Dear Dr. Romance:

I do not like my job, I have two more classes before I complete my masters in HR to move to a better position and recently passed the PHR certification. I was talking with my boyfriend about the environment at the company and how they are always threatening to fire people as their way to get people to perform better. They are also very picky. I realize that this is his company's way of life. His response was, "You act like it is your God given right to work at the company just because you work hard." I was really shocked with the statement because he is always complaining about his job and his manager. So when I pointed this out. He says when he complains its about something specific. First I was really hurt but the more I think about it the more irritated I become. As if its OK for him to complain, but not me. Please advise how to handle this.

Dear Reader:

Congratulations on your achievements. Complaining is not a right or a privilege. We live in a land of free speech, so it's permissible, but that doesn't make it a great idea. Complaining drags you down, and is also a negative pull on those around you. No matter who is complaining, it doesn't help make anything better. It is helpful to blow off steam a little when you're frustrated or disappointed, but when it becomes habitual, it's destructive. Why not make a deal with your boyfriend that you can each complain once about something, then switch your focus to something that would make it better, or make you both feel better. It's not helpful to your relationship to get into competition about complaining.  Instead, why not compete about who can make the other laugh most, or who can find the most solutions? "Attitude- from Negative to Gratitude"  will help both of you uplift your relationship. The 10 Smartest Decisions a Woman Can Make Before Forty 2nd Edition shows you how to enjoy each other rather than compete to out-complain each other.

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Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.