How To Stop Complaining In A Relationship
Whether you’re in a new or long-term relationship, having a partner who constantly complains can be quite challenging.
You may have a strong connection with this person, and he or she may possess many other wonderful qualities, but his or her relentless stream of complaints can start to take a toll on you and your relationship.
A romantic evening together may be overshadowed by your partner’s dissatisfaction with the restaurant’s service, the small portions, the dark bathrooms and whatever else may have rubbed him or her the wrong way.
Of course, everyone is allowed to complain from time to time, and there are definitely situations that merit it. But what do you do when your partner’s complaints are so persistent that you’re stuck complaining about your partner’s complaints? Luckily, there are steps you can take so that your partner’s next complaint won’t be about a breakup.
1. Communicate with your partner.
If your boyfriend or girlfriend is someone who tends to frequently complain, it’s important to tell him or her how these complaints are making you feel. Your partner may not recognize how much he or she complains, and he or she may not be aware of how these complaints weigh on you, annoy you and can spoil your time together.
Once you openly and honestly express how your mate’s complaints are affecting you, he or she will be more aware of this behavior and will likely be more inclined to modify these actions in the future.
Further, by alerting your partner to the content of his or her complaints, he or she can also pay more attention to their sources and try to resolve these complaints before they’re even uttered.
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2. Listen to your partner.
If you’re finding that your partner has the propensity to complain, it’s important to listen to the type of complaint that your partner is expressing. Is your partner complaining about something that can be easily fixed, changed or remedied?
If so, it might be worth doing. Compromise plays a vital role in any happy and healthy relationship, and if you can appease your partner with simple switches and adjustments, you should consider making them.
For example, if your girlfriend complains about the smell of your aftershave, why don’t you check and see if there’s another brand you can find? If your boyfriend complains that you park too close to his car in the garage, try to be respectful of his wishes and park more carefully. Making small changes can have a large impact when trying to turn off these complaints.
3. Help your partner.
To that end, it’s important to recognize when your partner is complaining about something broader. That way, you can understand your partner better as well as have the opportunity to help your partner deal with these issues.
For instance, if you’re finding that your partner is constantly complaining about his or her coworkers, feeling undervalued at work and the amount of job stress he or she faces each workday, encourage him or her to look elsewhere for a new position.
In addition, if your partner is complaining about how controlling, overbearing and overly-involved his or her mother is, provide support to your partner and encourage him or her to communicate and resolve the issue with his or her mom or resolve to move on.
4. Pay attention to your partner.
When you’re in a relationship with someone who tends to complain, it’s also important to recognize when these complaints are unfounded. Your girlfriend may complain that you’re flirting with other women, when you’re not.
Or that you don’t call her enough, when you do. Or that the valet was rude to her, when he wasn’t. People who like to complain can often seek out problems that aren’t really there, and this can stem from their own insecurities and lack of self-esteem.
While you can try to reason with your partner and help quell his or her concerns and complaints, it’s really you who should be concerned. If your partner is continually complaining about issues that aren’t there, you don’t need to be there anymore, either.
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5. Reconsider your partner.
In the end, it’s up to you to decide if you want to be in a relationship with a constant complainer. The reality is that there are people who are hardwired to complain all the time, and even when you think there can’t possibly be something left to complain about, these people find a way.
In addition, if your partner is complaining about things that he or she has no right to be complaining about, this is also a sign that it’s time to move on.
For example, if your partner is constantly complaining that you don’t make enough money, that your hair is too long, that you’re letting yourself go or about other personal matters, this is a giant red flag—and that matters. People who complain all the time are rarely happy, but you deserve to be. Close down the complaint department and open yourself up to a new relationship.