Dealing with a negative attitude, whether it manifests in anger or depression, can stress a marriage. Many times you may wonder: "Why can't he just be happy or nice?" But a marriage is a partnership, in which both people help to provide a happy life for each other. When your husband possesses a negative attitude, look for ways in which you can provide an uplifting word or action. Of course, if the negativity gets out of hand, then you might need to take other paths, but you can deal with occasional negativity by focusing on creating a productive relationship.
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Ask your husband how his family dealt with hard times (arguments or periods of sadness). While he speaks, listen for ways that you can adapt to his family's style. Often times, people default to old patterns and knowing these patterns enables you to bring him out of his negative spaces.
Talk to your husband about how the two of you should deal with hard times. Make sure to incorporate both of your needs during these times. For example, you may want to talk about things while he may need an extended period of silence in order to think about things. If this is the case, find a "middle ground," where you give him a day of silence to deal with his emotions before engaging him in discussions.
Adopt a "win-win" position, according to the University of Texas Counseling and Mental Health Center. By allowing for a win-win situation, you both get what you need. For example, if your husband keeps telling you that he needs more contact to keep a positive attitude in the marriage, then look at what actions you can take where you both "win." Maybe he could receive more text messages throughout the day where you practice the romantic poetry you've always wanted to write.
In Good Times
Take a walk. By taking a walk before getting involved in an argument, you allow yourself time to think about what you want to say. Also, you remove yourself from an emotional situation before saying or doing anything that can cause permanent damage to the relationship.
Fight fairly, according to Kansas State Counseling Services. This involves not criticising or telling your husband what he thinks or feels, and apologising when you've offended.
Demonstrate affection with a hug, kiss or words. Sometimes, people act in a way that's negative when they cannot ask their partner for what they really want -- affection.
When Negativity Arises
Tips and warnings
- If the negative attitude escalates into severe depression, seek the assistance of a psychologist or other relationship professional. If it escalates into abuse, get to a safe space and immediately contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
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