Living with a negative spouse can take its toll on you and begin to bring you down as well. You may have noticed that you no longer see things in a positive light as much as you did when you were first married. Alternatively, perhaps, you have shut down and don't talk as openly with your spouse for fear of that he might criticize you or view you in a negative light. Chances are that you want to continue to have or to gain back your positive demeanor and to find ways to deal with his negative energy so that the two of you can have a harmonious relationship.
Focus on Yourself
Realize that while you are unable to control others, you have control over your own thoughts, feelings and the way you communicate with your spouse. You may find it difficult to change the way you interact with your husband at first, but it will likely become easier with time. As you change the way you communicate, he may surprise you with less negativity. Begin by not taking his negative comments and criticism personally; negative people are generally like that with everyone, states Psych Central. This will help to change your own perception regarding his negative energy.
Seek to Understand
Your spouse is likely feeling a deep sense of fear, which is likely at the root of his negative energy, according to Raj Raghunathan, Ph.D., author of "Dealing With Negative People," published on the Psychology Today website. Raghunathan identified three fears: the fear of disrespect, the fear of being unlovable and the fear that the world is a dangerous place. Because your spouse is unable to see his negative attitude as his problem, he will likely continue to blame external circumstances, people and events for why he views the world in such a bleak manner. Trying to change his mind will likely drain you further.
Place yourself in your husband's shoes. Try imagining being in his mind, with consistent negative thoughts and feelings constantly arising. The negative energy that he exudes and you can't help but absorb, resides within him at all times. This may help you to develop compassion for the person that he is, which can help you respond to him in a loving, rather than in an angry way. When your husband voices a negative comment, ask him to tell you what he means. Listen intently but avoid responding, as this may increase his negativity if he feels you are trying to change him, according to Lori Radun, author of "7 Ways to Deal With the Negative People in Your Life," published on SelfGrowth.com.
Avoid blaming your spouse for causing you to feel unhappy, as this is counter productive, according to Raghunathan. Rather, show your spouse you are in control of your own destiny by pursuing your dreams, taking risks and forming trusting relationships. Explain the reasons for your choices when he makes a distrusting or negative remark. Take responsibility for your choices and any negativity that may personally come up in your own outlook. This can help you to avoid the negative cycle of energy and work towards increasing positive energy between the two of you.
Karen Kleinschmidt has been writing since 2007. Her short stories and articles have appeared in "Grandma's Choice," "Treasure Box" and "Simple Joy." She has worked with children with ADHD, sensory issues and behavioral problems, as well as adults with chronic mental illness. Kleinschmidt holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Montclair State University.
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