Why Criticism Never Works In Relationships
Written by Martina Hughes
How many of us women enter a relationship with a man and then try to change him to be who we want him to be?
Arghhh.. I feel myself cringing as I write that. And yes, my hand is raised, I have done that!
Why do we do that?
Part of our nature as women is to mother - whether we give birth physically or not, that is still part of our innate nature.
We have a natural instinct for recognising “potential” in children and holding space for that potential to grow, which often requires some encouragement along the way.
That is an essential quality to bring as a mother to her child, and can be very powerful as a facilitator to a client, or as teacher to students.
However, what happens when we bring that quality to the men in our lives?
It disempowers men.
His strength and capacity will be eroded away, along with his masculine capacity to hold us when we most need and want it.
It is the equivalent of saying to him, “you are not good enough as you are.” If you change your style of clothes, if you change your job, if you change your friends, if you change where you live - then you will be right for me.
Of course, the messages can be more subtle than those I have outlined above, but it boils down to a similar message.
And the truth is, men know. It is a part of the reason so many men avoid relationships.
When a woman treats a man like a project many men will try to please her, will try to change, will try to win her love - but only for a certain period of time.
There is great value for men in specific and certain kinds of feedback from a woman. He wants to grow in a way that serves you, him and the family you are creating. However, at some point, he will realise “nothing I do makes her happy.”
Have you ever heard a man say that? Can you notice the pain in his voice when he says it?
Let’s come back to ourselves and enquire...
What sits underneath the desire to change him?
Often a woman’s own self-critical nature is lurking beneath the surface of what seems like a natural request.
Unfortunately, this self-critical nature often knows no limits, but whilst someone is trying to please her, it will keep that energy alive.
So how do we move on from these self-destructive habits? How do we change the tide of a lifetime of destroying the love and relationships we long to receive?
The only true antidote for a woman is to fall into the feminine energy that longs to move through her, to be her.
When a woman brings all that outward focused energy back to herself, something changes in the body.
The energy driving her to criticise him is the part of herself that doesn’t feel good enough.
Expressing criticism gives some relief to the internal experience of pain, but sadly it doesn’t last.
That part of you that feels dissatisfied is intuition, it’s a pointer, directing your attention to the fact that you will never be fully satisfied whilst your focus is on the external world.
The only way to satisfy that part of you is to connect with your inner world. Here you will find the love, the sexuality, the sensuality, the vast expanse of longing that you’ve always known exists and is part of the true feminine nature.
Criticism in relationships is disempowering.
A man will never make sustainable and lasting change in the face of your criticism.
Criticism can at times elicit pleasing behaviour, but over time it leads to burning resentment in his body.
This resentment fuels stories and beliefs that men carry such as: “What’s the point of a relationship?” “Why would I want to be with a woman who constantly puts me down, then wants me to be different and is still unhappy when I do the stuff she wants?”
Intimacy dies at the altar of resentment.
Conversely, loving a man, trusting him and accepting him exactly as he is, will be the very thing that inspires him to be a better version of himself!
His body and nervous system processes this as being loved and inspires the part of him that longs to receive more of that.
His mission becomes loving you!
When we cultivate the ability to fall into our feminine nature, the world around us changes.
When a woman is centred in her own being, she becomes magnetically powerful and receptive.
She naturally draws into her space the love, commitment, and qualities that she most desires in her relationship.
Resting into our own love evokes more love from the world around us.
Falling into the feminine is about prioritising your internal experience of love.
Learning to dance with feeling and receptivity, coming to a new understanding of the magnitude of feminine power.
With Love, Martina
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