How To Stay Positive Despite Your Negative Spouse's Bad Energy

Photo: getty images
woman leaning over to kiss negative spouse

"My husband is so negative. He's chronically complaining and forever in a bad mood. He manages to find something wrong with everything and constantly feels down. I don’t know how to help him or live with him at times! What can I do to stay positive in light of his strong negative energy?"

It’s extremely challenging to deal with a negative spouse.

They may have depression or they may be habitually negative. They are so wrapped up in their bad energy that they can't see how miserable they are making themselves, let alone grasp the toxic effect they have on others.

They may even mock you for your positive attitude or call you naive when you see the good in things and others.

Try not to take their negativity personally or assume you know what is going on with them. If you've already tried talking to them and have only been met with more negativity, the tips below are for you, as I will share with you five secrets to keep your mood positive and your energy high.

In order to stay positive and protect yourself from a negative spouse's bad energy, you need to first understand that your own good energy is everything —​ and I mean everything!

When you feel good and positive, you not only attract more good things but stressful events are much easier to deal with when you feel alive and healthy. Keeping a positive vibration is the single most important thing you can do for yourself, your relationship, and your children.

Feeling good also puts you in a much better position to help your spouse.

RELATED: 7 Signs Your Man's Negative, Grumpy Personality Is Toxic For You

Important note: If you are the one who is feeling negative, my heart also goes out to you.

As a marriage counselor, I tend to help people feel better by supporting them to create a strong sense of purpose in their lives by finding something they are passionate about.

Often, when you have dedicated your life to your marriage and children, you may lose yourself. The consequences of being lost in life are loneliness and negativity — I know because I’ve been there.

But when you can refocus on your own needs, your spouse and your marriage will see benefits as well.

Here's how to deal with a negative spouse while staying positive and (hopefully) saving your marriage in the process.

1. Avoid using negative emotions to connect.

Often, in order to communicate and connect with our loved ones, we match their emotions. For example, if your partner is annoyed at something, you mirror it to get on the same wavelength.

The problem with this is that we compromise our own energy every time we use negative emotions as a tool to connect. We also become less effective in helping them if we are both operating at an emotionally low level. If we're sad, depressed, stressed, and frustrated, it’s much more difficult to listen to others and find solutions.

It is possible, however, to offer compassion and understanding without compromising your own energy.

2. Accept that your spouse's emotional energy is not your responsibility.

If you take their mood and negative energy as your responsibility, then it starts to belong to you, and your body, mind, and spirit respond as if you really are responsible and must fix it.

Often, when we carry this weight on our shoulders and take on their stress and worry, we can feel overwhelmed and run down. Sometimes we get sick or our performance at work is affected because we carry their baggage with us.

No matter how much you love and care about someone, you are not responsible for their happiness.

You are responsible for yourself and for your own experience of them, but not for them, if that makes sense.

Don’t think that by taking on your partner's bad energy as your own you are helping them. The best way you can be helpful to your spouse is by keeping your spirits high and inviting them to meet you in that place of positivity.

Many clients I work with in marriage counseling find that when they release their feelings of responsibility for the other, they are able to show up in a more responsive way and be more of service to their partner. From a place of positivity, we can brainstorm actions they can take to support their partner to feel good, leaving the responsibility and choice to follow through with the other spouse.

How much of what you carry actually belongs to you? Take a moment to really think about this question.

RELATED: How To Get Your Angry Spouse To Stop Yelling & Screaming At You

3. Let go of judging them or thinking that you know better.

When we think that we know better and try to change our partner, not only does it often backfire, it also allows their energy to infiltrate ours. If you don’t want your spouse to affect your energy, then it is important to allow them to make their own choices and hold their own opinions.

Similarly, the act of judging, even if done silently to yourself, can bring in more negativity, as focusing on their negativity and what you perceive they are doing wrong puts you on the same low emotional vibe.

Give up trying to convince someone you know what is best for them or making judgments in your own mind. Your positive energy is the most powerful tool you have to live a happy and fulfilled life, so protect it!

4. Refuse to give your power away by reacting.

Is your spouse always creating drama? Are they trying to invoke a negative emotional response from you in order to get energy or attention from you? Do you allow your spouse’s bad mood to dictate your own?

If you answered "yes," know that the moment you react, you give away your power.

Doing this leads to a temporary gain for them that sets the cycle in motion to repeat itself.

That won’t help either of you in the long term, especially if you want to save your marriage.

Remember, no one has power over you. They only have the power that you give to them, which is controlled by your thoughts, beliefs, and actions.

One woman I worked with found that the more she reacted the more her husband's complaints, the more complaints he had, until it escalated to the point at which he passive-aggressively argued that she was just as angry and aggressive as him. To deal with his negative energy more effectively, she tried not reacting at all, instead saying, "You’re probably right," before carrying on about her business. After a short amount of time, he changed his tune dramatically, which benefited them both. In short, she was able to save their marriage.

Before you react, pause ask yourself, "Is it worth it? Who will it help if I react?"

Note: this doesn’t mean that you cannot or should not speak your truth and set boundaries in a way that supports you and the relationship.

5. Stop accepting blame when it isn't deserved.

When negativity is directed at you, do your best to shake it off as quickly as possible.

Don’t retaliate. Don’t brood. And don’t get caught in your own pity party because you’re married to them.

People blame us all the time for things that are out of our control. Just because someone blames you, it doesn’t mean you have to accept the blame.

If you are responsible, be responsible and rectify the situation, but don’t allow yourself to be their scapegoat otherwise.

You don't need to react to or defend yourself from their blame. Simply allow it to pass.

Of course, the best solution for dealing with a negative spouse is to stop the negativity at the source.

RELATED: How To Save An Affection-Starved Marriage

Nicola Beer is a world-renowned expert in relationship psychology and transformation. Get her free report "The Secrets To Strengthening Your Marriage & How To Re-Ignite The Spark."