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Don't Allow Negative Spouse to Make You Negative.

I am responding to Look4GreenerGrass.

I can relate to how being married to a negative spouse can ruin your joy. I've been married for 38yrs to a man who complains almost everytime he opens his mouth. He wasn't always this way, or maybe I didn't notice it because I focused on his positive attributes. For a very long time I would try and reason with him, I thought he was just depressed and maybe my positive outlook would change his mind. He only got angrier when I spoke positively and said I didn't understand. As time went by this became really depressing. I couldn't understand why a person who had so many good things in life could be so negative. I realized much later that no matter what I said it couldn't change his complaining. I also realized that he complained to get what he wanted. It worked for him and be learned in early childhood that it was a way to get his needs and wants met. Very manipulative. Now I call him on it when he does it. I walk away. I ignore him. It works for me. I protect my positive mood and detach from his issues.

I can't tell you how to deal with the man who you are married to. We all have different circumstances and have to find different coping skills. I will say, try to stay positive and never allow another person to change who you are. Joy and happiness is a powerful state of mind. When you are in the company of a negative person look at it as if you are you and they are separate from you. When you start to feel uncomfortable you have the right to stop listening and even walk away. Keep being you, positive and strong.

freelyhappy freelyhappy 56-60 12 Responses Sep 19, 2009

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Thank goodness there are others out there with the same issues as me. I thought I was imagining it all.

My husband of 28 years is so grumpy 99.9% of the talk that comes from his mouth is negative, moaning and making me really fed up. From moment he wakes up till the time he goes to bed he complains about anything and everything, from people being slow in the shops, work issues , neighbours, our kids, my cooking, the cat..........everything is a problem to him.

I have tried saying to him that he should relax more and not be so grumpy, but that makes things worse and he then moans about me 'telling him he is grumpy'. Then he goes into a week long 'not talking to me' phase. It is driving me insane, as the years go on he has become worse. I have though of leaving him too, but if I do that my kids will never forgive me. The are 25 and 28 now, but they still would not understand why. They both notice that he is so miserable. My daughter is getting married in October, and he even complains about that....why are they spending s much on wedding, why don't they just have a register office, why this why that....for heavens sake just let them have the day they want!!

I feel better now, just getting that out of my system. But, it is making me unhappy too.

I just yesterday realized: I have to walk away. I don't like who I am with him. I'm living half a life. Im not even living that. I always feel alone and the complaining, after 9 years has only gotten worse. We all have to realize a few things: we only get ONE shot. We won't die and get another turn to think of ourselves. I'm 34, I want kids, I want joy, I want a partner who'll join me in life and live it to the fullest! This is crazy! Ask yourself: why am I staying? Why am I doing this to myself? After _____ years, has anything changed? Am I TRYING to be a martyr? And for what purpose? To what end? Am I trying to be loyal or uphold my vows? Am I trying to make God happy by staying? DO YOU THINK GOD WANTS YOU TO BE THIS MISERABLE?!
Also, women: we go into relationships thinking we can change/fix/save the guy. People don't change. If anything they put on a good show for a while but it wears off so date for a while! Also, some of us turn into chameleons and we bend, flex, change for our men- whether they ask us to or not! I think that may be why we expect it back from them....? I believe people/personalities can be different but CORE values need to line up. Faith, Morals, Family, Sex... All very very important!
I pray everyone here posting will ask themselves the hard questions and be honest, I pray you all will value yourselves enough to know you deserve a happy life! That you aren't being selfish! It's your DUTY to take care of you! And this: the only person you have the power to change is yourself. If your partner doesn't want to change? Fine...,change your situation. YOU. ARE. WORTH. IT. There is only ONE you, and he/she only lives life once!!!!!!!

Well I have a wife that is so negative. Everytime she is in the house , ok well I'll be honest, 95% of the time she is in the house, she is complaining about something. Of course since I am the man it must be my fault. Ok I'll admit I am NOT the BEST housekeeper, but, I cook clean and help the kids with homework daily. Her complaints will be about any little thing that is out of place, I don't make enough money at my job, she has to work too hard . Mostly it's about money I think. The problem I have is I have become so emotionally attached to her that even after 23 years the complaining is not getting easier, it's getting harder. I think that may be because I have really done my best to address every concern. I have improved in every single area markedly except our socio-economic status. I give her backrubs , ask her about her day, make her food, help her with her problems at work by just being a good listener mainly, anticipate her needs as much as I can, but most of this is very rarely if ever reciprocated. So something is wrong with my expectation level. I guess it's a problem when you think by doing many things for a person it might make them do something for you. I haven't been able to get over it. I even recently lost a ton of weight and am exercising to get into the best shape of my life and I'm 53. I'm already at a much higher level of fitness than she is now and I look much better and am improving. I just have to get rid of the nagging feeling of being woefully inadequate all the time I am around her. A female friend of mine told me a woman in her mid 40's is just a hellion and i just have to be patient. Is that true?

I understand your pain I was a stay at home mother/wife for the first time when I married my second husband and was so grateful for that chance. I shined and cleaned and cooked every meal just like my mom did growing up. Met him at the door with a smile and made him the king of his castle, yet all I got back was how much more I needed to do. Now I'm working and I'm giving him time off to relax and work on himself (after separating and a few issues I thought it be nice to give him a break) well now the tables turned he's not nearly measuring up to what his expectations was for me but that's fine with me I don't mind the house a mess as long as the kids are fed and taken care of. But still his negative attitude about every single thing is draining me mentally and affecting every other relationship including friends family and most important my kids. Sadly he's more and more and I hate to say but like emotional cancer slowly killing everything I love. I'm at a cross roads I can't continue on this path it's unhealthy. I want to help him but the more I try the more I fail. I'd love to have someone cook a meal for me or rub my back I can't understand why she doesn't appreciate you sometimes taking away the things that person is accustomed to wakes them up and sometimes it's permanent but in my case it was temporary it lasted until I allowed him back home now it's worse

Today is my 30th birthday. My mother has put together a surprise for us (my partner and I) to celebrate. I love surprises and my mother is a very nice and considerate person and my partner really likes them. However, he hates going out and hides behind a mantra of social anxiety as reason. Trying to get him to do anything outside of staying at home all the time is so very difficult.

What should have been a joyous celebration and spending the morning getting ready listening to him complain and say how horrible it will be for him has just made me incredibly depressed. I almost want to tell him to just stay home because my disappointment and the prodding questions of my family would be easier than bearing the weight of his negative complaints.

If I tell him I'm upset it'll just make things worse. Whenever I show I am unhappy with his negative attitude he gets incredibly defensive, angry and then after he cools down it spirals into deep depression.

I am so disappointed in my husband's day i and day out complaining about everything. We and our children have everything we need and could possibly want but nothing is enough. I fear he has a void in his heart that can never be filled. I question if he truly believes in GOD as GOD has supplied this man's every need but again is not enough. He complains to our neighbors now about my oldest son and it's embarrasing that he shares confidential information. I asked but he won't stop. He nags about everything and I mean everything. He has changed since I started dating him in 2009. We've been married for 16 months and I can't stand the thought of putting up with his negativity for the rest of my life. This happened in his first marriage and she left him. He is so charming when he wants to be and so cold and black when he doesn't want to be. I also to believe his mother "gave in" to him on a regular basis and this is a learned behavior.

Help I can't take a lifetime of this. He is killing our love and pushing me away.........and doesn't seem to care.

I'm sorry you are having to go through with this. I too have a "situation" and when I saw you mentioned his mother "giving in" it made me think of what I'm dealing with. I believe that his mother (my mother in law) has suffered from severe manic depression. The family accepted that that was just the way she is. the entire room can feel her anger/bitterness when she is having an "episode". She would deny this and would probably have an "episode" if I even told her this. lol My husband has the same/similar "episodes" and I finally told him he needs to get help or medication bc this is NOT normal or even acceptable behavior as an adult. I try to think positive on most things. I could always have it worse and I/we are over the cup runneth blessed. It really makes me angry when people don't count their blessings (don't get me started on picky kids with food). Now with me he is pushing me away with this and I'm very confused as to how long to play the waiting game for changes/improvements to come. He spoke with a professional and he was told that he was a negative thinker. His natural method is to think of all things negatively. He has bought a self help book (that I hope helps). It makes sense but I still believe he should be treated under a doctor's care along with this. My last straws are here and it didn't help when my young hormonal teen was speaking to me very disrespectfully and my husband pretty much dismissed it as "he's just like me". No! That is sure not an excuse especially when teenagers go through this everyday. Allowing my son to speak to me that way without reprimanding him was NOT a good idea. Well, he says he's trying to improve... I just need to figure out how long I'll put up with it. 20 years from now will I still be waiting? I don't know. I pray that your situation is headed for improvement.

I agree, walk away. Yep I am married to a very negative person. After talking to his parents, come to find out he has been this way since childhood. Everytime he opens his mouth it is negative! I try to stay positive, I listen to Joel Osteen, I listen to Oprahs Soulful Sundays, I make it for him to listen, but he walks away. He barks at everything! When we go on family outings the negative comes out even more! Screaming and yelling that something will not work out....we won't get there in time...they have closed this or that...they have run out...the weather will be terrible...gas will be too expensive...we won't have money to pay for it all...we wont get our tax refund...we wont find a house...we cant afford this house that house...IT is NEVER ENDING!!!! My prayers everyday are for positive energy and for Gods Blessings that will show him how wonderful a life God gives us! Everyday I pray for delighting ourselves in Him and he will give us the Desires of our heart! And I have only been married to him for 17 years, I can't imagine going thru it for 38 years!!!

I feel you on that I've only lived with this person for a little more than a year, we have a set of twins and he has two other children of his own, so do I. I sometimes ask him why he is always moody and all he does is roll his eyes and act extremely annoying and arrogant I keep thinking hes going too change but I see no improvement at times i'll be insulting and hurtful with him for the same reason I feel hurt by his attitude and everything else. I am a very loving person to him and I consider myself a great mother but I feel that is not enough for him so i'll take the cue from a couple of the stories I've read and try to ignore him and walk away as for you keep your mind at peace and you'll be at peace with your self, yet you shouldn't have to tolerate anyone.

ExhaustedtotheCore I can totally understand you and the rest of the women here. I have been married to a very negative man for the past 10 yrs. It has been so exhausting to keep him happy, I have done similar things you do by texting him just so he won't complain. Everything finally blew up a couple of months ago and I am currently trying to get him to seperate, but he keeps up with the verbal abuse telling me I am ruining our family and it's all my fault. Hang in there guys, marriage is not natural and I am not sure I would enter another one if this one ends.

As I read other responses I can't help but to give my own version regarding this matter. I find myself wondering if marriage is a small form of slavery. For ex: verbal bashing, emotional draining, constant teasing, mental paralysis, self doubt, isolation, overweight, self sabotage and of course no one to talk too..Going, thru marriage at this rate makes me wonder why so many women do it. I currently deal with a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde personality (one minute good ten minutes not so good) this is daily. He is a mentally manipulative and emotionally exhausting individual along with being chronically negative. It's a recipe for let me out. However, the way I deal with it currently, believe it or not. I go to work and don't call home--on some days I will send him a quick hello hope your o.k text---knowing the response is gonna be kinda depressing however, if I don't send him a text he'll complain that no one has called/text him all day. I know the economy has changed severely and so hasn't the mentality of a lot of individuals including my husband, but the truth is I keep to myself and how I really feel, and I do believe its gonna get better. So I withhold responses to his comments or complaints, I try to keep busy or sit quiet with him and watch t.v so he doesn't feel alone. It's best to try than to go back and forth with nasty comments that you can't take back. For right now I just pray for the best.<br />
So I do understand your situation (your not the only one)

my husband is very calm, gentle person. he is negative invery quiet way, i did notice before we got married, but did not think it will get to me so much. he puts in the end,, I had better not do this just in case,,<br />
this apply to everymatter. everything. I do not know what is just in case. light minded--lottery. he thinks he had better not buy lottery just in case he did not win, he thinks it is waste of mony.,,,,,,,i think he will never win if he doesnot buy the ticket. yet, he will look into the ticket I bought with such an enthusiasm, feel ,, why?<br />
heavy minded---- he thinks he had better not buy any gift for me just in case i did not like it. wow, that is a shock, more,,, he thinks he should not talk to me about himself just in case i could not accept for what he is.. wow, did not i make vow when we got married that we share poor and rich? why he thinks i can not accept him, i have been here all the time just for him. ready to accept, my arm wide opened, i would not have been surprised with any sort of bad taste in just a gift. <br />
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he does not want to take kids out for a theme park where he says he will love to go,, just in case our kids are not in the right age for it. ????????????? is he mad? before he rearise, they will be so grow out of it! there may be a right age for it, but he keeps missing every opportunity to go for fun with kids!<br />
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when he talks with anyone, anyone close, anyone who we do not know, sometimes stories go something about changing our life in someway, moving to abroad, changing jobs, he goes, oh, i would LOVE to do sucsuch a thing BUT i had better stay where i am just in case,, and it is not just talk, it is like that with him on everything. he is so afraid. scared. he even can not open his mind to me . <br />
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now i can not cope with him. <br />
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i started feeling, i am not worth anything. i am no body . he is so negative with our relationship. he gives up before even try, he may want to try to get it going, but he just does not do anything. <br />
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helpless. <br />
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i want him to be a man. i do not ask anything els.

That approach is ba<x>sed on behavioral science: by walking away and not helping your husband when he complains you are removing the reinforcement for his response, the complaint. It may take a long time to "extinguish" the undesired behavior though, and the least little reinforcement for future complaints are apt to bring the behavior right back.<br />
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Meditation has helped me quit complaining about things at home. I haven't stopped completely quite yet, but things are going better as I practice mindfulness and learn to accept things as they are. Maybe you could find some resources for teaching meditation at the public library and join your husband on a journey into that area. Just a suggestion.

While we cannot all be perpetual Polly Anna's we can try to keep a balanced outlook on life. Aging has an unfortunate way of creating and supporting negative attitudes. When we have lived long enough to see the state of affairs the world is in and with little hope for change in sight it is most difficult to keep oneself buoyant in spirit.<br />
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If you see in your husband nothing but negativism he probably looks at you in an opposite vane as a person who cannot fathom the realities of life about you.<br />
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Dependant on his manner of exposure, life to him may be too real and your perspective could be much too accepting. There can be little hope of reconciliation of these diametric positions.<br />
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If you lived at home concerned with the mundane aspects of life your attitude may be entirely different than the hard scrabble world of competitive business he may have experienced.. <br />
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While no one one should accept complete negativism no one should judge it either at least until one has lived the same experiences that may have caused it.<br />
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It is not easy to fight cynicism which is all part of maturation process but it is a constant fight to avoid it.