Criticism, or constant criticism, is one of the four horsemen of relationships, according to John Gottman, who spends decades to study relationships. If you criticise your significant other all of the time, there’s a good chance he/she would take his/her distance sooner or later with you.
But there’s a world between criticism. If you criticise your partner because you’re hurt by his/her behaviour, for example if he/she always talks about himself/herself, the best way to turn around this situation is to tell your partner how you feel. If your partner take notice and adapt his/her behaviour after that, you can tell he/she cares for you. But if he/she doesn’t do anything and continue to be selfish, it’s a sign he/she doesn’t take into account your feeling.
But if you criticise your partner on his/her weight, height, on the way he/she looks, it’s just demeaning for your partner. “Any criticism that has to do with body image is generally a touchy area,” says April Masini, a relationship expert. “For instance, height, freckles, big breasts, small breasts, big rear end, small rear end, waist size, hair, nose, skin tone — these are all areas that people tend to concern themselves with about their own bodies, and they worry about how they may appear to others.”
One of my friends is dating a woman who criticises his body in front of other people whenever she’s drunk. My friend told me he feels very diminished and hurt by her behaviour. His partner never remembers the nights when she verbally attacks him. As a result, my friend is thinking about ending his relationship.
If you criticise your partner about his/her family, friends, career, education, there’s a good chance your partner will turn away from you at some point, because you create a toxic environment for your relationship.
People who criticise their significant other all of the time may have a low self esteem. “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” says one of my friends. The world would be a better place if people behave like that.