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Don't Nit-pick at One Another

Continually Finding Fault Can Destroy Your Marriage


Couple having a discussion in the kitchen
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Nit-picking is finding fault with your spouse over petty, inconsequential issues or tasks.

Don't do it! If and when you nit-pick about what one another has done or not done or how your spouse accomplished a task or said or wrote something, you have decided to belittle, embarrass, and demean each other. Nit-picking is a sign that you don't respect your mate and is a huge red flag in your marriage. If you continue to nit-pick at your spouse, a growing resentment will create a wall between the two of you.

If you nit-pick at your spouse you are saying you want your spouse to change and that he/she isn't good enough. The issues or things you nitpick about may be some of the unresolvable issues in your marriage.

Susan Boon, PhD: "Dr. Gottman brings up something no one ever talks about -- that irreconcilable differences are normal, that you just have to come to terms with them, not try to resolve the unresolvable."
Source: Jeanie Lerche Davis. "Want a Happy Marriage? Be Nice, Don't Nitpick." Webmd.com.

Shae Graham Kosch, PhD: "Most marital conflicts don't ever get resolved. There are always issues around in-laws, children. Solving the problems doesn't really matter. What's crucial is keeping things positive. You have to accept the other person's perspective, have an appropriate discussion without getting critical or blaming."
Source: Jeanie Lerche Davis. "Want a Happy Marriage? Be Nice, Don't Nitpick." Webmd.com.

Things You Can Do Rather Than Nit-pick at Your Spouse

One Solution If You Are Being Nit-picked

If your spouse nit-picks at you, puts you down, or demeans you, it is important that you talk about this issue. Yes, it will be a difficult discussion, but it is necessary. Let your spouse know that when you feel you are being nit-picked you will not overreact but you will say "enough" and will leave the room. Hopefully, after you've done this a few times, your spouse will start to notice his or her nit-picking behavior. If the nit-picking continues, we suggest marriage counseling for the two of you.

When Nit-picking Crosses the Line

In some marriages, the level of nit-picking may accelerate into blaming, severe criticism, and hurtful remarks. It is important that you realize when nit-picking crosses the line into abuse. Whether it is physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse, abusive behavior is never acceptable. If you think you are being abused, please seek professional help immediately. National Domestic Violence Hotline -- 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

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