, 2001
11:22 am
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Is constant criticism a form of emotional abuse? I can't tell if I am overly sensitive or if I am living with an abusive personality. My partner has gotten angry enough to hurt me twice in the last 4 years so that I was bruised for a week both times.
We have communication problems. We argue a lot, not always violently. I don't know if counseling will help or I should just move out.I feel bad about myself as well as our relationship.

October 25, 2001
11:32 am
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Molly
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I just get to thinking sometimes, that squares and circles come together, for what ever reason, and we continue to force the fit. We push and push that little square and it never ever fits in the circle,the frustration turns into rage, it spills over into hurt, every one takes a break, then starts again. Love just is not enough to get the square in the circle, you can wish it, you can fantasize about it, you can envision it, but the reality is , it ain't gonna happen. Counseling can help you to identify each other, and work on the acceptance of reality, but there are no guarentees. Take a look at the book Relational Rescue, do the questionaire at least, then see about a counselor. You need to identify your part in all of this, then figure out where you want to go with it. good luck, and just focus on you.

October 25, 2001
12:22 pm
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Thanks Molly. It's my first time in a chat room(this is a chat room--right?)
I'll get that book and I'll be back.
I've had my blinders on long enough.

October 25, 2001
12:40 pm
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Ladeska
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Bruised for a week both times? Um no....you should have been out of that relationship the first time he bruised you. That is NOT okay. And being hypercritical isn't okay either. Sounds like a control freak to me, but you didn't really give alot of other information. Just what you've said though - would be enough for me to call it - "Get out now and don't look back."

Anyone who problem solves or disagrees to the point of it leaving you bruised for a week is an asshole. Plain and simple and there is no way in hell you should have ever taken it in the first place.

You have some serious issues with "allowing abusive behavior" and that is what needs to be looked immediately after you leave this jerk.

Sweetheart - anyone that does this - doesn't love you or respect you, I don't care what song and dance they do. It's a load of crap and as long as you stay - it will get worse because they will respect you less "for staying".

People who have alot of poison inside themselves, who won't own their stuff, who won't look at themselves in the mirror - will....turn around and scapegoat what the are - onto you and try to make "you" the bad guy. It's called "projecting". Typical narcissistic behavior. So, remove yourself from this predator and learn to love yourself, to know yourself.

Only then can you draw really healthy people to you. You will look to them to tell you who you are and if you are worthy to be loved.... No, this wlll only end in your demise. Time for you to establish your own worth apart from the likes of this pompous ass. Bet he wouldn't pick on a guy that could clean his clock like he bruised you, huh? Yeah, they never do....that's a coward for ya. He's a bully, drop him.

October 25, 2001
1:29 pm
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Ladesca, thanks. I wish I didn't feel that what you are saying is true. I fear that it is.I don't fear him physically, by that I mean that I don't think that he will attempt to hit me if I walk through the room and look at him crossways. It's usally(both times)a result of a major arguement and we are both aggressive. I'm no slouch when it comes to anger--but mine is all verbal. We have made a pact that we don't get into any discussions(which usually turn to arguements) without my male dog in the room because when we start "discussing" and our voices raise , I suddenly find my dog at my feet between me and my partner. I also know that my dog will defend me. I have been in a relationship prior to this one that he did so-in spades--the guy had to have stitches.
But that's a temporary fix.I hear what you are saying. My partner is intelligent and can manipulate(he hates to be called manipulative)me and he admits that he is a control freak. He is extremely judgemental and has an opinion about every aspect of my life. He claims that I don't have to follow his opinion , just validate it. As I said in my last message we have communication issues and I have self esteem issues.I feel that he is constantly criticizing me and he tells me that's just the way I hear it-that isn't what he's doing. I'm starting to believe that I'm crazy. I am making an escape plan for me and my critters if I have seriously misjudged the situation. I want to go into counseling and he said he wanted to go also. I truly don't know if it will help. Anyway, I will be looking for that book that Molly suggested and making an appointment next week with a counsellor. Thanks again.

October 25, 2001
1:59 pm
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Ladeska
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Sweetie, don't know "why" you chose this person, but my thoughts are - he represents someone in your life, parental figure maybe - that has some of the same traits and you are seeking to resolve some old, painful issues through him - by role playing.

If you can gain the love, respect and approval of this "like person" then maybe you can reach back in time and fix the other relationship that was "broken" to you. We do that as human beings. We do the role playing thing and sometimes to our huge demise.

He doesn't sound good for you at all, but you have to be the one that turns the key in the door and understand why you are doing it.

I don't think I'd let him go with me all the time in counseling. Maybe just so the counselor can see what's up, but he doesn't need to control that whole scene and he will sure try. Needs to be "right" all the time, huh?

Well, you don't need that crap. You need someone who will affirm you, inspire you, encourage and basically not try and tear you down all the time. God, who needs that????

Life is short. You don't need to take second best about anything! If you're confused and feeling bad about yourself being around him - red flag - pay attention to it. He's beating you down little by little and that's not good. Wake up and get away from him.

October 27, 2001
9:54 am
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I need to tell you who I believe I am and where I believe I come from.
I grew up with a mother and father who argued all the time. All the arguments were verbal but every aspect of life was a source of discussion and disagreement. My mother was the lead player in this drama—she always seemed to be the one starting the arguments/discussions. My father went to bed and shut her out when it got to the point that he felt there was no other resolution. My mother and I battled from the time I could reason until I left the house at 18. There were times after that, also but I was out and I could always slam the door or hang up the phone.
I grew up with phrases like “Do as I say, not as I do.” and “Don’t be so selfish.” I was told that my sisters(who were grown and out of the house by the time I was born) would never do it that way(they were in the convent at that time). I wanted to be an artist and I was told that was a nice hobby but that I never could make a living at it. Most things that I found valuable were treated as if they had no value.
I was given a lot of material things even though we were a middle class family and told that I was selfish because I didn’t appreciate anything I was given. Everything had a price tag in my memory—it was always ”look what we’ve done for you and look how you act.”
I never felt that I was listened to. I have trouble now expressing myself with people who are important to me about deep issues. I can chat all day about stuff that doesn’t matter.
My mother feared a lot of things and I learned very well how to be afraid. Of boys—“they might do something to you.” Of friends--”I don’t like that girl, I think she’s using you.” Of my own abilities to do anything—“here, let me do that, you’ll cut yourself.”
I was told nothing about sex so I discovered it myself with a boy who didn’t care about me at all and I got pregnant and gave my baby up for adoption at 19. Desire never motivated me to have sex—it was always manipulation to get someone and a means to keep them. That ultimately never worked because I’d get dumped or I’d do the dumping when I got finished with them.
I haven’t had many relationships. In the ‘60’s there were a lot of one-night stands but I can count on one hand the significant others I’ve had.
This includes the one relationship that I’m in now. I here what you all are saying about abuse. I am not so sure that I am in an abusive relation ship. First, am I being constantly criticized or is that my perception? This man is opinionated and judgmental—two of the traits that I grew up hating because they always meant that I was not going to be heard or that I would not get to do what I wanted. I might be reacting instead of acting. This is something I need to find out for myself.
The anger and frustration are definitely his problem and to be fair, I can see why he is frustrated. There are issues going on in his life that are driving him over the edge and I truthfully have not been supportive because of my own baggage. This does NOT condone his hitting me. We have been talking and he is not whitewashing his behavior, he’s not promising me that it won’t happen again. He is willing to go through counseling separate from me. He wants this to work and he wants to get to the source of the problem as much as I do.
I’ve never been to counseling before and I am scared to start. But then I’m scared of a lot of things. It seems that a lot of people who chat on this website go to counseling fairly regularly, maybe they can give me an idea about which direction to go from here.

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