Because relationships are made of two people with distinct views and opinions, as well as different backgrounds and [slightly] different outlooks on life and life issues, it is quite impossible for them to not have differences. And it’s OK for couples for correct each other but never will it be OK to criticize each other.
While critiquing and correcting their actions is done with a view to bringing the best of them and make them the best versions possible, criticism does no such thing, even if that was the intent.
For example, a complaint might be: “We haven’t gone on vacation together in so long! I’m tired of hearing about our money troubles!” Here we see a specific issue being addressed that is a problem for one partner.
A criticism might go something like this: “You never want to spend money on us! It’s your fault we can never go away together because you spend all our money on useless things!” This is an outright attack on the partner’s character. It is guaranteed to put them in defensive mode and sets the tone for war.
It actually makes no sense to tear into a partner’s character and identity in the name of ‘being pissed’ or ‘trying to correct them’.
That disparagement and bitter rant against a partner’s character is what changes a critique/complaint to criticism and that is one line that all reasonable partners try to never cross. The ability to stay on this right course is the trick that enables you to correct your boo without touching their ego or bashing in their confidence.
The worst thing criticism does to your relationship
What should be most noted in all of this is that criticism has the ability to cause contempt to sneak in and create an emotional distance between the partners.
The tragic thing about contempt in relationships is that it can send signals from one partner to the other that they are not liked, appreciated, understood or respected and this is not the sort of messages you want to be sending to someone you claim to love or desire to spend the rest of your life with.
Being regularly treated and addressed like trash isn’t something your partner will put up with for long if they have any form of self-respect. So if you value that partner and you intend to keep them, then you surely have to lose the scathing criticism ASAP.
It’s either one or the other.