My husband is perpetually grumpy and I’m desperate for some light relief. What can I do? | Leading questions

Bitterness can be a mood-setter, writes advise columnist Eleanor Gordon-Smith, but you can seperate your emotional experience from his

My husband, who is in his mid 70s, is perpetually grumpy and negative. He rarely smiles and always sees the worst side of people and places, including our family and home environment. This permanent negativity and dissatisfaction has reached a peak now that he has retired and no longer goes to work. Any attempt to jolly him out of the gloom makes him more abrasive and defensive. I can’t remember when we last had fun together or a good laugh.

He has some health issues but mostly the usual ones associated with old age. He had prostate cancer, which resulted in a prostatectomy and impotence. This has been a big blow and various remedies such as Viagra have not worked, so sex has ceased. Bad hips prevent him from playing sports such as golf, bowls or even croquet. I’m in my late 70s and really at my wits’ end on how to address the issue of his unpleasantness without being on the receiving end of a rant about everything that’s wrong with us, the neighbours, the family, the world.

Continue reading…