What respectful phrase do you use to tell a spouse his or her complaining is bothering you?
I'm writing an article listing helpful words we use in relationships whether in a marriage or a friendship. Background: After my former husband left, he told a friend that my day-to-day complaining about my toxic situation at work was causing him to sit in the driveway with clenched fists before coming in the house. How can a husband tell his wife that her complaining is causing him great stress without hurting her feelings? What is YOUR strategy in a relationship where a person is continually needing to vent feelings whether or not his/her complaints are legitimate? What are the words?
First off, that wasn't very nice or very supportive of your ex. He is putting the burden of some of his own shortcomings on you, when he didn't have the gonads to speak up and say anything. It sounds to me like he had some other problems contributing to your breakup, like lack of communication. Think back on this and decide if it really was your fault for needing his support that you didn't get. If he had been supportive, maybe you would not have complained as much. (I think I just played "Dear Abby" but I've been on the receiving end of this "poor little me," it's really her fault, too, and I sense something else at play here.
Now, to get to your actual question. He could have said that maybe your situation was so stressful that you needed to see a counselor who could give you some guidance. He should have nicely told you that he had his own work problems and that maybe "we should leave work on our doorstep" and speak of pleasantries when we are together at home. Or he could have suggested that you look for another job if the one you had was making you that unhappy. And furthermore, he should have promised to stand behind any changes that you decided to make.
I believe the onus is on the person who is always complaining to be aware of how often they are doing so. It's just a common courtesy to put yourself in their shoes sometimes.
There really is no "nice way" of telling someone you're tired of hearing them rant. What usually happens is a person will take it in for as long as they can before finally exploding or leaving.
Generally speaking (men) are "solution oriented" and "venting" for the sake of venting is considered just a waste of time and emotion in their eyes. That's what (your girlfriends) are for.
If a man can't fix or resolve a problem he gets frustrated hearing about it over and over. The idea of venting to just blow off steam is a foreign concept for most men and deemed a waste of time.
Unfortunately we live in a time where instead of accepting certain "gender differences" people insist upon expecting men and women to think and behave the same. That's unrealistic!
Most men when they return to the castle after spending a day slaying dragons want to take off the armor and lay down the sword. They're looking forward to eating a hot meal, watching TV, and enjoying a "drama free" evening with their wives and families. If they can't fix it they don't want to hear about it.
There are only two ways to experience joy and peace of mind in relationships: We either get what we want or we learn to be happy with what we have. Accept them (as is) or move on.
“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions” – Stephen R. Covey
Dashing, most women would like to lay down the armor, etc. too, but most have meals to cook, dirty dishes, and screaming kids, while men rest, enjoy their beer and want good sex later. Surprising there aren't more murders.
MizBejabbers, I don't disagree with you!
The fact is most people don't want to listen to anyone complaining (all of the time) whether it's a woman or a man.
The reason there aren't more murders is because people divorce or cheat when unhappy.
Just joking, but you're probably right. There really is something called a "chronic complainer". I knew one at work one time. He complained about everything except for his wife (his 2nd.) I guess he learned his lesson when the first left him.
LOL Oh God, how I love MzB~~a woman right after my own heart. Billie, I'm rather taken aback by your husband's comment to your friend AFTER (?) he left!
So....may we assume he never once suggested to you that your complaints about a toxic work situation were driving him to such stress & dread?? That's pretty cowardly and unfair of him. On the other hand, perhaps you could have tried a bit to seriously leave work craziness at work. That's just always a wise thing to do. Marriage is a 2-way street so we say.....
However, your ex may have thrown out that issue as an excuse to cover for some or all of the real reasons he left the marriage. Who knows? It may be nice, as well as comforting to you to be able to finally ASK him about this.....or not. If you're fine with how it ended, then I guess it doesn't matter.
I just can't imagine that he wasn't open and honest with you about that particular issue/ Do you wonder, "What ELSE did he neglect to tell you?"
You have every right to vent....we NEED to vent. and every reason to expect your spouse to listen, understand and offer some suggestions to dealing with what was bothering you so.
If he had no difficulty expressing his dismay or dislike of other things that irked him, it's not likely your complaining was any part of his leaving.
Quite simply....your ex, or any spouse/significant other, need only communicate to their spouse that they are not happy with the conversation & prefer that the 2 of you put the subject aside and talk of something pleasant & productive instead. This just should not be a huge obstacle or production.
I wish you healing.........Paula
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