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Hi,
i've been married for almost 25 years, and I hate to admit it but I'm feeling really sad and lonely.
My husband is a good man, but for reasons related to mental health and a physical problem, he's hard to live with. He's so negative all the time, and gets angry a lot. Nothing is ever "good", he's always complaining. It's constant- about the people he works with, other drivers, our community, the house, the weather and just about everything.

Partly due to a physical issue, he spends an awful lot of time lying down. Added up, it's about 16 hours out of every day. he just stays there like a lump when he could be up and doing something, anything. I try and stay with him when I can, but I don't want to spend all day lying down.

One of the worst aspects of this is that I can't count on him. I have a health problem as well, but it's much more serious. I've been told I need to rest and avoid stress, but if I go to him for help or just to listen if I'm having a bad day, it gets flipped around so it's all about him.

It's like this..."I'm having a bad day today" (me). Him" oh i know what you mean, I'm tired too, and my back hurts, I can hardly move. At work i have to do x, y and z because everyone else is so lazy. I'm so sore I can't bend. I'm hungry/thirsty/whatever..can you go get me a drink?".

I don't know what to do. We tried seeing a counsellor, but it didn't make much difference. We originally went so he could get some help with his mental health issue and how it was impacting the rest of the family, but it turned into him just talking about himself for a couple of hours but nothing changed.

I know it may not sound like it, but I do love the guy. I'm just sad, tired and lonely. It's not like I can just go and get involved in other activities right now, and like I said, talking to him just turned around to him being upset and me spending time trying to make him feel better while what was botheirng me gets ignored.
 

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Write him a letter saying what you told us. Let him know that you need him and the ways that you need him. If you need him to listen, then tell him that. Let him know you try to be there for him, but you don't feel he's ever there for you. If that doesn't work, then I don't what. All I know is nothing will change if you don't ever tell him what bothers you.

You might also try to google some information on how to stop complaining and send it to him.
 

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You are going to have to find a way to tell him this. If he is not a bad guy he will get it, though it may take some time. Whatever you do be vigilant that you don't look for comfort maybe even innocently in places that could lead to trouble. Be aware that you are vulnerable.

Participate here, there are a lot of regulars who post. It's a motley crew but most everyone's heart is in the right place.
 
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I don't know the type or extent of his mental health issues, but the nice approach hasn't gotten through. Don't bring up divorce, but talk instead about how this is not the way you see yourself spending the rest of your life. You're doing what you can to improve what you can, but he's got to do some of the heavy lifting in the relationship as well. Explain that he might not realize how much of the burden of care has been placed upon you. See if he gets that message.

As for counseling, try a different counselor. Or let your husband know that you HAVE to find a different counselor, because the next step will be counseling to prepare yourselves for separate lives.

But isn't that threatening him with divorce? No. It's letting him know that there's a process to go through that could end in divorce if things don't get fixed. You love him, you don't want to lose him, but you're worried that is happening. He needs to know that.
 

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if I'm having a bad day, it gets flipped around so it's all about him.
I'm sorry you don't have a reasonable partner-in-life to talk to and to share the burdens of living with you. But, I'm afraid, due to my own experience with people like this, that it won't change..... it will always be all about him....

his mental health issue
What "mental health" "issue" ? I'm a country boy. I didn't get any degree in psychology, but I know that many "mental health issues" have self-centeredness at their bases, and I know that "mental health" is a euphemism for rank selfishness, and "issue" is a euphemism for sin. I'm not a shrink, I don't subscribe to the DSM-IV, but the bible has diagnosed your husband's problem already 2000 years ago.

He's so negative all the time,
That's why I say it won't change.... your husband creates his own "mental health issue".... therefore, it will perpetuate itself.....

The other reason....

Partly due to a physical issue
"Partly"..... what "part" does his physical PROBLEM actually play in this ? Or, is his physical problem a convenient excuse for his selfishness ?
Please tell me a percentage..... what percent is physical, and what percent is self-centeredness?

And, give me a percentage....how likely, in a quantified statement, is your husband to overcome his "issue" ?
 

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He needs to know the negative impact he has on you. If he loves you he will try to change.

I personally am very very affected by my environment so I would hate to be with a negative person.

First I would make it crystal clear to him how he affects your mood. And give him examples of his behavior. And talk to him about it, if he doesn’t want to change or if he deflects and doesn’t see a problem then there is no hope. But if he understands and agrees with you and wants to change then there is hope.


“Start speaking positively and you will start to think positivity”. This has helped me. Really focus on speaking positive things. Make it a point not to speak on negative things, and this small little exercise makes a big difference imo.
 
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