Living with a moody spouse can be frustrating. Both women and men (yes, even men) are susceptible to hormonal fluctuations and moody behavior. Here are four tips to deal with a moody spouse, and avoid the mood becoming infectious.
- Identify the Reason
Simply asking your spouse why they’re upset and discussing it can reopen the lines of communication. Once the issue is identified, you can figure out how to handle it. Counseling can be helpful if a prolonged bad mood is due to a common issue like difficulty coping with becoming an empty nester, financial stress, or dealing with an aging parent. Let’s Talk Counseling offers virtual sessions that eliminate the added stress of having to drive to and from a brick and mortar office.
- Don’t Put Them Down
Research has shown that happy couples share a higher rate of positive interactions than negative interactions, and that feelings of not meeting a spouses’ expectations can result in resentment over time. Putting down your spouse, resorting to name-calling or put-downs will do nothing to help your spouses’ mood or to strengthen your marriage. Try to be understanding, avoid taking it personally.
- Take Responsibility for Your Own Mood
A bad mood can be infectious. It’s important to stay calm and realize that what is bothering your spouse may have nothing at all to do with you. Take a few minutes apart to do something that you enjoy. That could include:
- Taking a walk
- Playing an instrument
- Playing with children or animals
Psychology Today suggests keeping the following mantra in the front of your mind: You cannot control your partner’s mood, you can influence it.
Know What Works for Your Relationship and Use It
Relationships are complicated, advice is never “once size fits all”. If talking works, that’s great, but talking is not the most effective solution for everyone. Some people need space, others need a cooling off period before they are ready to discuss what is bothering them. Figure out what works for your relationship (if you don’t already know), then use it. Individual counseling and couples counseling via Let’s Talk Counseling can be an effective tool to help identify and communicate your preferred communication style to your partner.