If I can tell you one thing that will improve your relationship with your partner or spouse, whether you are gay or straight, regardless of your age and how long you've been together, it is this: DON'T CRITICIZE.

Sometimes I think that we women have a genetic pre-disposition to be unkind, albeit we think it's in a nice way, and we either ask for our partner to change, or tell him or her that we are not pleased with their behavior or their look, or the way that they talk, or smile, or their hygiene, or the way that they walk or talk, or the way that they say a particular thing. Or, we SPEAK THE TRUTH. So we tell them that we don't like their mother or sister or child, or that we don't like their behavior, but we're being honest. In a word, we CRITICIZE.

Interestingly, telling the truth is one of the most misunderstood processes in life. We've been told that one's integrity is tied up in being honest and truthful. In fact, honesty is always the best policy, EXCEPT when it is your way of getting your way or being manipulative, or letting off steam, or wanting your partner to see things from your point of view. This is not about honesty or truth. It's strictly about CRITICIZING. And what does it do for your relationship? It creates toxcisity and strain, and leads to conflict and dire unhappy consequences.

Even the youngest girls in relationships find themselves telling their boyfriends what to do, in the name of being helpful or honest. They suffer the same consequences. It's a burden which leads to stress.

I once knew a girl named Debbie who asked me why she was always acting like her boyfriend's mother and trying to improve him and help him so much of the time. She said it always lead to arguements and fights, but it almost seemed as if she couldn't help herself. Once we spoke about it further, she realized that all the women she knew did the same thing with their men. She thought her father was hen-pecked. She knew her grandfather hated her grandmother for being pushy and controlling. Debbie did not want to end up like them.

She asked me what she should do. She asked me if I ever did that. I admitted that it's been one of my greatest challenges as a woman and that sometimes I just imagine a giant band aid covering my mouth so that I would just stop being mothering which is just a synonym for being controlling and critical, when you're dealing with another adult.

The next day she brought me a giant 30" band aid that still hangs in my office as a reminder. I love that metaphor. Just keep your damned mouth shut, girl!

I've seen amazing things change once a woman ceases being critical, controlling, mothering, manipulative, and unnecessarily honest with her partner. It can truly create miracles.

All the best,
Dr. Rita

Author's Bio: 

Rita Bigel-Casher, LCSW, PhD. Psychotherapist/Coach with Mind/Body Orientation, for Better Mindful Living, Confidence Building, Trauma Resolution & Relationship Health.

For over twenty-five years, as a NYC Relationship & Trauma Therapist, and an expert in EMDR with a unique approach that supports deep healing, through self-acceptance & change. Based on the belief that the body/mind already contains the blueprint for well-being,

Dr. Rita has an uncanny ability to help people become free of what stops them from being who they are. She uses artmaking, hypnosis, EMDR, music & much more as a way to get in touch with the subconscious and release blockages from there.

Wherever you are, offering Individual, Couple and Family Therapy in a warm, creative, safe environment where problems are solved & solutions are found by entering your own wisdom, by tapping into your power through reparative experiences.

Please call me (212) 532-0032 or email: rbc@RitaCanHelp.com and do visit my website & BLOG: www.RitaCanHelp.com for further information, interesting material & to set up your complimentary telephone session.

With metta,