First, by way of introduction, when you are a recovering nice guy who learns not to let your wife step on you, yo might discover that your wife isn't the most positive lady in the world, sometimes a person with a lot of negativity. This has nothing to do with you. You are no in charge of her, and it's not your job to fix her. Anyways.
My wife used to do it all the time, but with me learning how not to be stepped on it's becoming less and less: long sessions of complains of what's not good with me, how everything that goes wrong on planet earth is basically my fault. I used to try and show her that I am not perfect, but not everything is my fault, etc.
But last night, after another one of "you and you and you", and when asking her point blank do you think that it's all my fault, the response was "no, of course I know it's both of us, but YOU and if only YOU will learn how to do it the way I want it" etc., I told her just simply that I am not going to change a thing in my life for her, unless she is going to do the same, and by no mean I am going to work on things on our marriage unless she is part of it, and till then she can stop complaining because it's pointless.
the problem with constant complaining is you stop listening to the message, and if the message is crucial (like how to meet her needs) moving forward is difficult.
Sometimes writing down what your needs are and having more focused conversations is more productive. You each get a "turn" talking about what you need, and provide examples of 'how' you can accomplish that. Kinda like turn the tables on her. The gist is that after awhile, if she sees it in writing, she might see if it's petty or just complaining to avoid dealing with her own behavior \ taking responsibility for her part in the relationship.
I get complaining a LOT. It does become a habit.
It takes practice, but you can "control" those complaining sessions a little bit. Acknowledge what she has said, even write it down. Address it. Then firmly say you would like to talk about your needs. And do so.
but good on you if you are learning not to be a doormat.
Her complaint session is not your issue. If she has a legitimate concern, than she can bring it up in a productive manner. If not, walk away and go on with what you were doing. Don't let her affect you any more than that.
"Disconnect the emotional hose"
It is against every instinct you have, but it works in two ways.
1) You are no longer dragged down by her pessimism.
2) She understands that it will not work and will have to use a different tactic.
Her complaining behavior sounds like someone who is co-dependent. Its about control. Its likely a learned/ingrained behavior. How was her childhood? Suggest therapy for her, if she wont go you should go. You need to learn some coping/communication skills yourself when you feel you are up against something you don't know how to handle. Yelling isn't the answer. Your reaction can be just as bad if not worse than her actual complaining.
Maybe she just wants to be heard. I think thats typical behavior in someone who never got their emotional needs met as a child. Parents not listening etc. I'm not sure what kind of childhood she had, just sayin' maybe thats a possible reason.
I told her just simply that I am not going to change a thing in my life for her, unless she is going to do the same, and by no mean I am going to work on things on our marriage unless she is part of it, and till then she can stop complaining because it's pointless.
This is not a good attitude. You are basically saying you wont do anything to help save your marriage unless she changes.
YOU have to change yourself, just as she does. BUT you can't not at least try to change some things within yourself just because she doesn't. If you don't change some things within yourself, its a sure fire way this will always remain the same.
It comes across as she is the whole problem and the only one who needs to change, and I doubt that.
I never realized how much *I* complained until my husband pointed it out. The truth hurts, but I was able to curb some of the meaningless babble, (which I had no idea stressed him out so much).
One thing I did on my own was to start tracking how many complaints I made in a day... I can't even tell you how many I wrote before I gave up.
There were also a lot of things that I was saying that my husband PERCIEVED to be complaints... Such as, I would share with him a dream or goal I had, and in his mind it would translate to: "you don't work enough/don't earn enough/you're not good enough" so make sure what you're calling a "complaint" is actually a complaint.
And yes, she probably just wants to be heard and acknowledged. You don't need to fix her. Just listen and say things like, "I understand." Goes a long way, trust me! Posted via Mobile Device
I'm a reformed complainer.It was because nothing changed even after having adult conversations about the issues.It got to where I was so frustrated with it that I just resorted to complaining and nagging.
In my current relationship I don't complain, i discuss
Lots of "I" statements... "I feel this when that happens..." no "You" statements..."well you did this and made me feel like this."
lots of "we" statements too.
Take the emotion out of it,state your issues in a mature way without insults,passive aggression,sarcasm or any of the other negative things that put people on the defense and mark you as a complainer.
It IS possible to resolve issues without complaining and whining like a little b**ch.
OH and please please please don't do the beforehand sentence, "we need to talk." It's so threatening and has such a negative vibe. Plus it sets the other person up for an anxiety attack about OMG wtf did i do now?
Yes, get control of your emotions. Stop yelling...that's just doing the dance with her. I did that for years with my W, and we'd go round and round. Do this instead a few times...
Don't yell it. Deliver it with calm confidence. You'll likely get better results vs. yelling at her in a senseless argument.
Exactly. Now, I have yelled at my W once since we met. And I regret it. Not for the message that was delivered, but that I showed, for a moment, I was not in control of myself or my emotions. Not very attractive.
She came out of a marriage where there was a lot of drama, yelling, name calling, etc. From day one, whenever I had a problem with her I would just stop what I was doing, stand back and look at her while she went on about her *****!ng, ranting, snarkiness, or whatnot. She'd finally notice I was just standing there, and she'd say "What?". I'd respond calmly that "you can get out of marriage mode at any time now, because I'm not putting up with it." Or "let me know when you're ready to stop taking your bad day out on me and we can pick this up then". Somehting along those lines.
Works like a charm. She knows when I'm ticked without ever having to raise my voice, and she knows I mean it. And she corrects her behavior, or we talk about the issue and work it out. She always tells me she loves this "new way of life" and that her whole life just feels so "calm" and "stable" with me. Outside of the bedroom at least!