If your spouse is upset, disappointed or offended by something you have done, not done, said or not said, her feedback is not an indictment of you personally. Calm down, take a deep breath, and remember that she has feelings too. Step back and try to see things from her perspective.
When your partner or spouse becomes frustrated with you, it does not mean that you are a terrible person; it doesn’t even mean that you necessarily did something bad or wrong. (And it may not have anything to do with you at all.)
Remember: Feedback is about ME (the giver), not YOU (the receiver)!
Instead of becoming defensive and making it all about you; before you begin blaming or minimizing the ‘attack,’ think of this as a golden opportunity to listen. This is a great chance to understand how to be a better partner.
“Thank you for caring enough about me to be honest,” is a great place to start. Assume that your spouse is coming to you out of love. Even if she’s coming to you out of frustration, at least she cares about you and the relationship enough to bring it up.
When someone’s frustrated with you is not the time to defend yourself. That will more than likely intensify the situation. Instead, recognize the anxiety and frustration in your spouse, and allow it to diffuse by listening attentively and apologizing. Later, when everyone’s calmed down, you can address the issue from your viewpoint, gently and lovingly.
And the next time you’re frustrated with your spouse, keep these feelings in mind when you want to give him or her negative feedback of your own. No one likes to feel attacked.