Coworker complained about her husband half the night.

  1. Last night I worked with a nurse who has worked at my hospital for 3 months. She moved to our state for her husband to complete an educational program. She has 3 kids. I have not worked with her very much, but once before she opened up about her marriage to me. I figured that she needed to vent, being in a new area, and I'm used to it because people always open up to me easily for some reason.

    Last night we were working with another nurse with whom I've worked many times. They got on the subject of husbands, and this new nurse literally could not stop talking about this dreadful subject of what a lousy husband she has, listing over and over again his many faults. She also reminices about her last hospital where she was very happy frequently. She talked about her best friend there, who was such a good support for her, they would get together and vent about their lousy husbands together, they had so much in common, and she misses this best friend so much!

    Meanwhile, we had previously decided to attend a three session continueing ed thing in Feb and March together. I was thinking it would be great but now I'm dreading it because it's obvious that her very favorite subject in the world is how miserable her marriage is. She talked about this nonstop last night. My husband has been dead for 9 years, and he was very lovable and was the best. In no way do I want to hear about her terrible husband. It's obvious to me that this is her very favorite subject in the world, I kid you not.

    Any advise? I tried gentle humor to steer her off the subject, but you should have heard her, her stamina in talking about her husband was amazing!
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  2. 33 Comments

  3. by   muffie
    what a long night that would be

    tell her how wonderful your husband was and how very much you miss him
    and that at least she still has a husband[or something along those lines]
  4. by   GardenDove
    Oh, I tried that, then she launched into a long diatrabe about how she would never, never get married again if her husband died, I'm telling you, she couldn't control it. I tried saying something like" Okay, so are you guys done talking about husbands yet?". The other nurse was more listening, she complained a little, we all know her husband he's a nurse who works on our unit. Normally this nurse doesn't complain endlessly about her husband.

    But this new nurse truly could not turn it off.
  5. by   GardenDove
    How am I going to stand a 3 session ed day with her? I really wanted to go to this. They are all day sessions, one at the end of Feb and 2 in March.
  6. by   muffie
    she really is a professional bellyacher
  7. by   santhony44
    You may just have to be blunt with her. Some people don't take hints at all.

    Try: "I'm really sorry you are having problems in your marriage. When you talk about your husband, though, it makes me think about my husband and how much I miss him. It makes me really sad and I just can't bear it."

    Or words to that effect.

    It's not quite as blunt as "Could you just shut up already!!!"
  8. by   Quickbeam
    I'm an orphan (lost both my parents to cancer when I was a teenager). When people go on and on about their parents in a negative way, I have for many years just said: "I am sorry. That's a very painful topic for me. I'd prefer to not discuss it with you". I've used that for decades and it usually works.
  9. by   SoulShine75
    Some people just like listening to themselves talk. It sounds to me like she's looking for sympathy and needing some validation. Maybe what you could do in order to avoid her rants is to jokingly say...well, why you people are complaining about your SO I'm going to go get some work done! Even if you aren't busy, act busy and avoid her if this bothers you so much. Don't sit next to her at you cont. ed class and if this still doesn't work and she doesn't get the hint then maybe just tell her bluntly that you don't feel comfortable listening to her go on and on about her husband. Good luck.
  10. by   oramar
    people recently divorced or separated tend to go through this (but not always), I have found myself withdrawing from them at a time that they need support, my sympathy is with you but I don't know what you can do other than withdrawl yourself
    Last edit by oramar on Jan 8, '07
  11. by   SCRN1
    Since she's new there and is apparently missing her old place of work and friend and is unhappy at home, she may not feel she has anyone else to talk to and in some way, she felt she was bonding with the two of you. Whatever the reason, I'm sure it is annoying to having to keep hearing her go on & on like that. She may not even realize how she's coming across. I agree that she should be gently told you don't wish to hear about it so much and if that doesn't work, then avoid her.
  12. by   psalm
    ...refer her to the hospital chaplain services, they are there for hospital personnel as well as pts. and families. OR ask her if she's found a church home yet where she could probably talk to a counselor on staff.

    ...the other suggestions are good, when all else fails, tell her that this is a work place and we need to be professionals. Save her verbal thoughts for the break room.
  13. by   Pepper The Cat
    I work with someone like that. Drives me crazy. I lost it one night and said to her "You married him." She called me unsympathetic and didn't talk to me the rest of the shift. I considered that a bonus!
  14. by   SuesquatchRN
    Quote from Pepper The Cat
    I work with someone like that. Drives me crazy. I lost it one night and said to her "You married him." She called me unsympathetic and didn't talk to me the rest of the shift. I considered that a bonus!
    Yeah, a simple, "So leave him already" might do it, too.

    Whiners don't like to be asked about why they don't act on their complaints. Maybe that would shut her up.

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