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How supportive are you?

One of our readers has a relationship problem that I think some of us can relate to. Tara has been seeing a guy for over a year and things are pretty serious. She feels that he is taking the relationship seriously, but she wants to know if the thing that is bothering her about him is a deal breaker. Her guy is not very supportive of her at all, in fact he is critical of her a lot.

I know exactly what she is going through because I have met the type before – some men feel as if they have to “tear you down and build you back up” and mold you into the woman they want you to be. It’s interesting because they disguise it behind good intentions and helpful feedback, when really…they are just being a butthead.

My advice is to speak up now and see if that can be dealt with amicably. I think having someone who supports you is an absolute must. I am all for challenging me and helping me grow, but some people don’t know how to do it with love.

Have you ever dated someone who was overly critical of you?

Do you consider yourself to be supportive when you are in a relationship?

By Wise Diva, Misadventures in Atlanta Dating Blog

433 comments Add your comment

Dumb debate

February 22nd, 2012
7:31 am

How can you ask for opinions on something without describing specific details. How is he unsupportive? Does she think he’s not supportive financially? Does she think he doesn’t want to chauffeur her and her friends around enough? Does she think he doesn’t wash her car enough?

Bottom line is nobody likes being criticized, but being able to accept criticism (not abuse) with grace is a rare and valuable trait.

SlimUno

February 22nd, 2012
7:36 am

Good morning (even though i’m not excited about being awake right now at all…need a few more zzz’s)

I agree with DD in regards to not having a few more details on how he isn’t supportive AT ALL. And as far as tearing someone down just to rebuild them, I thought was just a Military thing, not a relationship thing. There is a difference in constructive criticism/hard truths and just being plain verball abusive/demeaning. I don’t need a partner to be a d!ck to me as a means to motivate me. I respond much better to positive reinforcements.

Mr. Unknown

February 22nd, 2012
8:01 am

Morning,

Soo she waits a year to speak on something that has been bothering her. She sounds like one of those procrastinators we hear so much about. I wonder if she has accomplished more with him in her life then without. All honesty, criticism should never be abusive but some people out there need a kick in the pants. Whats a relationship without communication anyway? Why wait for a small problem to become a bigger issue down the road!

Have a good day ya’ll!!

Laura

February 22nd, 2012
8:16 am

I couldn’t/wouldn’t live like that. Find someone who’s crazy about you, and treats you well.

SlimUno

February 22nd, 2012
8:19 am

Mr. U – I’m guessing nothing was said up until now because it was still within the confines of the “honeymoon period”.

The man formerly know as Dan - still...Superior

February 22nd, 2012
8:22 am

Morning,

Loving someone is telling them hard truths, and hoping they understand that it comes from a place of love.

To me, letting someone you care about continue to walk around in a haze with an incorrect thought process is worse than telling them something they may not want to hear about themselves.

Lastly, there’s a fine line between criticism and critique. Offering pointed observations about someone vs constantly telling them what they’re doing wrong are worlds apart – both in intent and the reception of the message.

Baby Doll

February 22nd, 2012
8:26 am

OMG! That was me! I was in a relationship where he found fault with everything I did,who I was, my friends,family…you get the picture. He even said that I would act like a baby around my family! I can’t help that I have felt loved my whole life and he has not. Even after all the fault finding with me, he still wanted to get married, I could’nt wait to brake up with him. If you are not use to being abused and that is a form of abuse, it will make you terribly uncomfortable to the point that staying with someone like that for a year would be impossible.

If you are a man or woman experincing abuse, please leave!

Exiled!

February 22nd, 2012
8:53 am

Good morning!

She’s desperate,Period!

Why wait a whole year,even getting serious when in fact u have reservations about stuff?

Some women hold off (scared) arguing or rebuking (them) with guys for fear that the precious bird might fly off!

I bet she has hit the 30 year old mark. :lol:

They start having marriage jitters. :lol:

Leggs

February 22nd, 2012
9:00 am

Good morning!

“…some men feel as if they have to “tear you down and build you back up” and mold you into the woman they want you to be. – Some absolutely feel this way, but more often than not, these type men simply want to tear the woman down to bring themselves up. These type men seek weak women who will allow this shallow form of love to be cloaked in concern and empathy for their mate. It’s a sham, and it’s the man who needs to be build himself up.

Have you ever dated someone who was overly critical of you? – NOPE.

@Dan ~ “Loving someone is telling them hard truths, and hoping they understand that it comes from a place of love.” – I agree, but loving someone and constantly belittling them, being overly critical all the time is not coming from a place of love, it’s coming from a place of insecurity IMO.

Celisea

February 22nd, 2012
9:01 am

Morning….

I like what Dan said and I was leaning towards with Mmeello said.

How can you be with someone that freely speaks his mind but you’re seeking advice whether or not you should speak up….no matter if he’s right or wrong. If he feels free to tell you how he feels why can’t you? It’s a two way street in relating with one another.

As to whether or not he’s being overly or too critical just depends on what the issues are, what advice you’re getting and really if there’s some truth to what he’s pointing out. No one wants to be abused. I agree. By the same token if there are things where you can improve, why not? Why not ask him why he’s always critical of you. Maybe he doesn’t realize. The one thing I can never understand is folks get offended if you say something and things fall apart if you don’t and just let things ride.

You have a voice like he does and after seeing a guy over a year, being intimate over a year, doing things and spending time together over a year there should be a level of comfort to get it said….good bad or indifferent. Seems like he’s there and has no problem getting it said.

I’m not waiting a year. If I feel (even if I’m wrong), like I need to get something said, I’m saying it. I’m not going to hold my tongue in fear of losing someone. I’d rather lose you than lose myself to you.

MsMarriedUp

February 22nd, 2012
9:10 am

…a butthead… haha – that’s funny.

Seriously though, this is MrMarriedUp to a tee. He can’t help himself, so now I tease him, after pointing this out to him in dramatic detail where he finally realized what he was doing. Yep, I now call him Mr. Perfect, which he teases me back by accepting the title… talking about how he likes that title.

Long story sweet, some people really can’t see what they’re doing. They really believe they are being helpful. As in my case, I pointed out every shortcoming of MrMarriedUp/Mr.Perfect, explaining that I just don’t belabor the issues I find with him, but instead praise him which is giving him a very altered since of perfection. It was funny (at least to me) to watch him thinking about this, and realizing how I must feel to be criticized so often. At the end of it… to Tara… this is NOT a deal breaker!

We need to be patient with each other.

& Good Morning.

Exiled!

February 22nd, 2012
9:14 am

Preach Celisea!

it’s a re-lationship!

Not a lationship! from relate

so he talks and U talk!

I always ask my Queen,when she tells me to do something a certain way,I say ‘why?’

I always want to hear her ‘logic’,even when sometimes I clearly agree.

I don’t get this thing that some women call ‘belittling!’ do u ever ask ur partner ‘why?’ or some folks just don’t want another opinion?

Stuck in their daamn ways!

Lady~

February 22nd, 2012
9:15 am

Morning Crew!!!! good perspectives across the board………

The man formerly know as Dan - still...Superior

February 22nd, 2012
9:17 am

@Leggs

Which is why I (attempted) to make the distinction from critical and critique.

Both are constructive, initially, however, criticism becomes it’s own worst enemy.

As for the leap to ‘abuse’, um no. Verbal abuse is far beyond the initial discussion and is not likely to build from criticism. A verbally abusive person would be such from.day.one. That’s not something one builds too.

Leggs

February 22nd, 2012
9:26 am

@Dan ~ I apologize, had to run off and didn’t read your entire post. I gotcha!

Leggs

February 22nd, 2012
9:29 am

@Dan ~ who leaped to “abuse??

Purple

February 22nd, 2012
9:31 am

If she feels he is being overly critical…leave him or toughen up. Yes it’s that simple.

disco

February 22nd, 2012
9:34 am

well good morning folks. before even reading the scenario I was thinking “oh boy. here we go with that supportive mess”. I think I’ve mentioned before I can support you when I stand by what it is you are asking me to support. I can’t support it if I think it’s foolishness. I agree with the theory that criticisms/critiques need to come from a place of love. I have a young cousin who was always a solid/thick girl though never fat. well young cousin had a baby and that baby did a number on her. boy she looked like a nasty fat nasty after that (she’s my fam so I can say it). still, the weight in and of itself wasn’t the issue. it was the fact that she was young (21) and wanted to dress like a little young hottie. I was coming from a place of love when I told her she was way too big to be walking around in spaghetti straps and some of the other stuff she was trying to pull off. I took her shopping for what I considered “big girl appropriate” clothing. funny thing is that she accepted all of my criticism and suggestions with nary a word, almost as if she were still a child. I even told my mother and her mother that it was funny because technically she’s an adult and by rights she could have told me to kick rocks and mind my own business.

Leggs

February 22nd, 2012
9:34 am

Toughen up is not answer. So a person toughens up to let hurtful words roll down their back furthering a divide. Naw, speak up, not toughen up.

Leggs

February 22nd, 2012
9:36 am

@disco ~ she welcomed your assistance because she was seeking guidance for a long time before you stepped up.

disco

February 22nd, 2012
9:36 am

leggs – sometimes you have to toughen up in order to speak up. a lot of folks lack backbone, even when it comes to defending themselves.

Lady~

February 22nd, 2012
9:40 am

sometimes I wish I could be more passive but not speaking up will turn to passive aggressive behavior……….but yeah some things I wish I could not react to (be it offer support or criticize) some things need to just be…….

O/T am I the only one having to have Adele grow on me….I hear her singing love the lyrics but its not sticking…..#shrugs

Purple

February 22nd, 2012
9:41 am

Leggs its obvious that she has to toughen up before she speaks especially if she decides to stay because right now she is weak…

Leggs

February 22nd, 2012
9:43 am

PR, my mistake for thinking you meant take it like a man and stfu (lol).

Leggs

February 22nd, 2012
9:44 am

And, if you can’t speak up before even toughening up, you don’t need to be in a relationship.

Leggs

February 22nd, 2012
9:45 am

@Lady ~ Adele is my ringtone, love her voice.

Lady~

February 22nd, 2012
9:46 am

I am trying Leggs…….

disco

February 22nd, 2012
9:47 am

leggs – I hooked her up. took her to the barbershop and cut all her hair off. hair was jacked up, overprocessed, uneven. I convinced her to just big chop and start from scratch. she was leary but when we went to the mall and I pointed out all the women with boy cuts who looked sharp and stylish she was okay with it.

I dated a guy years ago who was divorced and primary caretaker of his children. he was looking for a woman that would support him while he went back to school. he felt like he put his first wife through school and now it was his turn. I felt like he should have gone back to school before he divorced her. wish I would carry a grown man AND his kids in the name of being supportive. please.

Leggs

February 22nd, 2012
9:50 am

That’s a whole different level of support, disco (lol).

Celisea

February 22nd, 2012
9:52 am

He should have found his ex and said “your turn.”

disco

February 22nd, 2012
9:57 am

leggs – who you telling. he was remarried less than a year after we broke up. (I’m always amazed that men seem to be able to marry whenever they want to). I don’t know if the new wife allowed him to quit work and go to school or not.

Leggs

February 22nd, 2012
10:06 am

He possibly found the woman who would support him and his dirty drawers lying on the floor beside the hamper, but not in the hamper!

Lady~

February 22nd, 2012
10:09 am

what are yall thoughts on the trial of Hemy Neuman?!? #curious

kimmie - the original :)

February 22nd, 2012
10:11 am

Morning Gang!

This is an issue that I was affected by early in my dating career. My first serious bf was very critical of everything I said, did, wore, thought, laughed about, ate, read, studied, dreamed, you name it. When I finally woke up and got a backbone and spoke up, he then said I had an attitude. When we broke up, it was like a weight was lifted.

I thought about it long and hard after we broke up. Looking back, he was dealing with major insecurity issues. He did a number on me and had me always 2nd guessing myself.

Never again. I began then to only accept loving,constructive “suggestions” from those I respected or whose position/expertise on a subject I respected. So I am very reluctant to accept anything a dude says about anything if I don’t respect him. I respect my husband to the highest, so anything he suggests to me I’m at least going to consider. He respects me as an adult and treats me as such, so I am receptive.

Also, is it a suggestion/constructive criticism or just his opinion?

I must say, that first bf got me extremely unreceptive to just about any criticism that any man gave me after that. You can’t tell me anything anymore. Take it or leave it.

kimmie - the original :)

February 22nd, 2012
10:16 am

Lady – Have no opinion on it. It doesn’t affect my people, so I don’t care. It’ll probably end up on one of those Snapped-like shows or be made into a Lifetime movie, though. Shrugs

Lady~

February 22nd, 2012
10:19 am

It’ll probably end up on one of those Snapped-like shows or be made into a Lifetime movie, though. Shrugs <<<<<<My thoughts exactly sis! ;)

Leggs

February 22nd, 2012
10:21 am

@Lady ~ this is my opinion…nothing crazy about Neuman. Once again, racism at its highest. Black is the evil one talking to him and whitle is angelic yet both are telling him to kill. Reminds of the movie MalcomX when Malcom was in jail and one of his early teachers had him look up the word “black” and “white” in the dictionary to illustrate how mental games have always been played. Black was defined as dark, absence of light, and white was defined as “pure, innocence, fairness.” That’s what I think of every time they talk about the two who told the idiot to kill. And as far as the man himself is concerned, don’t think he’s as warped as some may think. He knows what he’s doing and probably did have an affair with Rusty’s wife!

Lady~

February 22nd, 2012
10:24 am

Leggs my mom has the same assessment in laymen terms though! #funny

Exiled!

February 22nd, 2012
10:33 am

Racism?

Leggs?

I miss that!

Where are u getting that? from the court discussions?
Hmmmmmmm

Lady~

February 22nd, 2012
10:38 am

hearing voices (peerhaps Barry White’s Ex) maybe #shrugs LOL

Lady~

February 22nd, 2012
10:38 am

Leggs

February 22nd, 2012
10:41 am

@Ex ~ I’m getting it from too many criminals blaming a black man in a hoodie, or a black man hijacked them, or black man did this or that, when it turns out the story was either fabricated or an actual white man did the crime! That man is not crazy. He didn’t see no 8 ft black man sounding like Barry White.

Lady~

February 22nd, 2012
10:45 am

Purple

February 22nd, 2012
10:45 am

“I like a long haired thick redbone….” lol I love how that songs comes on

disco

February 22nd, 2012
10:46 am

leggs – your tirade reminded me of Michael moore’s book “stupid white men”. at one point in the book Michael moore indicated that he traveled a lot and in countless hotel rooms in countless cities he watched countless news reports indicating that the suspect was the same (enter description here) black guy . he had to question if one rogue black guy was terrorizing the country. he also went on to indicate that every truly grievous wrong committed to him in his life was by another white person. he broke it down too, talking about so and so in the sandbox, so and so in fourth grade, so and so in junior high. you get the point.

Exiled!

February 22nd, 2012
10:48 am

It will be racism if the jury actually believes that!

He may have credibly ’seen’ that apparition in his madness. We can only surmise.

But only a mental health professional can testify to that.

I personally think that Andrea’s Jewish puddy made him lose his daamn mind! :lol:

Talk of pudy foolishness! :lol:

Leggs

February 22nd, 2012
10:48 am

Yep, I got the point…

Leggs

February 22nd, 2012
10:49 am

The jury doesn’t have to believe it, he spewed it, still a form of racism.

czBrat

February 22nd, 2012
10:49 am

HiYas!

nothing wrong with constructive criticism, as long as it’s balanced with healthy doses of kudos. i believe that in a strong relationship, two people can serve as a great reflection of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. and what do we have if we cannot honestly expose them to each other? one thing that always keeps me grounded when i’m feeling fed up with the ‘obligation’ of working through our relationship is knowing that at any time he and i can sit down and talk about ANYTHING … and whether it gets heated, hilarious or just HOT :wink: we get through it and stay on our path because it’s sincere, not malicious.

if you find yourself experiencing (or delivering) all of the criticism with little-to-none of the applause, there’s a problem.

He knows what he’s doing and probably did have an affair with Rusty’s wife!
that’s what i’m thinking coz, um, who holds their boss’ hand? for ANY reason????

Lady~

February 22nd, 2012
10:50 am

I personally think that Andrea’s Jewish puddy made him lose his daamn mind!

Talk of pudy foolishness! <<<<<<<<<<<<totally agree sir! its not funny at all but the humor is there!