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How Critical are You of Your Spouse?

This exercise is meant to create awareness of how easily we can become critical of those we love the most. Keep track of the number of times you answer “Yes” to the following statements.

1. I feel critical toward my partner three times a week or more.

2. I feel critical toward my partner for how he or she looks.

3. I feel critical toward my partner for how he or she talks.

4. I feel critical toward my partner for how he or she relates to others.

5. I feel critical toward my partner for his or her values.

6. I feel critical toward my partner for his or her household habits.

7. I wish my partner were more like me.

8. I think my partner is capable of changing in the ways that I want.

9. I think my partner behaves in certain ways just to annoy me.

10. I find it hard to forgive my partner for not living up to all of my expectations.

11. I find it hard to accept the ways in which my partner is different from me.

12. My parents often criticized me when I was a child.

13. My partner often accuses me of being critical.

14. I wish I were more accepting of my partner.

15. One (or both) of my parents often criticized the other.

Reprinted by permission of Warner Books, Inc. of New York, New York, U.S.A. From The First Year of Marriage by Miriam Arond and Samuel L. Pauker, M.D. Copyright by Miriam Arond and Samuel Pauker. Quoted in Together Forever, Aid Association for Lutherans, Appleton, WI, 1997, p. 76