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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 17 Responses Sep 19, 2009

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I've been married 14 years now, and every year his negativity seems to get a bit worse. We had a long distance relationship for some time prior to my moving across the country to be with him. We moved back to my home town not too long after we got married, he was out of a job and I was pregnant...we figured moving to live in the house I was already paying for would be a smart thing to do. I learned then that he did not do to well with the lack of his own family and childhood friends around him.
Since then, we moved back to his neck of the woods and stayed there for about 10 years. I started over again, no family or friends but made the best of it (again, I'm the positive one). We recently moved back across the country, for a better place to raise our children. Since being here, he is just negative about everything. Our children are very happy, and I am as well.
I've tried everything to make him happy, but honestly I'm done with cross country moves and starting over. I hold back saying "just grow up and realize that we are your family, and let's work on us". I just wish I knew how to help him find his happy place and make his wife and children be enough for him.
I will stay hopeful for a happy ending, but it's hard when one 1/2 of the equation is so very negative!

I have been in the same relationship for 20 years, and I have at this point hit the breaking point, everything that comes out of his mouth is negative, I can't recall the last time he did or said something nice. I used to be a very happy person, but I have lost all the joy in my life. lately I find myself moody and detached. I have become a person I don't like, everytime he starts to talk I just want to tell him to shut up

Try going to counselling... and find someone who will do more than just listen.. find someone who will kick your ***** into making changes!! Its working for me!

By the sounds of it, the majority of people become pretty negative after they get comfortable with each other. I've come to the realization that I don't have it that bad, that I know how to cope with my husband's attitude, and that leaving isn't the solution. I'm sure I would just end up with another negative man, possibly worse.
I finally had enough and once while in the walmart parking lot, he was yelling and being negative. So when he kept at it while putting on his seat belt, I told him "DO NOT talk to me like that! GET OUT OF THE CAR" I kicked him out of my car and made him walk home. Yes we fought about it for a few days, he blamed me for being crazy, and took no responsibility for the reason I made him walk, but I didn't care. I stood up for myself and made it clear that he could no longer treat me like that.
So the next step for me was to go to counselling. I told him that I was ready to leave him. We got lucky and our counsellor called him out on his behaviour. He even tried pretty hard to convince her that everything was my fault and that our problems were because I had recently come off my medication. But she didn't buy it. She told him he was STONEWALLING and this is the most destructive way of interacting with people, and the reason women leave men.
The meds have left me with no emotion, even though I haven't been on them for months. This has actually helped me to cope with him and to see his behaviour and attitude for what it is. At first this made him very angry, because he was being 'called out', but I just keep at it, and keep pointing out that HE is being negative, that he is criticising, that he is name calling, etc. He can't blame me when I point out his behaviour immediately... he sees that he started it.
All I can do for now is to make him aware.
I have made it a goal for us to go to out for dinner every weekend, and when he picks me up, the first things out of his mouth are negative as usual. So, I say: you're being negative, please change the subject, give me a compliment, etc as long as its positive or neutral.... and he is coming around. It's been months but he is coming around.
He also likes to over-react and is verbally abusive, cutting down my family or me.... so now I say" ok, say whatever you want, LET IT OUT" and he will yell for 2 minutes. I'll say "OK I hear you." then he'll go back to what he was doing. Then we can talk calmly an hour later about what is truly bothering him, which usually has nothing to do with what he was yelling about.
I'm at the point where my feelings don't get hurt anymore, maybe thanks to the meds I was on that took away all of my emotion. I just don't care. I told him 6months ago that I don't love him... he kept saying it to me, but recently stopped... probably because his ego was hurt... and I'm sure that's a whole issue for him in itself now, but I don't care. I'm not going to pretend that I'm in love with someone who treats me this way. If his behaviour ever changes for the better, then maybe we will have a chance at falling back in love. I'll keep trying for now, but with a baby on the way, he is aware that I will not subject my child to a negative relationship. I want to have a happy marriage, and I am willing to work on it, even if that means helping him on a daily basis. Don't we all want to be happy? We all want a happy marriage, a happy home, and a happy well-adjusted family... and it takes work. Replacing my husband with another grumpy man seems like it would be pointless... so if I ever do leave, I will embrace my bi-sexuality and maybe replace him with a caring nurturing happy woman... or maybe just move in with my parents.... like I told my husband and my mother... I'll give it (my marriage) a year to improve or I'm out. I guess only time can tell.

I only been married 11 months and my spouse is very negative he walks arou d the house with an attitude for no reason....he want talk to me I try to spend quality time with him in show him a good time but instead of doing thag he shuts down in want talk....im tired of this its a everyday thing in I get to asking myself is it me im I unattractive....we havent had sex in 3 months he want touch me but let me remind yall he is a house body person he want go put to eat r too the movies he dont want to do nuthing but sit at home allday in watch tv...but im thinking I wamt out this marriage cause its not healthy for me at all

My husband is so negative that I'm only seeing those things in other people , even my family.

Wow, I thought you were writing about my husband. It's going on 8 years for me. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of making a drastic change. I've learned to cope with his negativity VERY well. I use to cry all the time, but have learned to "detach" myself and stay strong. Today, my positivty is wearing VERY thin. I wonder, "Is this the way my life will be forever" or is it time for me to change things and take a chance. I don't want to chance my son not being able to grow up in a complete household. All the materialistic things I know I can live without. My son is the happiness in my life and I'm only staying for him. Perhaps thats the wrong choice.

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 see you and I are very much alike in many ways. I have been married since 1987, he is grumpy and negative 99.9% of the time, no one is good, everyone is an idiot, work sucks, etc etc......the list could go on and on...I have thought about leaving many MANY times but I would be completely lost...I cannot financially take care of myself and I also have 2 kids but 1 is just a freshman in a community college and the other is a freshman in high school. I am at my wits end with this person!

WOW! you are living my exact life. Kids the same age and married since 87! I have threatened divorce for years and never do anything about it. Why am I so afraid? I probably could handle it financially but it would be very tight! Everything out of his mouth is negative. Everyone has it better than us financially, the house isn't ever clean enough, I say its a beautiful day and he says ya, well, it's gonna rain tomorrow. WTH is wrong with him! I try and see the bright side of things and am a very optimistic person. I almost feel like I am flawed!

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

I WISH I had someone in my life like that.

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.

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.