I’ve been married for 17 years and my husband is the type that likes to criticize a lot, every little thing I do. Lately this happens a lot at work as well, so I’m really down on self esteem. I am a good person, I do a lot of things at home as my husband has a very demanding job, but all I ever hear is the things I forget to do or I don’t do it the way I’m suppose to do. Same at work, there are always more ways to do a job and my boss never likes my way. I am overly sensitive and defensive, I know that, but it’s hard to me to be any other way with so much negativity around me. I cry a lot lately, which annoys my husband who thinks I should just take his opinion and improve. I can’t find the energy to improve as I’m being put down so much, and I feel like I’m losing my mind and can’t trust my judgment at all. I’ve been reading lately about how I should not let people bring me down and find happiness inside myself, but I just can’t, and my depression deepens day by day. Do you have any advice how to deal with this? How can I trust myself and find some way to be confident again? Thank you!

A. You are assuming that you are wholly the cause of the problem, but that may not be true. Have you considered that your husband may be part of the problem? He may not be, but all possibilities must be considered. It is important to know the truth.

I think you would benefit from psychotherapy for two main reasons. The first reason is because it’s important to determine if you are being overly sensitive and defensive or if your husband is being overly critical. A therapist could help to make that objective determination.

The second reason therapy could be beneficial is because you may be developing depression. As you said, it’s getting more difficult for you to be happy. Your depression is deepening every day. This is a sign that something must be done. Action must be taken. A few sessions with a therapist may be all that is needed. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle