| | Re: Husband construes everything as critical???
I am really glad to see you taking initiative here because if you let things go, your ship will eventually sink, it's just a matter of time.
First, you need to listen to what he is saying and accept it. As illogical, incorrect and irrational as it may seem, this is really the way he hears things and you are best advised to respect this.
Little differences in phrasing can make a big difference in perception. Completely avoid any statements that start with "you" as in "you this" and "you that" or "you think" or "you need"
We know "I want" is still a little too harsh for him so try requesting with "I need" or "I would like" or "I hope" or maybe even "If you don't mind" or "If it's OK with you"
Clearly something in your communication is setting of an avoidant response that is outside your h's rational conscious control. Your attempts to bring this to his conscious attention are unlikely to be well received. He has to want to understand this for himself.