The majority of times a partner is dominating their spouse, it is done when the two are alone. Wishing out loud is a method that involves others, and it can be a humiliating experience. It not only embarasses their partner when they do it, but it can continue to make them feel bad when others bring it up. It is meant to be a way to keep up the pressure without constantly coming up with new ways to erode their self-worth.
One good example of this technique is when the family gathers for a birthday party or special event. The person with dominance as their goal will find something their spouse has done to comment on. It will not quite be negative, but it definitely outlines their disappointment. While the majority of friends and relatives may see it for what it is, those who do not will constantly remind the spouse of their failing. This alone can help achieve the goal of making the inferior spouse feel they have put their partner down successfully.