This may be hard for you all to believe, but I can be a little bit edgy at times. Shocking, I know. Eric probably blows my edginess out of proportion. I’m never that touchy. NEVER! ( … okay, maybe a little)
I know I’m in a mood when I get on my own nerves.
Last weekend was one of those grumpy seasons in our abode. Poor Eric did nothing to provoke me, but I just jumped from one irritable moment to the next.
Finally, I asked him if he would pray for me – and he did. This is one way I know we have grown as a couple. As newlyweds, Eric was much more likely to take my moodiness personally. Now he just expects it to rear its ugly head every once in a while. ~smile~
Eric’s No Angel Either
Now, before we all start feeling too sorry for the E-man, allow me to confess his occasional snarkiness on his behalf. ~smile~ Sometimes Eric gets a bit prickly himself and it is almost always when he is extremely tired.
One Friday night, a few years ago, he started arguing with me so incoherently that it was funny. Grinning at his lack of verbal control (typically one of his greatest strengths), I suggested he go to bed, and he agreed. He was back to his happy self by morning.
Get to the Root of the Agitation
When your typically kind and caring sweetheart is in an unpleasant mood, there is always a reason. Before jumping into an argument or giving in to hurt feelings, see if you can get to the root of the problem.
Guys, this is important. Never, ever, ever ask your girl if she has PMS. There is a good chance that she does, but mentioning it is not safe. ~smile~ From our perspective, we feel terrible. Hormones are powerful and they can affect us greatly. So, even if hormones are the reason we are touchy, asking us if we are hormonal translates to “Get over it. There’s nothing really wrong with you.” You probably don’t mean it this way, but we take your inquiry as if you are making light of what we are going through inside.
Perhaps a better question is, “You seem to be stressed. Is there anything I can do for you?” You may not feel like doing something nice for a grizzly bear, but your kindness may be all that’s needed to melt the ice. And don’t be surprised if she falls into your arms weeping.
When Eric is in a mood, I can almost always assume he is beat to the socks. He can push through a lot of hard work days, but it catches up with him eventually. If I know he’s beyond pooped, I can have more understanding when he greets me unromantically.
Stress at work, argument with a friend, hormones, financial concerns, lack of sleep, in-grown toenail – these are just a few possible culprits. Before jumping on your sweetie’s case for being in a bad mood, try to get to the root of the issue. Your gentle understanding may be what pulls him or her out of the slump.
Apply the Salve
Last week, when I wanted to punch holes in the walls, Eric was patient. He did put his foot down when I started crying, but that may have been because we were on a dark road and I was driving. But, for most of the day, he just let me have my moments.
Sometimes, all I need when I’m in a mood is a back rub, a hug, or a good cry. How can you help your sweetheart recover from a bad mood and simultaneously connect with him or her? Here are a few action items to try:
- Speak softly. When someone is agitated, a harsh tone of voice will only release the beast! When Eric speaks to me in a gentle tone, it’s like he’s dumping water on my inner fire. When he speaks to me in a harsh tone, it’s like pouring gasoline on my flame. (Look out!)
- Offer to relieve stress. If she is overwhelmed with housework, help her out and then offer to pick up dinner. If he has been working late each night, rub his shoulders, treat him like a king, and encourage him to rest. When I’m stressed, Eric can help in an instant by stepping in and taking away some of my stressors.
- Be available to listen and help, but willing to walk away. People handle stress in different ways. Some like to talk it out, and others want to handle it on their own. Be there for your sweetheart if he or she wants you, but don’t be offended if he or she needs some space. Being willing to leave them alone if they need it is a gesture of kindness.
- Give small gifts or “pick me up” notes. This may sound like something only women could appreciate, but I would imagine men would like to get a note that said, “You’re still my hero. I hope you feel better soon.” Take this opportunity to love you sweetie in his or her love language.
- Apply grace and pray. Our human pride does not like to be mistreated, but sometimes our loved ones will growl at us. When you encounter those moments in your relationship, remember all the grace which God has given you, and apply that same grace to your fallen, imperfect sweetie. Ask God to calm nerves and refresh his or her spirit. The time will come when you need him or her to give you grace as well. It may even be today!
Most, but not all, of you will be stressed and touchy at times; and, most of you will have a stressed and touchy sweetie at times. When you do, you have a great opportunity to show sacrificial love. Christ died for us before we repented of our sins. That’s love. Follow Christ’s example and love your sweetheart even when he or she does not “deserve” it.
Remember, there is always a root cause for your honey’s bad mood, and there is always something you can do to help – even if it is walking away and praying. When Eric loves me in spite of my edginess, it makes me respect him even more.
How do you react when your sweetie is stressed or touchy?