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Question
Posted by: amy | 2007/06/22

Moody Spouse

What is the best way to deal with a moody ,complaining spouse .
My husband is finicky about everything , kids , house etc
He loves complaing and shouting but cannot handle me being irritated with him . Most of the time I just ignore his bad behavior otherwise even for the littlest thing it turns into a huge fight with him saying he is going to leave me and he does not love me , but he never leaves not even for an hour to cool off , he just sulks around and passes remarks and a day or so later he acts as if nothing happens and expects me to do the same. He is really getting to me sometimes I do wish he would leave if it meant getting some peace, but this is not an everyday thing , he is normally fine for weeks.
His mom behaves in a similar fashion if she is upset with him she will swear and shout at us , and then pretend nothing happened and my sister-in-laws and brother-in-law including my husband continue as if nothing has happened . His moms behavior does upset him even though he cannot see that he is doing the same thing .
He wont go for conselling , no matter which way I suggest it , I am not sure what to do . I would hate to give up on a marriage just because of this . ( I have 2 young children ) and most of the time he is a wonderful person .

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Most irritable people do seem to expec the privilege of their irritability, but not to extend this privilege to others --- they don't see you as having any comparable right to be irritated. Ignoring can help, unless that also irritates him ! Sometimes merely murmering "THat's awful, dear, isn't it?" helps. YOu identified a key factor in your observation that his mom also does this --- that's where he learned this pattern of behaviour, probably without even realizing that he has done so. And you hav noticed how the rest of the family has learned to handle this.
Its sad that someone like this so often won't go for counselling, as they are afraid to acknowledge that they have any need for it. Maybe other readers, from their own experience, may have some suggestions

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