Living with a cranky spouse can feel like a constant stone in your shoe. If you’re especially bothered by this trait, you likely have a chronic case on your hands.
We all have our moments of being grouchy, grumpy, ill-tempered and testy (Those are a few of the many synonyms for “cranky”).
But living with a spouse who has a chronic case of crankiness can make your life uniquely miserable. It’s hard enough to keep a positive life attitude aside from living with Mr. or Mrs. Negativity.
Unfortunately, cranky attitudes and actions come out at home more than anywhere else. We feel more comfortable there. That’s where we use the release valve more often than not.
As a result, you tend to suffer from your spouse’s attitude more than anyone else. If your spouse’s crankiness is getting the best of you, here are some ideas to help.
Are You Dealing with Situational Crankiness?
In other words, has your spouse always been unhappy and testy or did something trigger it?
If you can think of a time they were happier, try to help them figure out what has made things so difficult.
After all, crankiness is really just an outward sign of not being able to handle stress in a healthy way.
An endless number of things can make it difficult for your spouse to have a positive attitude. Some include the loss of a loved one, a high-stress job, living in a harsh climate, an ongoing health problem, poor sleep, relationship stressors and financial challenges.
Usually, cranky individuals are dealing with a whole bag of potential triggers all at once.
Not fun. Not fun at all–For your spouse or anyone else.
If you can identify the cause, work at finding ways to minimize that stress. The most basic of these include proper sleep, necessary free time to pursue an enjoyable hobby, a healthy diet and consistent exercise.
Also, try complimenting your spouse about three things each day or consistently sharing a positive perspective on life.
This helps to neutralize the “acid” of a cranky attitude.
For Ongoing, Habitual Crankiness: See a Therapist
Maybe you can’t find a trigger and you’ve been dealing with this problem for a long time. If so, you likely feel like this is just the way things have to be at this point.
But if you were honest, this is not how you want to live your life. And deep down, your cranky spouse wants and needs something better.
Seeing a therapist can help you sort out these challenges. If the pattern of negative thinking is advanced enough, you’ll have a cranky spouse even in the best of circumstances.
A therapist can help you and your spouse work together to lessen stressors. But more importantly, your therapist will help your spouse think differently about problems instead of always jumping to the negative, worst-case scenario.
Even if you’ve decided that the cause of your cranky spouse is situational, a therapist can help, too.
Behind all that crankiness is a loving, supporting spouse. By seeking help, you and your spouse can find the relief and happiness that you so desperately need.