That's definitely what the deal is with my partner. He grew up with parents who were horribly cruel to him, still are to both of us. Hypercritical etc. As an adult I can process it and move on but when he's around them now even as an adult I see a wounded child. So he does not feel as a protective mechanism and can't understand how others do. Also anytime you say anything to him that he hears as negative even if it's not he hears "you are a stupid idiot and worthless loser." Except I am not saying that and he never hears what I say. I could ask him nicely 25 times not to do something and he won't recall. The only thing he responds that is screaming! He hears me then and says why didn't you ask nicely you need to come at me with a kinder tone. Except I did 25 times before. It's gotten to the point that I put things in texts or record he conversation so I can show him I did have that conversation!