Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Living with a grumpy pessimist!(28 Posts)
If you're naturally cheery and optimistic and you've somehow ended up married to Mr Grumpy, how do you not get dragged down by it?
I hadn't thought about this. STBXH would comment on everything, I mean, everything. And mostly in a quite negative way. But he painted himself as positive and optimistic. Hmmm. He actually wasn't. I don't remember when I last saw genuine joy. That is sad.
It would be lovely to have a list of 'Top tips for living with Mr Grumpy'...a new Mr Man book perhaps?
I am getting to a point now where I am seriously considering my future with my husband, due to his negativity and unending ability to find the downside to every single damn thing..
I have spent years laughing it off as he has got worse, and as I said in my first post, laughing at him and telling him to listen to himself is the only way I have of dealing with it.
I am "lucky" in that it isnt just me who sees this, and all his kids (my stepkids) who are adults, will pull him up on it too, and his own mum will as well.
My FIL was very similar, but he did have manic depression, which ultimately led him to take his own life five years ago. As a family we often point out to my husband that he is acting like his dad in many ways and he is the first to admit that his dad was a difficult person who was rarely happy or positive. This sometimes works, but more and more these days doesnt. Since his mid 40's, my husband has progessively got more and more anti-social. He was suffering from depression at one point, but certainly isnt now, as he freely admits he enjoys staying in, watching tv, going to bed early.. well sorry mate but I am 43, have no kids, and do not want to live like a pensioner... so I have now built myself a social life of my own, and intend to keep it. He isnt excluded other than by his own choice.
I can understand why a person would put one of these joyless bastards on anit-depressants on the quiet...I just need to work out how!
OP, I wish I had the answer to this, and I've read this thread with interest.
I spend my life waiting for the next mood to descend. To be honest, I feel so much more relaxed and light-hearted when he's not at home. A marriage shouldn't be like that. I feel a knot in my stomach when he's around.
mine "was" grumpy and for years I said how this upset ne, it took my 3 year old DD to tell him "you are grumpy" and me say that I was leaving to make him try and change. Unfortunately his fix is to get on with his hobbies which are away from DD and me and now at nights he is "tired" instead of grumpy. We are still trying to make it better but...
My DH can be extremely grumpy too but he's got a cheeky sense of humour. I realised that using humour to release the tension of his grumpiness really helps.
I can be quite grumpy too so we sort of take the piss of each other's grumpiness. It's helped a lot.
Doing, that's funny, I used to call mine The Sucker of All Joy
I've spent the last 2 years with someone completely different. It's like a ray of sunshine.
OP, I'm sorry to be so blunt. I just feel for you and know from experience how much it drags you down.
Sorry OP, another one who is in the process of divorcing the grumpy old git here! I managed to dismiss it as "just how he is" or "having a bad day" etc for years, but when I realised that I had become a grumpy git too and that the DCs were also moaning about everything I realised that his negative attitude was bringing us all down.
I call him the joy-sucker (great phrase coined by someone on here!) and told him that his world was totally grey and by living with him, we were all having the colour drained out of us too.
Since he moved out we have all blossomed, I have met a lovely new man who makes us all laugh, enjoys spending time with us and is generally like a ray of sunshine in comparison to STBXH's storm clouds!
It definitely does suck the life out of you, I feel as though I can do nothing right so I've stopped trying. I want to leave but I love my really grumpy pessimistic H even though he's horrible to me sometimes. I shouldn't dread him coming home but I do.
I think I will LTB at some point but I wish I had known before hand...
My father was like this. With years of hindsight I can see how bloody hard it was. Big hug.
As people have said: normal people get down from time to time and offload (I am like that). My dad could suck the joy out of anything, and if he didn't make a comment, he would simply stay silent, not in a self-contained 'I am contentedly quiet' way but somehow tense and malevolent until someone took the piss a little and then he'd go on about how he couldn't win. He was just a miserable git, truly.
What starts out as a funny, grumpy old man personality trait can drain the life out of you both. I've had 15 years of it and I don't know how much more I can take. Everything is impossible. DC3 (7) announced the other day he'd like to climb Everest. His dad's reponse? To list the reason why he couldn't. Jesus, even a 7 yr old is not allowed to dream in this house.
Thank you so much for all your kind replies. Lots to think about
I feel for you OP, it can be very draining.
In my experience, I think you really can't change anyone else's outlook on life/general demeanour but you can change how you respond to it (easier said than done sometimes).
As others say above (and I recognise what everyone else says, so true), gently taking the piss can work if done at the right time. I used to keep a list of all the 'negative' remarks/moans and present it back to him at the end of the day. Just to highlight how much he was doing it! Then whenever 'negativity' crept in I'd just say 'oh yes its about time isn't it, been at least an hour since last negative remark...etc'. Shut him up for a while.
Another option is to ignore it (as best you possibly can) and see if that gets you anywhere? I used to pander to constant draining (harry-potter esque dementor!) negativity/moods etc by always trying to please/asking what was wrong/tiptoe-ing around but soon found that cheerily going about my business whilst he was in a strop helped. Well it helped on the outside but admittedly it still made me feel a bit 'down' too.
Last option is to have a word with him about how much it is affecting you and see where you go from there. Also do agree, there's only so much of your life you can waste by being around people like this if they are never going to change and don't care about the effect its having on their loved ones.
I am in the process of divorcing mine....
I couldn't stand it any longer. The LTR that I had before I met my stbxh was exactly the same, so I had had years of it.
Grumpy/miserable/negative/pessimistic people just drain the life out of you, I really sympathise
You can't win either way, I live with a ridiculously optimistic laid back man who drives me utterly crazy with his unrealistic plans and lackadaisical attitude to everything. According to him EVERYTHING is fine, nothing in the world is worth getting upset or stressed over, I just can't get him to see that some things are WORTH worrying over...like him deciding to embark upon a loft conversion when I'm 20+ weeks pregnant and his plan to do everything himself on top of the ridiculous hours he already works. It doesn't matter though, because of course, according to him it will all be fine and will be done in time and I just 'worry too much'. ARRGGHHH (this makes me the grumpy pessemist in our family doesn't it )
Even though it's the other way around, perhaps you could resort to the same tactic I use which is to roll my eyes and try to ignore him because I know he is wrong?
I used to think that grumpy and abusive were different things. Perhaps they are, but as I've lived my life I've realised that every single person I've come across has defined their 'grumpy' partner in language normally associated with abuse.
If you find yourself having to regularly modify your behaviour to accommodate the moods of another, it's unhealthy.
I am exceptionally good at regulating my own mood so that it is not affected by those around me. And I have found that the only times I've had to really concentrate on maintaining that is when I am with someone who cares nothing for the effect their own mood has on others. Otherwise known as a selfish arse.
We all have bad days. When we are with those we love, we should be able to say we're having a bad day and expect support. That is NOT the same thing as going round and making everyone else uncomfortable. If you can't get away with that with colleagues, don't expect the person you profess to love put up with it either.
If you're having a bad day, decent people who respect the fact that they are not the centre of the universe talk about it to gain support/reassurance or burn it off at the gym/down the pub, <insert random coping strategy here> etc.
We all have off days. We all overstep the line sometimes. THat's human and normally easily forgiveable in the context of a loving relationship. But if you find yourself having a bad day every day, it's probably time you got some counselling or changed your life in some way. It's not ok to make everyone else miserable too.
By having an equally optimistic DD, so you can be cheerful together.
Oh, and to answer the question in your OP, I don't think there is any way to avoid being dragged down by it. It may take longer for some than others but there is no way to stop it eventually getting to you in one way or another and making your life that bit worse.
I used to be married to a man like this. He sucked the joy out of everything. It got to the point where it actually made him angry if I was happy or showing signs of being 'too cheerful'. For this and a number of other reasons (he turned out to be a controlling, emotionally abusive arse) I left him last year. Divorce is now complete and life is great! The dc and I can enjoy ourselves again without him bringing us all down.
Life is far too short to waste energy on trying to cheer up some miserable git. if he is unwilling or unable to change this I think you should seriously consider whether you want to spend your life with someone who will just drain all the pleasure from everything.
All depends on his mood, sometimes a gentle piss taking is good.
However on occasions when I've been really happy about something and he's moaned I've just asked him if he realised how happy I was until he brought me down and put a damper on it. I honestly don't think my DH means to bring me down and he does get upset when he realises it.
my ex was this - everything was a moan. but also was controling abusive etcetc.
my friend said of her h "he is a grumpy git..but he is my grumpy git"./ and he has many other redeeming features. and does enjoy lots of things. is not a constant moaner.
what are your h's redeeming features?
Gently take the piss out of him, but you have to know when his mood is just a little too bad to see the funny side - it's a huge balancing act and actually extremely draining. Especially on the odd occasion that you actually feel genuinely and thoroughly sad and fed up yourself with something and it turns into a competition over who feels the worst which your DH usually wins. I regularly feel like i have the biggest amount of pressure and somehow manage to smile through it, yet the slightest issue at work will upset him to the point where life is a huge struggle.
I have often wondered if i can endure this for a whole lifetime. But then i'm having a bad day and know i'll feel differently tomorrow. I do love him, and i suppose that is the core of it. I've known what he's like for a decade now and he's not going to change so i either have to accept it or move on. On the whole i accept it, though occasionally blow up at him.
Join the discussion
Please login first.