Is a complaining spirit destroying your marriage?

Is a complaining spirit destroying your marriage?

This last year has been very difficult for all of us. We are in a situation that we have very little control over. For some of us, this brings out a critical nature where we start to complain about many things in our life. Unfortunately, constantly complaining doesn’t

improve the situation all it does is drag everyone around the complainer down as well.

Complaining is also toxic to the marriage relationship. The complainer is perceived to be unhappy and needy. They need things fixed or improved that aren’t within anyone’s capability to fix. This leaves everyone feeling unhappy and frustrated. Which just leads to more complaints.

Sometimes, the spouse of the complainer feels like they are failures since they can’t fix the problem. Especially if the majority of the complaints are veiled criticisms. If they feel that they can never measure up to the complainers expectations or requirements then they often stop trying. Understand that a spouses complaints typically have little to do with you. So, always be sure to let your spouse know how much you love them. But also let them know how you feel about their complaining so often.

The complainer may have high expectations of their spouse, but if they haven’t talked about their expectations then they shouldn’t expect them to be met. If this is the situation, then the couple needs to set up a time when they can get together both will be fresh and have time to talk (no more than one hour for this first effort). The location should be private and conducive to discussion with no external distractions (TV, computer, phones, games, etc.) Then they should take turns discussing each others expectations and getting feedback about them.

Sometimes we start complaining about those around us because we have become disappointed with our circumstances and want more in our life. We feel that our life would be better if only our spouse would do more. But, talking about what we don’t have or aren’t getting from them doesn’t help the situation. They are more likely to feel pressured and will push back or feel defeated themselves and give up.

When we don’t feel loved, even though our spouse claims they love us, we become critical of them because we don’t feel loved. Our spouse isn’t speaking our “love Language”. If you are unfamiliar with the concept of love languages, go get Dr. Gary Chapman’s book “The Five Love Languages” and read it together. Make sure to take the assessment at the end of the book to determine how you and your spouse receive love. Then you can start figuring out how to start filling each others “Love Tank”. Life is so much more fun when you are trying to tell your spouse (and being told by them) “I love you” in ways that they best understand it.

Another solution to a complaining attitude is to start a gratitude journal. Each day start off by finding at least three things that you are grateful for. They don’t have to be big things, they can be a smile or a beautiful sunrise. Remember, God is in control not you and He is meeting your needs. There are many ways He is providing for you and often using your spouse and others to bless you. You just have to pay attention and look for them. Whenever you notice a blessing, write it down and then share it with your loved one(s) that evening.

Sometimes, establishing boundaries around when and how long your spouse can air their complaints is a solution. During the time that is set aside for complaints (or report on the days events) you agree to listen and be there for them. But outside of this time, they agree to refrain from complaining.

Whatever happens, always remember to prepare for each discussion with prayer and to remind each other how much you love each other.

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