Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tip #10: Ideas for Building Successful Relationships

Admit when you're in a bad mood and deal with it somehow.

One of the hardest parts of my relationship with Matt is dealing with our bad moods. They have such a negative impact on our life together.

Here's how it usually plays out:

When I'm in a bad mood, I'm able to recognize the mood and say, "I'm sorry I'm acting like this," but I don't do a good job of actually stopping myself from acting _______ [cranky, curt, caustic, exasperated, frustrated, etc.]. And, unfortunately, I get in bad moods more often than Matt does. Argh!

When Matt's in a bad mood, it's usually because he's tired. He's more disagreeable and his tone is mean. We get in way more petty fights. When I try to say, "This is silly; you're just tired and we should stop fighting," it makes it worse. He doesn't recognize that he's in a bad mood and looking at the world through a negative lens. He just thinks everything is genuinely worth fighting about.
We're working on it. I try to mentally coach myself through my bad moods. Even if I'm feeling bad, I try not to let it affect my actions. When it does seep into my actions, then I promptly apologize for it. Matt does a good job of pointing out when my tone is _______ [cranky, curt, caustic, exasperated, frustrated, etc.] if I fail to notice it. Sometimes I simply say, "I need to be by myself for a while. It has nothing to do with you. I just need that space for myself to ride out this bad mood."

Matt is doing a better job of recognizing and admitting his bad moods.

The important thing is we talk about it. We don't let the issue fester and ferment. We reflect on it. Analyze it. And make a plan to make it better next time. That's the best we can do!

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DCKate said...

SUCH a good tip! J and I both become cranky when we get hungry, but we've learned to recognize it and cut each other some slack. It's made a huge difference in our communications.

Kiana said...

I'm glad someone out there talks about this openly on here...it's hard to share with others these intimate parts of your relationship. Kudos for that. My fiance and I have some communication issues when we aren't our normal happy selves as well. It's tough to calm that agitated side of you down to be smart and realize how you're acting and the effect it has on the other person. Sometimes we triumph and things get sorted out quickly and I'm so proud of us...other times, the subject may be too touchy. Any other "building successful relationships" tips are welcomed!


Anonymous said...

I agree - so helpful! My fiance has a neat way of looking at "moods." Here's what he's taught me to ask...

1) am I hungry / thirsty / tired?
2) am I too cold (me) too hot (him)?
3) am I upset about something I can actually fix NOW if I just get up and do it?
4) am I upset about something I can never really change (like the rent payment or the injustice in the world) -- so that what I really need is to re-center and find peace in myself?

And I'm finding that once we've dealt with 1-4 there's usually not much left to get in the way of "us"! So far so good! :)

AmyJean {Relentless Bride®} said...

This is awesome! What a great piece of advice!

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