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8 Reasons Your Husband Says 'Nothing Is Ever Good Enough For You'

02/09/2015 06:13 pm ET | Updated Apr 11, 2015
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Does this post even need a preamble? You know you've heard this one from your husband, and if not, call Guinness or check back in a couple of years, you newlyweds. So, without further ado, get ready to look deeply at yourself and see if any of these apply to you:

do you act like a martyr? do you act like a martyr?

1. Nothing you do is ever good enough for you, either.

You are a perfectionist with extremely high standards for yourself. In earlier days, like as a teen or young adult, you may have had issues with body image, anxiety, or something you jokingly called "OCD" but really probably was. You may have been on anti-depressants. You don't chill out about your own behavior, and although you moderate them a lot for your husband and your kids, if you have to admit it, you do expect more than a lot of other people do.

2. You don't ask for what you really want.

You ask your husband to do a household project, but you really want him to do it YOUR way.  That's fine and all, but if you just said, "I will only be happy if you do it THIS WAY, and doing EXACTLY WHAT I WANT is the way that I will feel loved," then you would be (a) truthful, (b) allowing your husband to understand why he does the damn thing and you still aren't satisfied, and (c) able to wonder why you need it to be your way, on a deep level that might help you understand yourself and your marriage better.

3. Nothing was ever good enough in the marriage that you saw growing up.

If there was a dynamic where one partner was always dissatisfied with his/her life, which included the other partner, and, sometimes or often, you and/or your siblings, you have likely internalized that this is the way that relationships are supposed to go. So you unconsciously replicate it.

4. You don't love your husband anymore.

Or honestly, there are some major deep level issues wrong with the marriage that you're expressing in passive aggressive expressions of disappointment with him not scheduling enough date nights.

5. You hate your husband's passivity and therefore him doing what you want will never be good enough, because you had to ask him to do it in the first place.

So, your husband is set up to fail here. You won't say, "Overall, if I have to ask you to do it, it won't count" since that sounds shrewish and irrational, but it is truly what you feel.  I'm not saying it IS irrational, and your husband deserves to know your point of view, because from his perspective, he literally cannot understand why doing what you request doesn't make you happy.

6. You idealize other marriages.

When other women say, "John is so great, he planned a surprise birthday weekend for me!" you take this to heart and don't think, "She's probably focusing on the positive, consciously or unconsciously, and I bet John acts like a baby when he's sick too."

7. You blame your husband for not doing things well but you never give him a chance to learn how to do them.

This is called maternal gatekeeping, and it's when you secretly want to be the primary and best caregiver, so you tell your husband he does everything wrong, and you do it yourself.  This goes along well until you realize that you are actually pretty overwhelmed and exhausted and you need some help.  At that point it becomes obvious that your husband doesn't know the most basic things about how your household works.  But, if you introspect, are you not colluding in this dumbing down of your husband?  Who was it who kept saying, "Oh, let me do it!" about everything from feeding to dressing to packing lunches to literally wiping your child's butt?  And now, not only doesn't he know how to wipe a butt, but he no longer offers, and he's annoyed when you ask him, because isn't his only job to stand around and wonder aloud where you keep things?

8. You're unhappy overall.

You are depressed, anxious, irritable, stressed, or whatever else.  Nothing is good enough because nothing is good.  You know you ought to find a therapist (see #1, #3, #4, hell, all of them) but you can't find the time (see #8).

Yes, sure, there are guys who just phone in the housework, or the home repairs, or the date night plans, or whatever else.  But it takes two to tango, and if not even one of these resonated, I would be surprised.  Now I entreat you to self-reflect, alone on a hilltop (more likely, on the drive to work or during naptime while you Swiffer) and have a conversation with your husband where you admit to one or eight of these issues, and the two of you think about how best to move forward so you get out of this stuck pattern. And trust me, the conversation where you say an internal reason for why nothing is ever good enough for you is going to go way better than the conversation where you tell him how if he was more industrious/self-starting/job-finishing/overall better, you would never be annoyed.

Till we meet again, I remain, The Blogapist Who Says You Should Email This One to Your Husband To Compensate For Sending Him That One About How Your Marriage Is Going to Suck With Two Kids.

For more, visit Dr. Rodman on Facebook, Twitter @DrPsychMom, or her awesome site Dr. Psych Mom.