My boyfriend says I complain too much – What to do if he’s right

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Complaining is normal. In fact, it can even help you distinguish when there is something wrong with the relationship that bids your attention. But what do you do when your boyfriend says you complain too much?

If you find yourself asking this question, good news: you’ve come to the right place! This problem is actually more common than you think, even in married couples, and there are a couple of simple ways you can do to fix it. 

In this article, we’re going to discuss what to do if your boyfriend tells you that you complain too much—and what to do if he’s right. 

1) Reflect on your actions

People only complain when they are not satisfied with something. Constant complaining means you are not satisfied with the relationship. To fix this, the first thing that you need to do is to think about what could be causing this dissatisfaction. 

If the reason for dissatisfaction is something that can be fixed quickly and easily, perhaps there is no need to complain. 

On the other hand, if the problem is more serious or constantly recurring, maybe there is a deeper issue behind it that needs to be addressed. 

Some examples of this is if your partner never helps you do your chores around the house and says he’s bad at things so he could manipulate you into doing them, or if he keeps talking to or flirting with other girls even after you’ve told him it makes you uncomfortable.

If the latter is the case, it is better that you confront him about it and explain how his behavior makes you feel. Remember that if he cares enough about you, he will hear you out and make an effort to change rather than taking this confrontation as a personal attack.

2) Figure out if you’re being gaslit

In some situations, when your partner tells you you complain too much, they are gaslighting you—meaning they are shifting the blame onto you rather than addressing the actual problem.

There are two possible reasons for this: one: they don’t want to deal with the issue, and 2: they don’t want to be held accountable. 

Sounds familiar? Well, you might be dating a narcissist if these examples match your partner’s behavior. However, it can be tricky to distinguish if your complaining is an actual problem or if they are gaslighting you. 

What are the signs of being gaslit? Here are some examples: 

  • They insist you did things you’re sure you didn’t do
  • They actively deny your recollection of events
  • They twist your words to shift the blame onto you
  • They tell you you’re “too sensitive” when you express hurt over something they did

Would you want to stay in a relationship with someone who resorts to emotional manipulation in tough times? This is a question you should be asking yourself if you’re being gaslit. In some cases, you may even have to leave the relationship. 

However, if you think your partner is right when they point out your constant complaining, one of the best things to do is to try not to get defensive.

3) Try not to get defensive

When we’re called out, our usual instinct is to get on the defensive. This is a natural response, as we have a desire to be right all the time and take it hard when our wrongs are pointed out. 

However, being defensive when your partner points out your mistakes will not do any good for the two of you. Both parties should learn how to listen when the other expresses their concerns about the relationship in order for it to work. 

I know it is easier to get heated when your partner tells you you complain too much, but you must learn to respond with empathy. Remember that this is your partner you’re talking to, not an enemy. 

Try to put yourself in their shoes: perhaps they’ve been reprimanded at work and cannot take any more scolding; maybe they’re exhausted and could use a little bit of peace while they rest. 

As people, it is in our very nature to feel the need to be right. But remember: 

It is more important to be kind than to be right. 

Treat everyone—especially your partner and your loved ones—with kindness, and you will never be wrong. 

4) Practice empathy and kindness

Don’t get angry or offended when your partner tells you you complain too much. It is easy to get defensive when our wrongs are pointed out, but practicing empathy and kindness, especially in a relationship, can go a long way. 

As his partner, you should learn to practice kindness all the time, even while you’re in an argument. 

If your boyfriend tells you that you complain too much,  don’t take it as a personal attack. More importantly, don’t respond with anger. Instead of devolving into an argument, try to come to your boyfriend and ask him what’s wrong

Maybe he has a problem completely outside of the relationship that is bothering him, and it’s your job as his partner to lend an ear when he is troubled. 

Love, and relationships, in general, cannot survive without empathy and understanding. In all instances, the best thing to do in a relationship is to try to always be understanding and kind towards your partner. 

The world is harsh enough as it is; the essence of a partnership is to be each other’s safe haven, and to have an escape when the world feels too chaotic. 

5) Don’t nag

Does your partner not help you enough with the house chores? 

Do you find yourself incessantly giving your partner instructions?

Do you instantly get mad when your partner does something a little bit wrong? 

If you answered yes to all these questions, you are nagging your partner. 

Constant nagging can make your partner feel overwhelmed. It also breeds negativity and resentment in the relationship. 

Nagging partners are usually not satisfied in the relationship. Nagging is bad, but there’s usually a reason behind it that needs to be talked about. If you find yourself constantly nagging your partner, take a break and think about what causes this dissatisfaction. 

6) Find the root of the problem

If you always find yourself complaining in the relationship, know that this means you’re not quite satisfied, and there is a reason behind that dissatisfaction.

Maybe you feel that your partner is not giving you enough attention, and the constant complaining is one of your attempts to try to get it. 

Maybe you feel like your partner is not listening to you, which makes you frustrated and drives you to complain. 

Whatever the reason is, it is vital for you to find it and understand it. If you don’t, you will only end up in an endless, vicious cycle of complaining and your boyfriend then complaining about it. 

When you figure out the reason why you’re not satisfied, try to calmly explain this to your partner instead of complaining.

7) Calmly explain what the problem is

After you’ve figured out what’s causing your dissatisfaction, explain it to your partner calmly and rationally. Don’t nag—remember, complaining only puts you and your grievances in a negative light, and will only end up in arguments that do nothing for the relationship.

I know confrontation can be scary, but all healthy relationships require communication and comprehension. 

If your partner loves you, he will at least listen and try to understand where you’re coming from, especially if you explain it to him calmly. 

However, if they respond negatively despite your best efforts to remain calm and rational, that may be a sign that your partner has deeper problems that he needs to sort on his own—it may even be a sign that you need to take some time apart. 

On the other hand, if your partner responds positively and is willing to play his part to make your relationship work, the next step is to find the solution together.

8) Find the solution together

Relationships are a two-way street.

They work because of cooperation and mutual understanding, which are the key ingredients of a loving, long-lasting bond. And when you’re in a relationship, you work as a team. This means working together to find the solution when you have a problem. 

Instead of arguing with your partner, try to pinpoint the reason for your complaining and find the solution together. 

The whole point of relationships is having someone to be there by your side through thick and thin. No matter what the problem is or how big it may seem, the relationship works better if the two people in it keep working together to solve its problems. 

9) Explain your needs

Complaining is an ineffective way of communicating your needs. Instead of complaining, try gently explaining what you need to your partner. But how do you do this? 

First, identify what these needs are. Do you need your partner to trust you more and be more intimate towards you? Do you need them to listen when you’re trying to have a conversation with them? Do you need security and reassurance? 

Don’t be afraid of communicating your needs to your partner. Know that it is valid and completely normal to have needs and feel dissatisfied sometimes in a relationship. What’s not normal is if your partner does not hear them out.

After you identify your needs, sit your partner down and have a conversation with them. Explain that you are not trying to have an argument. 

The goal is mutual—he wants you to stop complaining, and for you to do that, he must hear you out and realize that this is not you painting him as the bad guy. This is you working together to achieve a common goal.

Remember that a person who truly loves you will listen to your needs and will do the necessary work to meet those needs. 

However, if the two of you always end up in an argument no matter how hard you try, it may be helpful to take a break instead. 

10) Take a break 

If you feel that your relationship is taking a toxic turn that does more harm than good, it is time to take a break. 

Taking a break doesn’t necessarily mean ending the relationship completely. For some couples, taking a break helps them realign their priorities and ponder what they must do in order to make the relationship work.

Before you take a break, try to have a conversation with your partner where you both have an understanding of what happens during this break. This includes how long the break will last, setting boundaries, and the things you should and shouldn’t do while on a break. 

Remember that taking a break doesn’t necessarily spell out the end of the relationship. At the end of the day, no matter how much time you’ve spent together, you’re still two different people—and sometimes, two people have two different needs, and you need to grow individually before you can come back together and make the relationship work for the better. 

While on a break, you can take this time to re-prioritize and take care of yourself. Find yourself again if you feel like you’ve lost it. Reconnect with old friends. Get back on the hobbies you’ve abandoned. Remind yourself that it is possible to be happy, even on your own. 

After all, it’s easier to be happy and content in a relationship if you already know how to do it by yourself. 

Now that you know what to do when your boyfriend tells you you complain too much, I’m sure you are now wondering about what you need to do to stop. 

Without further ado, here are 4 helpful tips on how to stop complaining:

Try the 10-second rule

There’s a thing for insecurities called the 10-second rule: it’s a philosophy where if somebody can’t fix something in ten seconds, you should not point it out. 

If, for example, someone has crooked teeth, don’t point it out, because they already know it anyway and can’t instantly fix it. On the other hand, if someone has lipstick on their teeth, it is appropriate to point it out as it can be easily fixed in ten seconds. 

Why is this relevant? Because this philosophy can be applied in relationships as well. If your partner left a cup on the counter, it’s probably better not to point it out or complain about it because you can fix it in 10 seconds or less. 

It takes less energy to fix things like these than to have an argument about it. You will be surprised by the number of married couples who devolve into bad arguments because of the smallest issues. 

Relationships are better when the people in it learn that there’s no point wasting energy arguing over something so trivial as a dirty cup on the counter or a dirty sock on the floor. 

Try to practice the 10-second rule and you will be surprised by how much better your relationship would be if you both fixed things that can easily be sorted out rather than complaining or arguing about it. 

Practice gratitude

When we’re going through a hard time, it’s so much easier to find things to complain about than things to be grateful for. However, even in the toughest times, practicing gratitude can make our lives better.

A Harvard study shows that practicing gratitude makes you happier. But how do you do this in a relationship? 

The first thing is to think about the good things in the relationship, and good traits of your partner, that you’re thankful about. Maybe you’re thankful that your partner never forgets to make you a cup of coffee every morning, or that they always make sure to keep the house clean and in order every time you get home from a tiring day at work. 

When we practice gratitude in the relationship, we feel more positive towards our partner and we’re more comfortable sharing our concerns in the relationship. This will help you communicate your needs more effectively than by complaining. It also helps you focus more on the bright side of things than fixating on the small, negative ones.

Try therapy

Therapy can help you understand what you’re feeling and why you’re feeling it. Through therapy, you will understand why you feel unsatisfied in the relationship and learn how to communicate your needs more effectively.

Therapy is also a great way to express your concerns without judgment. If you feel that your partner does not have the capacity to hear you out, therapy might be for you. Having your problems heard, both in and out of the relationship, and finding ways to solve them is one of the main purposes of therapy.

Couples therapy can also be helpful for you and your partner to understand each other better. Your relationship can be improved when you develop a deeper understanding of each other’s thoughts and experiences through therapy. 

Strengthen your support system

Your partner can’t fulfill every role in your life. Perhaps he can’t take your complaints because he doesn’t have the mental headspace for it, at least at the moment, which you should know is completely understandable. 

In this case, it could be more helpful for you to strengthen your support system. A strong support system can help you navigate through the worst problems you will encounter in life. In fact, having a good support system helps people have a better well-being, coping skills, and a healthier life. 

Even if you have a good partner, it is important for you to have a group of people that supports you through the ups and downs of life outside of the relationship. 

To build a good support system, try spending more time with your friends and family. These are the people that you can fall back on when you’re having a hard time. 

While having a partner can make you feel more secure and less lonely, spending quality time with your friends and family is just as important as it can make you feel happier and more satisfied with life.

Can a relationship coach help you too?

If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.

I know this from personal experience…

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