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Help with negativity


Ok so this will be partially a rant and partially I am hoping for some ideas/help.
I've been with my hubby for 10 years now (married for less than that but together for 10) and we have two kids. Throughout these years, I noticed that he tends to hold a grudge and be mad at people even decades after they wronged him. And he goes through phases when everything in his work life is WRONG. I encouraged him to change careers which eventually happened, he was just miserable in his old job, but now things don't go as easily and smoothly as he hoped for in his new profession and I feel like we are back where we were several years ago before he went back to school. He is miserable...yet again. And yet again....it's always someone else's fault, or he says stuff like how much he sucks and how nobody respects and appreciates him and so on and so forth. I seriously feel like I am going to loose it on him. We already had countless conversation where I mentioned he needs to try to change his outlook and not take everything as a failure but look at his accomplishments instead. And if something doesn't work out ideally, it's a learning experience rather than him being a total failure. 
I know he is also upset because even though we have been in our current province for a while, we don't have what he would call real friends - it's more acquaintances rather than close friends - but in all reality, that just seems the way things work here (I noticed this already when I was single - friendships are definitely more shallow here than what I experienced living in other places/countries).  
I also realize some of this behavior stems from him being bullied as a kid....but you can't always find excused because of that - may be I am a bit insensitive here as I have not been bullied to the extent he has, but still....I have been super pessimistic for quite some time, especially as a teenager, but eventually in my mid 20s realized I was making my own life miserable and worked on changing my approach to a lot of things and I can't even describe what difference did that make! I am not one of those who see everything in rosy colours, I am realistic - but in a positive way most of the time! 
He just left for work after getting super frustrated because he went on another rant about everything that's wrong, and I again asked him to try to see a bit more positive side to things - I shouldn't have done that. 
I just can't go on like this much longer. All of this negativity is bringing me down and then I caught myself a few times taking it out on kids - that's not acceptable. 
I don't want him to not express frustration and negative feelings - but I am getting exhausted trying to always support him and always trying to say the right things. He is an awesome Dad and he is always fun around the kids...I am the one who gets all the negativity.
I don't know what to say or do to make him realize he is not helping himself by being so frigging negative all the time. Hating people decades after something happened, always thinking others have it easier, thinking that he is not good enough....I just can't take it anymore some days. He does not have clinical depression (I forced him to talk to a psychologist a while ago when things were even worse than now).
Any insight? I don't want to leave him....I just want to smack him (please don't tell me to do that haha). I did suggest a psychologist/psychiatrist already but that won't happen so I am looking for alternative ways.  Seriously...any suggestions would be appreciated - I don't want to live like this!
Jun 22, 2017 @ 04:24 pm

5 Replies



So sorry for you! Living like that is not healthy for anyone in that situation. You may think your kids are not getting any impact, but they know something is up, so finding a solution is a must for you.

I know you say that psychologist / psychiatrist is a no go, but what about counselling in general? Or some group therapy? I would say more than anything he needs to talk to someone about his history and his behaviour / attitude in general.

It is hard to recommend good advice when the person who needs the help doesn't want to be helped as well.

Some small suggestions. Maybe he needs a time out. Seems slightly childish, but you could discuss it with him before hand and say let's set something up where if you are acting a certain way, you go into your own room or workspace, or running, or something for him to work his anger and aggression out on something other than you.

Fidget toys - they are good at helping people get distracted. So when he is frustrated at work, he gets out that toy and plays with it vs. getting frustrated with someone there.

Mom time out. Wherein you have a certain time / space that he isn't allowed in. When you are in that zone - it is yours. Where you get to try and center yourself and all the burden you are carrying.

I am by no means a professional, but have dealt with difficult people. I truly hope you find something that works. I admire that you don't want to leave given the hard situation you are in. Keep us posted!
Jun 22, 2017 @ 05:12 pm


Sorry to hear that.

I know you said, he doesn't have depression but what you are describing how your husband is acting is exactly like me many years ago! I went to every type of therapy you could name in the book and they all say I have Major Depressive Disorder. I then ask what the main symptom and all my Dr's said "negativity" Not saying that's what your husband has, but I'm saying there is some mental health issues there.

That said, it wouldn't be a bad idea to get a second third opinion? That's what I did!

I understand it's tough on you because you are not a psychologist/psychiatrist and you have to live with him everyday.

I was engaged to my now husband at the time and I was about to call off the wedding because I don't want to put him through this. He told me that as long as I get all the help I need, he believes I can overcome it. I did!

That's with a lot of hard work, I saw a psychologist once a week, a psychiatrist, my family doctor, and group therapy.

Point is, your husband has to "want to get better" for himself. There is nothing you could do or say to help him unless he wants it for himself. Just know this is NOT your fault and you've done what you could. It's all in him to want to help himself. I mean, who could live with someone whom is this negative without it affecting their mental health as well?

I know this will be hard but the only thing you could do is talk to him, not force him to get help but to help him realize how much better he's going to feel if he gets the proper help. Help him realize that ' it's affecting you, it's affecting your mental health. My husband told me it was hard on him but he did his best not to enable my negativity.
Jun 22, 2017 @ 05:45 pm

Thank you

Thank you ladies for the suggestions and kind words - it's greatly appreciated!!!

I think the main thing is he doesn't see/realize he is so negative - and it's hard to want to get help when you don't quite think you have a problem.
The other day we had a conversation where he seemed to grasp that may be holding a grudge against people who wronged him is not getting him anywhere - but he said he felt like if he forgot about them they would win. I basically explained to him that it's the opposite - the fact he gets affected years after is what makes them win over and over and over, while if he forgot them, he wins - cause it would just prove they were insignificant to who he is. He seemed to get it and then it spiralled again today because one of his former clients went to see someone else (someone with a bit less experience than him).....I get it's frustrating when he sees others getting repeat clients in his line of work even though they have less experience than him, and some of his clients go to see someone else when they need more services, but that's life....

I think timeouts or fidget toys might be worth a try. I actually walked away the other day when he was super grumpy and he did apologize later on for being grumpy.... so I suppose something clicked.

And I agree seeing someone would help - hopefully with time I can convince him.
Jun 22, 2017 @ 06:21 pm


The trick is don't enable his negativity, let him be and you did the right thing, walk away. He's going to soon realize that he's talking to thin air because you are no longer going to listen nor put up with it.

Trying to make sense with him is probably impossible at the moment because he's really set on his ways of thinking. Yes, it does take a lot of self help and digging deep into past experiences to work through it. It does take the help of a professional to work through it. The first step to recovery is acknowledge that he has a problem. I really hope that can happen soon so he could get the proper help. As of now, for you, hang in there! I know it's tough. I've seen my husband put up with me, it wasn't easy. Just have faith that things will get better.
Jun 22, 2017 @ 06:43 pm


thank you so much!!!!
Jun 22, 2017 @ 07:06 pm

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