How To Deal With A Negative Spouse
My husband has liked to say, “There are dreamers and there are dream-killers, you are a dream-killer.”…. and we can laugh about it. The truth is he is a visionary, he often thinks big picture, and he seems to forget the details and the practicality of it all. When I come in with the realities…. have you thought about this, this, and that? He can feel I am being negative and killing his dream, but is that the truth?
It sounds like some practical steps of making/keeping boundaries.
SC, you bring up a valid point. We need a variety of perspectives in life and also in marriage. Yet, beyond the visionary and the realist, there still are some people who are just plain negative, aren’t there? It seems to me that some people simply approach life that way apart from looking at the practical side of things.
Yes, there are some people who are just plain negative, and it is very taxing to be around any length of time. Because of my “realist” personality, I am very sensitive to other people’s attitude, and I can easily be taken down the road of negativity. I don’t like that about myself, I don’t like that kind of attitude, so I am intentional on the type of people I will expose myself to, on a more personal level. There’s also a reason when I had to make a list of two things my husband could do to “show me love”, one was “stop grumbling and complaining”. His tone definitely set the attitude of our relationship and the whole house.
It’s also why laughter is an important thing for me.
Asking realistic questions of an optimistic spouse is not negativity. It’s constructive and helpful. Expressing skepticism or coming at a situation from a glass half-full is not so helpful. Most important – SC said it well – keep things in perspective by being light-hearted (laugh) rather than hard-headed (difficult). That goes for the optimist and the pessimist.
I’m the optimist/ idealist, and Mrs. Oldbear is the practical, “keep things simple and in perspective,” and even-keeled spouse. There are times that she can dampen my enthusiasm. Because i have learned how she processes and expresses her thoughts, her caution or challenge doesn’t discourage or disappoint me (dampen things a bit – yes). If either of us senses the conversation going in the wrong direction, we’ll mutual check ourselves and get back on track. Often we’ll chuckle and say something along the lines of “well, that was interesting . . . “