Don't criticize partners in front of other people

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Psychology: Do not publicly criticize partners

Loyalty to a partner is very important for many people. In the best case, the intimate relationship with one another leads lovers to support each other without reservation. It also includes strengthening each other's backs and not exposing each other in public. In debates with others, however, it happens that the opinion of the life partner or spouse is not shared and one is of the opinion that his partner even has a "wrong opinion" on the subject. Correcting others is almost always the wrong way. What should be done in such situations?

Even then, loyal behavior is required, especially when other people like relatives, colleagues or friends are present, says psychologist Felicitas Heyne from Herxheim in Rhineland-Palatinate. "Never stab your partner in the back in front of others by criticizing him," she advises. Such disloyal behavior can permanently damage the relationship over time and undermine trust.

Make a conversation offer when partners are alone However, no one has to swallow the other's opinion through gritted teeth. Once the guests have left and a togetherness has been established, an offer to talk can be made. Then possible errors can be pointed out and the observation can be described, according to the psychologist.

In many relationships, however, no interview offers are made. Many see their partner as "not an independent person, but an appendage that can be rightly criticized," explains the expert from practice. Behind this is often a power struggle, which is about who has to give up his individuality. It is not uncommon for at least one partner to suffer from a real heartache over time, and many relationships break up.

"Mutual respect should always be maintained," says graduate social worker Gritli Bertram. If both can no longer "get out of their skin" and the argument continues, couples therapy can help. The therapist will try to build mutual understanding and demonstrate constructive conflict management. (sb)

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Image: Rolf van Melis /

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