Grumpiness can be an emotion that is hard to stop — it tends to snowball and only builds until you either break down, or someone helps you. Here are seven ways to soften your wife's grumpiness:
1. Know what not to say
When she's being a bit grumpy, your first reaction may be to lecture or nag her about her mood. Telling someone they shouldn't be grumpy is not the best way to help them get over it. There are certain things to stay away from when trying to make someone feel better. For example, don't remind them that they are doing their dream job, so they shouldn't complain. And don't keep insisting that they are being grumpy when they tell you they are not. Or don't lecture them on how so many people are worse off than they are. These things don't work.
If your wife is grumpy, jump in and help her with what she is doing. I guarantee she is not just sitting on the couch stewing in her own bad mood. She is probably changing diapers, picking up toys, preparing dinner, doing laundry and setting the table all at the same time. See where you could help her and just do it. She will appreciate not having to ask you to help, and that will lighten her mood.
3. Tell her why you appreciate her
One big reason women get in grumpy moods is because they do not feel appreciated. Women tend to go all day long, and right when they want to just relax for a second, someone else needs them. She loves what she does, but it can be exhausting, especially when she feels taken for granted. If you see your wife on the verge of a breakdown, remind her how much you truly appreciate her and see all that she does throughout the day. Be specific. Thank her for picking your clothes up that you left on the floor after work. Have your kids give her big hugs for helping them with their homework and untangling their necklace collection. A thank you and some hugs can usually melt any bad mood.
4. Take over for a while
Instead of just lending a helping hand, tell your wife you've got this and let her have a break. There is nothing better than someone telling you to go lay down or take a bubble bath, and knowing that you don't have to worry about what is going on outside your door, because dad has taken over. It may be hard to juggle kids and cooking dinner after a long day at work, but your wife does that all day long, every day. Give her a break every once in a while.
If you see your wife is being grumpy, take her out to dinner. Relieve her of the stress of cooking and cleaning up afterward. It is a luxury for a woman to have someone wait on her for a change and can be an instant mood lifter.
6. Don't join her grumpy mood
Whatever you do, do not join her grumpy mood. Don't try and one-up her with how awful your day was. This just undermines her, and tells her that you are not really caring that she is upset. She needs you to be strong for her, not join her in her downward spiral. Staying positive will help her out of it faster.
Even the happiest of wives has a bad day once in a while; let her. It is her time to wallow, complain and maybe even cry a little. It won't last too long; once she gets it out of her system she'll be OK for a while. But she needs the opportunity to express those feelings. Comfort her. Sometimes she needs a shoulder to cry on; and you need to be there when she does.
No one likes when someone is in a bad mood, especially when that person is the glue that usually holds your family together. But it happens. If you find your wife in one of those moods, try one of the above suggestions and you will be surprised how much faster she comes out of it.