Why is Anger Expressed As Excessive Criticism Harmful To A Marriage?
Sometimes it is the anger that causes a partner to be excessively critical of the other. Other times anger is the result or consequence of too much criticism. Either way, excessive criticism or a general negative atmosphere in a home can be toxic and destroy a marriage.
- Highly critical partners often do not inject much positivity into a relationship, a necessary ingredient for relationship growth and nurturance. They don’t balance the negative with the positive which is essential for partners to feel good about themselves as partners or parents. Who wants to come home at the end of the day to a barracuda or a porcupine after battling the alligators all day?
- Research shows that in successful marriages the ratio of positive to negative is about 5:1; in conflicted relationships, it is near zero or even reversed.
- Excessive criticism erodes self confidence and self-esteem of partners
- Excessive criticism can led to development of long-term resentment (even hatred) toward the critic
- Children who observe this patterns may lose respect for one or both parents
- Children may perceive excessive criticism of one partner by the other as subtle permission for them too to treat the “victim” parent as the critic does which leads to disrespect