Would your decision be easier if “being together” didn’t necessarily mean “being wrong”?
A lot of couples argue about who’s right, and “The Truth”, as if there was an objective reality. And, of course, each partner believes he/she is the one who’s right. I call this “Right Fighting” and here’s why it’s a waste of time…
Because 100% of the time what you’re arguing over is perception, not reality. Perception is a matter of opinion. You get to have your opinion and your partner gets to have his/her opinion. Period. Always.
Was he nagging you, or merely reminding you? Was she criticizing you, or merely pointing out what she thinks is a more efficient way? Coming up with a scientific method to draw the line between the two is neither productive or helpful. It doesn’t matter whether he was nagging or reminding, she was criticizing or suggesting.
You both have core values on the line here, and therefore neither of you is going to budge an inch on the definition. The good news is, it doesn’t matter. Find a word you can both agree to use (and if that takes more than 2 minutes, at least one of you is quibbling) and get on to the crux of the matter. That’s what the behavior means to each person. What was your experience with these behaviors when you were growing up? How about for your partner?
If exploring these meanings doesn’t increase your compassion towards your partner, it might be worth consulting with someone like me to help you and your beloved get out of the rut of Right Fighting and power struggles.
Or you can keep repeating your battle over an unresolvable pattern, escalating the conflict in each replay, until one of you checks out of the relationship.