Once I was told a joke (and I do not mean this joke to sound insensitive. I have been a victim of domestic violence.) and it somewhat relates to this.
There was a women who was married to an abusive man. She went to the doctor with a busted lip and two black eyes. The doctor asked what happened. She explained "My husband drinks heavily. After a long day at work he will stay at the bar and come home late. When he comes home I try to talk to him and he just gets angry and beats me." After a short pause the doctor said "Next time your husband comes home drunk take a sip of sweet tea and hold it in your mouth." The woman did this after all he was the doctor. A few weeks later she came and was all healed up. "I have to know what the secret to the sweet tea is" she said. The doctor replied "it keeps you from talking."
With that being said saying nothing negative really does work. He has been pleasant and down right cheerful. Today I was also supposed to do a random act of kindness. He was given a very nice fishing pole a few years back and hadn't had the opportunity to use it. He was invited to go on a fishing trip. So I brought him a cooler to put snacks in. He was delighted that I wasn't fussing about him going and leaving me with all of the kids despite the fact that I am sick.
This is going to work out great.