There comes a time in our relationship when we are finally fully comfortable with our partners. But where do we draw the line between being too comfortable with each other and just plainly whining about everything? Learn more about what to do if your partner complains all the time.
In this article, you will read:
- New research explains three ways to cope with complaints from your partner
- How does having a whiner partner have an effect on your relationship
- Ways to respond when your partner always complains
Are bothered by your partner’s constant complaining? Does he get irked by your actions even though you are trying your best to meet his needs? Does he only notice the little mistakes you omit? Well, there is new research that suggests three ways of dealing with Mr Complainer.
According to new research in the workplace on abusive supervision by Wilfred Laurier University’s Lindie Liang and colleagues (2022), it could be possible to look at the constant litany of complaints that your partner engages in as comparable to having an overly demanding boss.
While workplace dynamics are not exactly the same as those that take place in a romantic relationship, let alone a marriage, there are still lessons from this research that you can apply to your relationship.
Of course, having all that negative energy around can drain an individual, especially if it becomes a daily thing. Your relationship could even be considered “toxic.” Inevitably, this toxicity will play a huge effect on your relationship and how you communicate.
Partner complains all the time – effect on the relationship
There’s tension between the couple and family dynamics
By formal definition, tension is having feelings of mental and or emotional strain collectively. When one of you in the relationship is pressed or pissed, this negative energy may transfer to the opposite person, and will most often cause tension between the two parties.
Most of the time, this tension also trickles down to other members of the household, particularly your child. When your partner seems irked, everyone at home can feel the tension. And instead of having the feeling of openness, they may start walking on eggshells around the peeved family member.
When both of you are in an agitated state, miscommunication will definitely take place. Because the other party may feel judged by the complaining partner, she may put up a wall to protect herself. This will lead to withholding information from each other and their communication suffers.
If you believe that you are doing your best to give as much to your relationship as does your partner, your partner’s complaints will feel not only hurtful but unfair. And when that happens, it’s tempting to think, “Why do I even try?”
Unfair treatment can lead to a lot of negative outcomes like detachment, burnout, depression and emotional exhaustion. And no one really wants that to happen, because it can be the last straw that can make you want to give up on the relationship.
It can lead to break-up and divorce
Deciding to call it quits is the last thing we want to happen, especially in a family. Although, if these red flags continue to push through, inevitably, a break-up might come about.
Is retaliation the answer?
When you’re faced with whining and complaining on a daily basis, it can be tempting to mirror your partner’s actions and react negatively.
The researchers suggested that one way for people to cope with violations of their sense of justice is to engage in simple retaliation. This might sound extremely counterproductive, but as Liang et al. suggest, the retaliation doesn’t have to occur in reality to be effective.
In one study the authors cite, harming a “virtual voodoo doll” allowed participants to feel that at least part of their sense of justice was restored.”
According to the results of the study, retaliation actually helped mediate the effects of abusive supervision on the person’s physical and psychological health. But it was not just the release of pent-up anger that relieved their misery, but the feeling that they could reclaim their sense of justice.
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How to respond to a partner who complains all the time
Yes, having a virtual voodoo doll to release your pent up emotions can be therapeutic for some time. However, we believe that to achieve long-term success in this area, you need to change the culture at home so that abusive behaviour is no longer tolerated.
According to Psychology Today, here are some strategies you can try in dealing with a complaining partner:
Notice and point out how the behaviour is affecting you
Honesty is the best policy, right? You need to start being transparent with your partner and point out if he is being too judgmental or mean to you with his constant stream of complaints.
Look at what happens when you retaliate
When you clap back at your partner, notice that this does not actually do any good. Instead, it can stir up an even worse argument. Try to raise your point in a calm and collected manner.
Try to restore your sense of justice
In a relaxed and gentle way, try to spark a meaty heart to heart conversation with your partner to settle some issues. Be direct without sounding rude, be sensitive to one another and have an open mind to whatever your partner has to say.
It is so stressful and almost heartbreaking to have a partner who always puts you in a bad light. But taking the initial step to making things better is what we are suggesting!
If you tried all means to let your partner see how his complaining affects you but to no avail, don’t hesitate to reach out to a marriage counsellor.
Do not be too hard on yourself and on your partner as well. Correction and compromise are key in every fruitful relationship. And remember, do everything with love.
Communication is a key ingredient for any marriage