My partner and I have been together for 15 years and, in general, have excellent communication. However, I can't seem to get past a couple of issues with him. In this case, it's his continued insistence on offering "advice" or making some comment when I am experiencing a problem - specifically one I have created myself.
A recent example: A kitchen drawer became jammed shut because it was too full of utensils. It took me some time to unjam it and, like I imagine anyone in a similar situation might be, I was frustrated with myself that I let it happen. Afterward, I cleaned the drawer so it would be less likely to jam again.
My partner's response to this situation, after the fact, was, "Maybe we shouldn't keep so much stuff in that drawer".
I am aware that I can be over-sensitive to unsolicited advice or criticism so I try my best not to get upset. Approaches I have tried are:
Simply thanking him for his advice and trying to move on. There seems to be no way to do this without him assuming I am being sarcastic.
Ignoring the comment completely. If he doesn't receive a response he escalates, either offering more advice or sometimes taking matters into his own hands to "fix" the situation, even when I have already done so.
Leading by example. If he is in a similar situation I have tried either empathizing without offering a solution or, if I honestly believe I could help, I ask if he is open to advice. This works great for him but he has never made the connection.
Calmly explaining that comments like that make me feel as if he thinks that, because I made a mistake, I am also not smart enough to figure out how to ensure it won't happen again.
His response to that has been to get upset and say, "I was just trying to help!" In the worst cases, his response is especially exaggerated and he will insist that he will never attempt to help me again. This always ends very poorly, usually with me in tears and having to apologize for...something? I'm not even sure exactly what.
Additionally, I have tried to approach him about his responses at other times. ie...not immediately during or following an incident. He seems more understanding at these times but also seems to forget we've ever had the conversation...putting me back at the start.
Is there some other way to approach this issue without it ending up in an argument and tears? It's just a bit stunning to me that we have few other issues but this is something we can't seem to overcome.